The Northern Ireland and Ulster teams have been announced by Athletics NI for the 2022 Bobby Rea International Cross-Country, which will take place at the Billy Neill MBE Country Park, Dundonald on 22nd October 2022.
Fresh from his success at the Northern Ireland Masters Cross Country Trial, John Craig from Annadale Striders is absolutely delighted to finally claim a Northern Ireland Senior vest.
He has had a fine season so far with great performances on the road and country.
Gary Crummy is another athlete who is also debuting.
A former soccer player at Dundalk FC, Gary showed great potential in the local athletics scene when he turned his attention to running and coming under the guidance of Francis “Kookie” O’Hagan at Newry AC.
After a flurry of excellent track performances, Gary then “vanished” off to work in Australia for two years but picked up where he left off on his return.
He was second in the Armagh 10M race a couple of weeks ago, before winning the Gr8 Dundrum Run 8.5M last Saturday.
John and Gary are joined by Eskander Turki (Annadale Striders) and Craig McMeechan (North Down AC).
Craig is no stranger to representing Northern Ireland and is coached by Francis Marsh, who is a highly competitive Masters athlete himself.
(Read a short synopsis of Eskander’s remarkable and sometimes horrific story here.)
The Senior Women’s team consists of no fewer than three Masters athletes.
Natasha Adams and Nakita Burke from Letterkenny AC are joined by Catherine O’Connor of East Down AC.
Catherine won the Northern Ireland Masters Athletics trial less than a fortnight ago.
Robyn McKee of Annadale Striders completes the team.
Robyn has become a regular on the athletics scene in Northern Ireland since she turned her focus to running after a successful hockey career.
She competes on the track, road and cross country.
She recently broke 17min for 5K and was also part of the winning team at the Northern Ireland and Ulster Road Relay Championships.
Photo: Paul Lawther