DUNLEER AC's Tomàs Cotter has broken into Europe's top 20 3,000m steeplechasers after an outstanding year both at home and abroad.
Tomas, who is based in the US after recently completing a scholarship at Wichita State University, captured the college's 2013 Most Valuable Athlete Award even before finishing ninth at the NCAA Championship Finals.
Back home, the 22-year-old, who is coached by David Carrie, made his international debut at the European Team Championships at Santry and came fourth in a field that included two former Olympians. He went on to finish ninth in the steeplechase final at the World Student Games in Russia.
Tomàs, whose current best is 8min 41sec, hopes to improve to 8:35 in the new year which would see him qualify for the 2014 European Championships.