NEWCESTOWN teenager Jane Buckley had two reasons to celebrate her victory in the U20 women’s 4000m race at the recent Irish Life Health National Cross-Country Championships.
As well as win gold and the national title, the 18-year-old, running for Leevale AC, automatically earned her place on the Ireland women’s U20 team for next month’s European Cross-Country Championships in Dublin.
Buckley will be joined at the Europeans by another West Cork athlete, as Glengarriff’s Darragh McElhinney has been selected on the Ireland men’s U23 team for the championships on December 12th.
In sunny Santry Demesne, Buckley won the U20 women’s 4000m race in 14.06, and by six seconds from Emma McEvoy (Dundrum South Dublin) and Rebecca Rossiter (Loughview AC). This is the latest impressive performance from Buckley who also won the junior women’s race at October’s Autumn International Cross-Country at Abbotstown.
Darragh McElhinney, who turned 21 earlier this month, is no stranger to the big stage. While he finished second in the senior men’s 10,000m at the National Cross-Country Championships, he took gold in the U23 men’s category. In the senior race, the Beara man, running for UCD AC, finished just three seconds behind Hiko Tonosa (Dundrum South Dublin). McElhinney’s focus will now turn to the Europeans next month.