22 January 2016
European Junior Cross Country silver medallist Harriet Knowles-Jones (coach: Paul Roden, club: Warrington) and home favourite Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans, Swansea Harriers) will head the start lists for the 2015-2016 British Athletics Cardiff Cross Challenge on Sunday 24 January.
Griffiths will race in Wales looking to reclaim his leading position in the 2015/2016 series. The Welshman, who currently sits second in the overall Challenge standings, will start as one of the leading candidates to take the Cardiff crown for the first time in his career. The race will feature a long awaited battle between Griffiths and Charlie Hulson (Roden, Sale Harriers) who returns after a long-term injury.
Elle Vernon (Steve Vernon, Stockport) will feature in the senior women’s race and also lies second in the series. She was fourth at the Liverpool fixture in November and then followed up with a 27th place finish at the European Cross Country Championships in France. Jessica Judd (George Gandy, Chelmsford), Rachel Felton (Christopher Frapwell, Shaftesbury & Barnet), Louise Small (Mick Woods, AFD) and Freya Ross (Edinburgh AC) are among those who could provide the strongest challenge.
After two second place finishers in Milton Keynes and Liverpool, Knowles-Jones will be looking to go one better in South Wales. Third-placer in Antrim Georgia Fear (Ben Pochee, Highgate), Heidi Davies (Brecon AC) and Phoebe Law (Kingston & Poly) will also be contenders for the top Challenge points at Blackweir Fields.
Alex Yee (Kenneth Pike, Kent AC) was a convincing winner at the Great Edinburgh X Country earlier this month and will be confident heading into his second Cross Challenge fixture of the series. He was the first Briton home in the junior men’s race at the Euro Cross in December so will be the one to watch in this contest.
The junior fields include two series leaders, Rachel Nealon (Nicki Nealon, Wreake & Soare Valley) in the U13 girls and Grace Copeland (Bob Smith, Wimborne AC) in the U15 girls category. A full series of age-group events get underway at 11am on Sunday.
For more information on the Cardiff Cross Challenge, please use the following link: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/competitions/the-british-athletics-cross-challenge/
For full Cardiff start lists, click here.