Welsh success at Liverpool

Many of the top Welsh Athletes competed at the second fixture of the 2016/2017 British Athletics Cross Challenge Series on Sunday.

Minus temperatures and blinding mist couldn't prevent them from chasing individual successes and places in the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team.

A team place means the chance to compete at the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday 11th December in Chia,Italy.

The first trial race of the day was the junior women’s contest where Cari Hughes competed with Welsh expectations on her shoulders.

Hughes fought all the way to the line to take sixth place and give herself a great chance of team selection. The current U17 Inter-Counties Champion will now wait to here if she’ll take a seat on the plane to her first major championships.

Cari Hughes pictured in Cardiff. Pic by Mark Shearman

The senior women’s race saw a large group of athlete’s sharing the front of the field until halfway through the last lap. Elinor Kirk (Swansea Harriers) took several turns to lead the race with Georgina Outten (Birchfield Harriers) always near the front.

As the race neared the finish, Kirk started to lose touch but Outten proved strong enough to hold on. The North Walian eventually finished fifth amongst a strong women’s field narrowly behind race winner Gemma Steel (Charnwood AC) and Cardiff based Charlotte Arter (Cardiff AAC) in second.

Georgina Outten on her way to second. Pic by Mark Shearman

Outten was also second in the U23 contest and will head to the European Championships with podium ambitions both for the individual event and with her team.

She last competed at the Championships in 2014 finishing 26th in the junior women's race. 

Dewi Griffiths (Swansea Harriers) and Charlie Hulson (Sale Harriers) are both season Internationals and both are more than capable of making any team.

Griffiths led an early chasing group as Scots Andrew Butchart (Central AC) and Callum Hawkins broke away. His racing ability saw him fight hard to avoid giving up the third place spot but eventually had to settle for fifth place behind four Olympians which included the 2014 European Championships bronze medallist, Andy Vernon (Aldershot, Farnham & District).

A muddied Dewi Griffiths in the finsh straight. Pic by Mark Shearman

Hulson worked hard to improve his position steadily throughput the race, finishing in 10th to give himself a good chance of a GB spot at the Edinburgh International in January.

Kristian Jones (Swansea Harriers) and Ieuan Thomas (Cardiff AAC) were the next Welsh athletes home in 15th and 19th places respectively.

Mike Ward (Cardiff AAC) returned from his Athletics Scholarship at Bradley University to fight for a place in the U23 race in Italy. However a busy recent racing schedule took it’s toll with Ward finishing outside of the selection spots as despite lying in second for much of the race.

There were some great performances from Wales’ next generation of endurance runners in the U13, U15 and U17 races.

The highest placed Welsh finisher was Daisy Thompson (Carmarthen Harriers), who finished fourth in the U13 Girls race.

Mia Roberts (Deeside AAC) was a credible eighth in the U15 Girls contest.

James Penrose (Cardiff Archers) was fifth in the U15 Boys race, three places ahead of Nathan Jones (Swansea Harriers).

Abigail Fisher (Cardiff AAC) came 16th in the U17 Women’s race with her clubmate Kiarra Frizelle two places back in 18th.

In the U17 Men’s race it was the current Celtic Cross Country Champion, Oliver Barbaresi (Menai Track & Field) that led the Welsh home in fifth, just seven seconds behind the race winner.

Swansea Harriers Dominic Smith and Elliot Lawrence were next home in 10th and 16th places.

Welsh Athletics Ltd.
Cardiff International Sports Stadium
Leckwith Road
Cardiff. CF11 8AZ.

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