Nick Griggs pipped at the line in dramatic European Cross Country Championship race

Two Mid Ulster athletes produced fantastic performances at the European Cross Country Championships in Turin, Italy, on Sunday.

Seventeen-year-old Nick Griggs running for Ireland came very close to winning the gold medal in the junior men over 6000m.

A stumble in the closing few metres almost caused the Newmills teenager to fall and by the time he recovered Will Barnicoat of Great Britain nipped through to win gold in 17.40.

Nick won silver in 17.41 and helped his team to the silver medal position.

Newmills teenager Nick Griggs who won a silver medal in the mens junior u20 race at the European Cross Country Championships in Turin on Sunday.

"My coach [Mark Kirk] told me down the last hill to go for it," Griggs told Athletics Ireland following the race.

"In the home straight, I stumbled a bit and it cost me. It's disappointing but I gave it everything.

"If you had told me yesterday that I would have got a silver, I would have been buzzing so mixed emotions."

In the under 23 ladies race also over 6000m Grace Carson made her debut for Great Britain to finish in 5th position in 20.35. Her efforts helped the GB team to a gold medal.

The Loughborough University student recently showed outstanding form at the Home Countries Cross Country International in Milton Keynes when she finished just three seconds behind fellow Loughborough University student Alexandra Millard.

In a Facebook post Barrie Holmes, of Mid Ulster Athletics Club, described Nick's silver medal and Grace's GB debut as "really great performances."

Athletics Northern Ireland also congratulated the athletes and coaches, “on a record medal haul for both the GB& NI and Irish teams.”

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