Four of Mullingar’s finest to take on European Cross Country

This Sunday morning fans of athletics in Mullingar will be watching the coverage of the European Cross Country Championships in the Bela Vista Park, Lisbon with particular added interest.

That’s because Mullingar Harriers will have four athletes competing on Irish teams, the highest number from the Grange-based club ever to compete at a major championship in a single day.

Competing in the U20 men 6,000m will be Jamie Battle, in the U23 women 6,000m will be Claire Fagan, the first woman from Mullingar to compete at European Cross Country, and in the U23 men 8,000m will be Cormac Dalton and Jack O’Leary. O’Leary has had an excellent cross country season with Iona College and he returned home last week from the USA to acclimatize in advance of the trip to Lisbon.

There is another man on the U23 team with a connection to Westmeath though, Peter Lynch (Kilkenny City Harriers). Peter’s grandfather, Sean Lynch, comes from Castlepollard but now lives in Kilkenny and has been involved with athletics in Kilkenny for many years.

Jamie and Jack ran in the European Cross Country in The Netherlands last year and Claire ran in the U23 T&F in Sweden last summer, so they will draw on that valuable experience, but for Cormac this will be his first time to compete at this level in a major championship but being part of a large Irish team of over 30 men and women will surround him with huge experience to draw on for support and encouragement and inspiration.

“Everyone at the club wishes Jamie, Claire, Cormac and Jack the very best of luck in the Lisbon,” Greg Duggan, Mullingar Harriers PRO, said during the week.

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