DCU Athletics members feature in European Cross Country Championships
DCU Athletics members Séan McGinley (1st Year PE and Biology), Róise Roberts (1st Year Spanish and Law) travelled to Turin earlier this month for the event, with Sean featuring in Ireland's Men's team which finished second.
The course was deemed by many to be the toughest European Cross Country course in years with a number of difficult climbs. Respite was afforded to the athletes as they went through La Mandria Castle indoors for fifty metres, before a downhill finish which also proved challenging to navigate.
Séan was first to race in the Junior Men’s 6000m. The Donegal man who represents Finn Valley AC made it no secret when he won the Autumn Open in Dublin in October that he hoped to race at the European Championships.
Despite being disappointed by his performance at the National Championships in Downings in his home county, Séan did enough to be selected for the team that day finishing sixth. Going into the race he was determined to deliver a big performance and did exactly that. He went out strongly from the start and held his position for most of the race. He would ultimately cross the line in 12th place, an outstanding achievement.
Séan was the third Irish athlete on the team to finish and was a scoring member as they took a well-earned silver medal. It is the second year in a row that a silver medal has came back to Glasnevin from the Junior Men’s race at Euro Cross after Cathal O’Reilly was part of the Irish team that made the podium last year.
Róise Roberts of North Belfast Harriers competed in the Junior Women’s 4000m race for the second year in a row. Having finished third at the National Championships, Róise was in good shape coming into the race and gave a very good account of herself to finish 66th. This represented a significant improvement on last year’s 77th place finish and bodes well as she is still eligible to compete in the junior race next year.
Three former DCU students also made podiums. Mary Mulhare was the third scorer as the Irish senior women’s team took a sensational and unexpected bronze in their 8000m, while recent graduates Keelan Kilrehill and Jamie Battle also won team medals in the U23 Men’s event. Kilrehill finished in the top ten as the Irish team won bronze.
Report by Rory Cassidy