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Sweeney and Hutchinson claim national cross country honours

Joe Sweeney won the senior men’s race at yesterday’s National Inter County Cross Country Championships.

File photo.
File photo.
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

JOE SWEENEY TUNED up for next month’s European Cross Country Championships with a comfortable defence of his national title in Ratoath yesterday.

Sweeney was in cruise control as he pulled clear of the field to win the senior men’s race in 33:27 at the Woodie’s DIY National Inter County Cross Country Championships.

“I ran that conservatively,” the Dubliner said afterwards. “I wanted to save myself for two weeks’ time. I am really looking forward to the Europeans now.”

Michael Mulhare of Laois led home the chasing pack in second (34:06) ahead of Sean Hehir (34:16).

In the senior women’s race, London Olympian Ava Hutchinson held off Cork’s Lizzie Lee to claim a closely-fought finish.

“That was really hard,” Hutchinson said after finishing in 31:06, four seconds ahead of Lee. “It was one of the toughest races I have had in a long time.”

Dublin’s Sarah McCormack finished an excellent third position (31:27) just ahead of Louth’s Fiona Roche (31:34).

Una Britton , sister of Fionnuala Britton won the U23 women’s race in 33:29. Armagh’s Stephen Kerr won the combined junior and U18 boys race, while Siofra Cleirigh Buttner defended her junior and under 18 girls title.

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Niall Kelly

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