AFTER Mary Cullen's confident win at the Woodie's DIY National Interclub Cross-Country Championships in Tullamore, Ireland's chances of a medal at the World Cross-Country Championships are improving all the time.
The Sligo AC athlete will join double European champion Fionnuala Britton on the strongest Irish team for many years. Add to that the marathon strength of Linda Byrne, Lizzie Lee and Breege Connolly and anything is possible.
Cullen, who like Britton is now coached by Chris Jones, was in a league of her own last Sunday in Tullamore, even if Britton and Lee were absent.
Clonliffe's Sergiu Ciobanu was a deserving winner of the men's race after a long tussle with Joe McAllister. McAllister was the only top six finisher from the National Inter-county Championships to run.
When it came to the teams, Raheny Shamrock took their first women's title in over 40 years, while Clonliffe extended their winning streak in the men's. Dublin clubs dominated a once pivotal day of sport that is badly in need of a revamp.
Slick Sanchez sizzles on Seville bow
With the spring marathon season looming, Barbara Sanchez of Raheny Shamrock and the Marathon Mission made an early start at the Seville Marathon in Spain, where she clocked a time of 2:37.14, knocking four minutes off the time she ran to win the Copenhagen Marathon last May. Next up for Marathon Mission athletes is the Paris Marathon on Sunday, April 7.
Silver lining for Lavin in Birmingham
National Indoor Hurdles champion Sarah Lavin, who broke Derval O'Rourke's junior 60m hurdles record recently, finished second with a time of 8.39 in the U20 60m hurdles at the English Athletics U-15/ U-17/U-20 Championships in Birmingham.
Lavin had won the 60m a day earlier. Young pretender Molly Scott from SLOT Carlow won both U-15 60m and 60m hurdles while David McDonald of Menapians won the U-15 long jump.
Cash jackpot is big draw in Dunboyne
A cash prize of €400 on offer to the first man and woman looks certain to pull in the big names for the Eirgrid Dunboyne 4-mile on Sunday, March 24.
The race prides itself on catering for everyone, from international class elites to fun runners. Online entry at €15 is now open; see www.dunboyneac.com
Titanic tussle bidding for record entry
Organisers of the 2013 Titanic Quarter 10K will once again be hoping for a record-breaking entry. Runners have already begun signing up for the race, which will take place on Sunday, April 21.
Online entry is at www.athleticsni.org,. The closing date for online entries is April 15.