Byrne and Madden lead the Irish
MitchelL Byrne of Rathfarnham WSAF AC and Sportsworld's Lisa Madden will lead the Dublin teams in Saturday's Irish Life Health National Novice Cross Country Championships at Navan racecourse.
Both athletes proved the class of the field at the recent Dublin Intermediate Championships, while at the Leinster Novice Championships Mitchel was narrowly beaten by Cormac Dalton of Mullingar Harriers.
Those two will battle it out again in Saturday's men's race. If he runs, Dublin novice champion Sean O'Leary of Clonliffe Harriers, who ran in the U20 race at the European Championships last weekend, will also be a threat.
Also picked is Ray Lonergan of Donore Harriers, second in the Dublin Novice Championships, and Tallaght's Joseph Lyons, who was third in the Leinster championships.
For the women's race, Rathfarnham's Carla Sweeney is also picked, along with her clubmate Louise Gaffney, who was third in the Dublin Championships.
They take on a field that includes Leinster champion Nadine Donegan of Tullamore Harriers and Dunleer's Karen Costello.
From outside Leinster, Nathanial Hayward leads a strong Leevale team in the men's race after winning the Munster title from Michael Harrington of Durrus AC. Women's winner that day was Mary Daly of Farranfore Maine Valley.
Raheny Shamrock, the Dublin and Leinster champions, have their sights set on the women's team title. Lucy Barrett, Zoe Quinn and Orla Manley lead the team