Knockmore’s Hugh Armstrong has become the first Mayo man to win a distance international running vest for Ireland in 45 years.
The Ballina Athletic Club man put Mayo back on the map in Abbotstown, Dublin when he won bronze in the Senior Men’s 10km Cross Country final, just over 2 weeks ago.
It qualified him to run for Ireland in the European finals in Slovakia and he became the first Mayo man to win a distance International running vest for Ireland in 45 years.
Hugh travelled back to his studies in the US after Abbotstown, and travelled home again for the European finals in Samorin near Bratislava in Slovakia , which were held yesterday Sunday 10th December.
In freezing temperatures the six strong Irish team of Armstrong, Tobin, Maunsel, Pollock, Dooney and Travers battled it out with the best in Europe.
Tobin, Armstrong and Maunsel were the three scorers for the Irish team, taking 5th place in the team standings, very narrowly missing out on 4th place.
It is remarkable that it was the first time running at Senior level for Ireland for all 3 of them, which makes the future look very bright for Irish Athletics.
Armstrong was the second man home for Ireland taking 19th place in the individual standings.
Hugh now joins another elite group - that small group of Irish Cross Country athletes who have finished in the top 20 at European level.