Ben Connor winning last year's senior race.
AFTER a protracted wait to sort out the logistics of internal flights the USA team has been confirmed for the Armagh International Road Race on Thursday 15th February. Top performer for the team is Jordan Mann who has previously raced in Armagh and recorded 13.47.11 for 5000M in July last year. Last June he also recorded a good 7.55.79 for 3000M.
He’ll be joined by Aaron Nelson a first time runner in Armagh who ran 13.54.70 in July last year as well as 8.37.04 in Letterkenny for the 3000M St Chase in July after recording a 7.56.88 3000M in the USA last June.
Josh Izewski is the 3rd member of the team and a member of the USA Triathlon team. He has run 8.11.27 indoors for 3000M and 14.02.57 for 5000M.
The confirmed Providence University team includes 2 Irish Internationals Shane Quinn and Hugh Armstrong.
Best of the English team selected from a trial before Christmas is Graham Rush with a best of 14.05 – previously ran in Armagh.
The NI & Ulster team confirmed includes James Edgar City of Lisburn, Neil Johnston Springwell Running Club, Danny Mooney of Letterkenny and Scott Rankin of Foyle Valley.
There will be an Irish team for both races to be confirmed shortly by the AAI and this may well include top athletes already entered like Hugh Armstrong, John Travers and Matt Bergin but we have to wait and see.
There will be a Polish team with Polish 800M Champion 1.45.7 and 3.36.37 for 1500M – he was a semi-finalist in both 800M & 1500M in the World C’Ships in London.
The Men’s 5K has some good athletes already confirmed including Dewi Griffiths os Swansea with a best of 13.33 – Yannick Michiels of Belgium best of 13.47, Sam Stabler of Wreake & Soar Valley 13.37.
The NI & Ulster women’s team is confirmed as Laura Graham Mourne Runners, Emma Mitchell Queen’s University, Kerry O’Flaherty Newcastle and Fionnuala Ross Armagh AC.
The English women’s team includes Verity Ockenden 9.10, Sophie Harris and Amy Griffiths. Laura Weightman who holds the current record holder since last year with an 8.59 timing and defending champion is entered but didn’t get selected. She is the most high profile entrant with both Olympic and World finalist qualifying performances last year.
In the Men’s 5K John Travers looks best entrant from Ireland with a PB of 13.52. Also confirmed are Lewis Moses Darlington Harriers 14.01 who has run previously in Armagh and Swansea’s Kris Jones with 14.03.
Despite the imposition of a 16 minute qualifying time in the 5K the overall numbers entered have been maintained.