ATHLETICS: North West trio competing at Euro Indoors in Prague

Ireland's Mark English poses for a portrait at the announcement of the Irish Team for the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Prague. The 800m star is in one of the qualifying heats this morning (Friday) and is strongly tipped to progress through to the semi-finals tomorrow evening and on then to the Sunday afternoon final.

Ireland's Mark English poses for a portrait at the announcement of the Irish Team for the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Prague. The 800m star is in one of the qualifying heats this morning (Friday) and is strongly tipped to progress through to the semi-finals tomorrow evening and on then to the Sunday afternoon final.

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The weekend’s major action has already begun, at the European Indoor Championships in Prague where a trio of North West athletes are part of a 12 strong Irish team chasing honours.

Mark English, Danny Mooney and County Derry Long Jumper, Adam McMullan are all in action in the green vests in the Czech Republic capital.

And there is also the local SSE Airtricity 10K road race on Sunday plus a few other options available for road and trail runners elsewhere.

Add in the Irish Schools Cross Country championships in Kildare tomorrow with a few local schools having athletes qualified through the Districts and Ulsters and there is certainly a lot to keep an eye on over the weekend.

Let’s start in Prague and Adam McMullan would have seen action yesterday evening in the Men’s Long Jump Qualifying round where hopefully buoyed up by his recent impressive 7m 80cm personal best, close to 26 feet in old money, the County Derry man could well have made it through to today’s Final.

Hopefully he has done the business and can produce a big one today.

800m star Mark English is in one of the qualifying heats this morning and is strongly tipped to progress through to the semi-finals tomorrow evening and on then to the Sunday afternoon final - and a possible medal. He goes in as the fourth fastest of the year and with his tactical nous a podium place is certainly on the cards.

Danny Mooney is in the 1,500m tomorrow morning and eying a place in Sunday’s Final but will have to be at his best to make it through. Another well known man on the Irish team is Annadale’s 3000m star Paul Pollock and he is listed to go later today in the first round qualifiers with the final scheduled for tomorrow evening. Good Luck to all the team members!

Schools Cross Country

Closer to home, a bunch of local Secondary Schools athletes will be in Clongowes Woods College, Kildare tomorrow for the All Ireland Cross Country championships, the St Joseph’s Senior Boys’ squad, impressive runners-up in Ulster, expected to lead the charge with Lumen and Thornhill also having qualified athletes.

Lumen’s Michael Melarkey, 6th in the Senior boys in Ulster will expect to be the top local again tomorrow and is on a good run of form at the moment.

Roy McGilloway, Shane McGowan, Matt Doherty and Christopher Crampsey make up the St Joseph’s team and will do well to compete for medals, a dry sod may help.

Thornhill’s Aoife Laverty takes in the Senior Girls race, Odhran McKane another top 10 performer in Ulster goes in the Intermediate Boys alongside Ulster fourth placer, Lumens Fintan Stewart, with all of them looking to step up and deliver their best again.