Britton will lead Irish team in Hungary

Updated: Monday, 26 Nov 2012 14:02

Defending champion Fionnuala Britton will lead the Irish team at the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest.

The Wicklow athlete’s preparations for the Championships have gone exceptionally well; she finished fourth in the VIII Cross de Atapuerca in Spain earlier in the month.

She continued her build-up with a third place finish in a classy field in the Cross de l’Acier at the weekend.

Lizzie Lee, Ava Hutchinson, Sarah McCormack, Linda Byrne and Sarah Louise Treacy will join Britton for the competition which begins on 9 December.

Joe Sweeney has been rewarded with a place on the team following his performance at the Inter-County Cross Country National Championships in Meath last Sunday.

Sweeney stormed to victory, crossing the line 39 seconds clear of Michael Mulhare who has also been named in the team.

They will be also joined by David Rooney, Brendan O’Neill, Sean Hehir and Brian Maher in the line-up for the senior Men’s team.

In the Under-23 Women’s Team, Una Britton, sister to Fionnuala, will lead the charge for the Irish.

Chris Johnston will head the Under-23 Men’s team.

Johnston was the first U-23 athletes across the line at the National Championships at the weekend.

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Siofra Cleirigh Buttner has been named in the Junior Women’s team.

The World Junior 800metre semi-finalist won the National Cross Country in fine style at the weekend.

Stephan Kerr will lead the Junior men’s team after storming to victory at the National Championships.

Team manager Teresa McDaid said: "We have solid teams competing at this year championships with chances of quality performances at Junior and Senior level.

"For many of our juniors this is their first year competing in this age category and they will be looking to gain experience from this competition."

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