24th November 2022
SEFTON PARK IS THE NEXT STOP ON THE 22/23 BRITISH ATHLETICS CROSS CHALLENGE
Sefton Park in Liverpool is set to host the highly anticipated British Athletics Cross Challenge fixture which incorporates the Trials for the European Cross Country Championships on Saturday 26 November.
The event, which will be streamed live on Britishathletics.org, will see the UK’s best cross country athletes across all age groups compete on Merseyside from 10:30am.
The senior women’s race will be an entertaining affair as Sefton Park welcomes back last year’s winner, Jess Warner-Judd (coach: Mick Judd, club: Blackburn). She has enjoyed success on the course in the past, so will be looking for a positive performance on Saturday to see if she can book her place on the team heading to Turin, Italy next month.
However, competition for places will be high as a number of athletes have started the Autumn and Winter season in strong form. Alexandra Millard (Bill Foster, Invicta East Kent) is a just one example of that after her victory at the Milton Keynes Cross Challenge earlier this month, and she will be seeking her first senior cross-country call-up.
2021 European Cross team gold medallists, Abbie Donnelly (Rob Lewis, Lincoln Wellington) and Jess Gibbon (Reading) are always dangerous competitors in the line-up, while European U20 champion from Dublin, Megan Keith (Ross Cairns, Inverness), steps up to the U23 age group this year so will take to the start line in this race.
There are a number of athletes to watch out for in this race, with the likes of World University Cross Country champion Izzy Fry (Newbury), Amy-Eloise Markovc (Rob Denmark, Wakefield), Jenny Nesbitt (Chris Jones, Pontypridd) and Samantha Harrison (Vince Wilson, Charnwood) also on the entry lists.
The senior men’s contest will also be an intriguing one with Mahamed Mahamed (Idris Hamud, Southampton) and Zakariya Mahamed (Idris Hamud, Southampton) in solid form during the Series so far. They’ll also be joined by Jack Rowe (Tim Eglen, Aldershot, Farnham and District) who won the trial in 2021 to earn a GB & NI vest at the Europeans last winter.
Mahamed was a convincing winner in Milton Keynes a fortnight ago, while his younger brother Zakariya has a good track record of earning GB & NI vests.
Emile Cairess (Renato Canova, Leeds), top British finisher at the Cardiff Cross Challenge in October, is on the entry lists, while world indoor 3000m bronze medallist Marc Scott (Jerry Schumacher, Richmond & Zetland) takes to the cross-country terrain once again.
The Trial for the mixed relay is back in Liverpool once again, with three of last year’s Euro gold medallists – Luke Duffy (Richard Massey, Mansfield), Hannah Nuttall (John Nuttall, Charnwood) and Ben West (Kyle Bennett, MK Distance Project) – lining up once again.
There will be strong competition for places as the men’s race sees Max Burgin (Ian Burgin, Halifax), Archie Davis (Joel Kidger, Brighton Phoenix) and Jamie Webb (Adrian Webb, Liverpool) among the entries, while the women’s sees Olympian Revee Walcott-Nolan (Dale King-Clutterbuck, Luton), and two-time Relay champion, Sarah McDonald (Mark Coogan, Birchfield), in the field.
The U20 races will also be essential viewing from Sefton Park as several talented youngsters seek a GB & NI call-up next month.
The junior women’s race combines the U17 and U20 athletes, with Alice Bates (Shane Smith, Kettering) one of the leading names in the field after an excellent winter season to date. She won in Milton Keynes following a strong showing at the ECCA National Relays in Mansfield.
Beatrice Wood (Dave Amey, City of Salisbury) and Megan Harris (Hayley Hemmings, Chelmsford) are others to watch out for, as are Jess Bailey (Matthew Long, Leven Valley) and Rebecca Flaherty (Karen Glerum, Bingley) – gold and silver medallists at the World Mountain Running Championships recently. U17 Innes Fitzgerald (Exeter), winner in Cardiff, is also one to keep an eye out for around the Sefton Park course.
As for the U20 men, Cardiff winner Edward Bird (Mark Pauley, Poole AC), and Milton Keynes winner Luke Birdseye (Shireen Higgins, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow), will feature at the top end of the race. Others in good form this winter include Thomas Bridger (Mark Vile, Cambridge & Coleridge) and Matthew Ramsden (Blackburn), while Will Barnicoat (Aldershot, Farnham and District), Lewis Hannigan (Robert Hawkins, Kilbarchan), and Osian Perrin (Andrew Walling, Menai), who were part of the gold-medal winner GB outfit in Dublin last year, are all on the entries.