Mick Clohisey and Ciara Mageean will be the star attractions at the Irish Life Health National Cross Country Championships

Raheny Shamrock’s Mick Clohisey and UCD’s Ciara Mageean will be two of the leading lights at the Irish Life Health National Cross Country Championships at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus tomorrow.

Mick Clohisey and Ciara Mageean will be the star attractions at the Irish Life Health National Cross Country Championships

Athletes will be vying for individual, club and county glory as well as potential places on the Irish European Cross Country team.

Clohisey has been a dominant force domestically over cross country and he will be looking to stretch his reign over 10km while also guiding Raheny to a first team title.

The women’s 8km race will also be wide open with Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) forgoing the championships to race in Spain.

This would be Clohisey’s fourth national title over the country, but as yet, he has been unable to steer Raheny Shamrock to their first elusive men’s team title. He will he hoping that will all change at the National Sports Campus where a strong squad includes Dooney brothers, Conor and Kevin, Mark Kirwan and Cillian O’Leary.

Clonliffe Harriers won’t be relinquishing their crown without a fight and will have the consistency of Brian MacMahon, David Flynn and Sergiu Ciobanu leading the charge.

Munster champion Dara Chesser will be looking to score a surprise on three fronts – individually, for Ennis Track Club and his county Clare. Dublin will, of course, be heavy favourites for the county title but Clare have a team to be reckoned with.

Mageean (UCD) has had a fine 2016 winning bronze in the 1500m at the European Championships and running a swift 4:01 after the Rio Olympics in Paris. Mageean missed out in Santry last year but will be a force to be reckoned with on Sunday over 8km. She used her racing savvy at the Dublin championships sitting on Caroline Crowley’s (Crusaders) shoulder before surging in a perfectly timed finish.

Crowley was second Irish woman at the Autumn Open and there is another stellar cast of women set for the starting line with Rio Olympians Michelle Finn (Leevale) Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle), Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) all on the entry list. Action gets underway at 11:30am.

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