The top Welsh Athletes will be chasing International selection at the British Athletics Liverpool Cross Challenge on Saturday.
The event held annually at Sefton Park, incorporates the Great Britain & Northern Ireland Team Trials for the European Cross Country Championships. This year’s event takes place at Chia in Italy on Sunday 11th December.
Owain Jones (515), Jon Hopkins, Charlie Hulson (534) and Dewi Griffiths (512)
The junior women’s race should see no less than three Welsh Athletes looking to feature and hopefully secure selection. Cari Hughes (Menai Track & Field) is the current Inter-Counties U17 Champion and began her 2016/2017 season with victory at the Athletics Ireland Autumn Open.
Bronwen Owen (Scarborough) is the Yorkshire Champion and has represented Great Britain at Cross Country before. Bronwen Jenkinson (Eryri Harriers) finished third at the World Mountain Running Championships in September and will be hoping to make an impression on the country.
Ciaran Lewis (Cardiff AAC) will be chasing team selection in the junior men’s race and has experience of the course in Liverpool.
Georgina Outten (Birchfield Harriers) is another athlete who has competed at the European Championships before and will chase a place at U23 level this time.
Elinor Kirk (Swansea Harriers) is the top Welsh entry in the senior women’s race. Kirk competed for Wales at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and has a string of P.B’s that place her amongst the top endurance runners in the UK. She was the second British finisher at the IAAF Cross Country Permit meeting in Atapuerca earlier this month.
Iolo Hughes (Sale Harriers) and Mike Ward (Cardiff AAC) will lead the charge in the U23 race. Ward has previously finished in the top ten in Liverpool and competed at the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Poland. He has returned from his studies in Illinois for the Trials. Swansea Harriers duo Jonathan Tobin and Jack Gooch will also contest the U23 men’s race.
Dewi Griffiths will be looking to earn selection for his fourth European Cross Country Championships and will compete in Liverpool as the current British Inter-Counties Champion.
Charlie Hulson has also competed at the Championships before and is another Welsh athlete capable of causing an upset. Hulson won the English National Championships in 2015 and competed for Great Britain at the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships along with Griffiths.
Ieuan Thomas (Cardiff AAC), Jon Hopkins (Swansea Harriers) and Owain Jones (Bristol & West) will all be looking for solid runs.
Outside of the trial races for juniors/seniors, the event is also considered one of the most prestigious Cross Country events in the UK for the younger age-groups. There will be several Welsh Athletes looking to take victory including Matthew Willis (Wrexham AC) who won the U15 boys race here two years ago. Willis has several Welsh titles an English Schools Cross Country and a SIAB International title to his name.
Each year a Welsh Club earns the right to compete in Liverpool within a trial race for the European Clubs Cup. Swansea Harriers Men and Women will face opposition from the nominated clubs from England and Scotland. The winning clubs will represent Great Britain at the event held in Albufeira next February.