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gb & ni team update: bupa great edinburgh xcountry

Emelia Gorecka

8 January 2014

A 36 strong Great Britain and Northern Ireland team, which includes four-time European Cross Country junior medallist Emelia Gorecka (Coach: Mick Woods) making her senior debut, will travel to the picturesque Holyrood Park for the Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry on Saturday 11 January.

In the first international event since GB & NI topped the medal table at the European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade with nine medals last month, the team will look to regain their title against the USA and Team Europe in Edinburgh.

A number of those competing in British colours performed well in races over the Christmas period with one of the highlights being European bronze medallist Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau) finishing sixth in a high quality field at the British Athletics Cross Challenge incorporating the IAAF International in Antrim.

At the same event, European Under 23 bronze medallist Charlotte Purdue (Woods) was fifth in the senior women’s race, one place ahead of Gemma Steel (John Nuttall), who was second in the senior race in Belgrade.

Alex Clay (Peter Mullervy) was the best of a large group of British athletes competing at the Lotto Cross Cup in Brussels on 22 December as she was victorious in the under 20 women’s race.

Since the squad was first selected in December, three new athletes have been brought into the senior women’s team. Chloe Richardson (Peter Stewart), Lorna Russell (Nick Anderson) and Rosie Smith (Bryan Mackay) will now represent GB & NI due to the withdrawals of Julia Bleasdale (self-coached), Lauren Howarth (Pete Riley) and Freya Ross (Steve Jones).

Frank Tickner (Clive Thomas), who finished 47th in Belgrade, will join the senior men’s team with Keith Gerrard (Art Acevedo) withdrawing. There is one change to the under 20 men’s team as Liam Dee (Simon Doyle) replaces Scott Halsted (Jeff Seddon) while the under 20 women’s team remains unchanged.

A strong Scottish contingent will compete on home soil with former world junior 1500m champion Steph Twell (Woods) and Rhona Auckland (Joyce Hogg), seventh in the under 23 race in Belgrade, lining up in the senior women’s race and Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins) and Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton) representing the GB & NI senior men’s team.

Senior European Cross Country Championships medallists Andy Vernon and Gemma Steel will captain the GB & NI team in Edinburgh.

Watch the action from Edinburgh live on BBC1 and BBC1 HD from 13:15-14:45 on Saturday 11 January. Follow @BritishAthletics on Twitter for updates and get involved using #GEXC2014 and #mudisgood.

Full GB & NI team for the Bupa Great Edinburgh XCountry (new additions in bold):

Senior Men

Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton)
Luke Caldwell (Robert Russell)
Jack Goodwin (Simon Goodwin)
Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans)
Jonathan Hay (Mick Woods)
Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins)
Adam Hickey (Eamonn Martin)
Charlie Hulson (Paul Roden)
John McDonnell (John Stoker)
Frank Tickner (Clive Thomas)
Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau)
Steve Vernon (Dave Turnbull)

Senior Women

Jessica Andrews (Woods)
Rhona Auckland (Joyce Hogg)
Katie Brough (Andrew Carter)
Lauren Deadman (Bill Foster)
Emelia Gorecka (Woods)
Lily Partridge (Woods)
Charlotte Purdue (Woods)
Chloe Richardson (Peter Stewart)
Lorna Russell (Nick Anderson)
Rosie Smith (Bryan Mackay)

Gemma Steel (John Nuttall)
Steph Twell (Woods)

Under 20 Men

Jack Crabtree (Norman Poole)
Jamaine Coleman (Andy Bibby)
Liam Dee (Simon Doyle)
Alex George (Paul de-Camps)
Zak Miller (Paul Shaw)
Matthew Shirling (Adrian Webb) 

Under 20 Women

Alex Clay (Peter Mullervy)
Bobby Clay (Mullervy)
Jessica Gibbon (Rob McKim)
Amy Griffiths (Woods)
Harriet Knowles-Jones (Russell Tart)
Lydia Turner (Thomas Millmore)