FIONNUALA Ross from Armagh Athletics Club has become the first local athlete ever to be selected to represent Ireland in the Senior Women’s Cross Country Championships which take place on Sunday in Samorin in Western Slovakia.
At 11.15 next Sunday Fionnuala will line up with the cream of European women athletes to represent Ireland.
The day long programme starts at 8.45am with the opening ceremony of the 2017 European Cross country championships.
It has been a steady progression over many years since Fionnuala became a member of Armagh AC while a pupil at Dungannon Integrated College.
She has been coached ever since by Dermot Kerr, himself one of Armagh's greatest ever athletes.
She progressed through the ranks of juvenile athletics winning many schools titles and was awarded a four year scholarship to McNeese State University in the USA. There she distinguished herself as the most outstanding athlete in Collegiate athletics setting a Northern Ireland 10,000m record while still a student.
In recent years she has dominated Scottish women's athletics winning Scottish titles at 10k and 10mile where she recorded a world class time of 55 minutes. On October 2 this year she won the Scottish half marathon Championship in a personal best time of 74.26.
This followed her win in the Scottish 10k championship on September 11th with yet another personal best time of 33.59.
Dermot Kerr continues to coach her and last week she ran in the Irish senior cross country Championships where she gained selection to represent Ireland next Sunday in the European Championships.
This is a great achievement for Fionnuala and indeed for Armagh AC and her coach Dermot Kerr. Everyone in Armagh AC and Armagh wish Fionnuala all the best on Sunday.