England Junior Mountain running team announcement for Junior Home International Northern Ireland

England Athletics are sending strong teams to the Mountain running Junior Home International in Northern Ireland on 4 September. Team Lead Neil Wilkinson is pleased to be taking the England U20 and U17 mountain running athletes to Northern Ireland to compete in the Junior Home International, including British & Irish junior championship races.

Like most sporting events last year’s Junior Home Internationalwas cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so sadly some athletes missed out before moving up age groups. This is now the highlight of the mountain running season for the Juniors with the recent postponement of the world championships.

Neil said, “I’m sure Northern Ireland will host excellent competitions, as it hasn’t been held there for over 10 years. Our Junior athletes are looking forward international competition and to trying to reclaim the Edinburgh trophy, for the overall best team”

Under 20 teams

Men’s Team Manager – Neil Wilkinson

England Men: A

  • Finlay Grant Buxton AC
  • Matthew Knowles Lancaster and Morecambe AC, Sophie Dunnett
  • Euan Patton Dark Peak Fell Runners
  • Tom Spencer Buxton AC

England Men: B

  • Edward Corden Stockport Harriers, Mike Doyle
  • Toby Middleton Horwich RMI, Steve Pearson
  • Ben O’Dowd Eden Runners, Derek Hurton
  • Sam Soles Buxton AC

Matt Knowles leads the team having won the Trial race. He has competed for England in the two previous JHIs as well as being one of the GB U20 winning team at the World championships in 2019. Finlay Grant gains his first England vest with his second place at the Trial, he recently won the U19 Junior FRA Championship round in June. Likewise Tom Spencer‘s 3rd placing at the trial earned him his first England vest; he was 2nd behind Finlay at the Junior Champs race. Euan Patton made the grade and his first England vest by finishing 4th at the Trial race. The development team consists of Ben O’Dowd who last competed in an England vest 2 years ago finishing 2nd U17 at the JHI in 2019. This is his 3rd England vest in Mountain Running.  Edward Corden gains his first International representation with his 6th place at the Trial. Sam Soles also competed for England in the 2019 JHI finishing 14th U20, he also picks up his 3rd England representation. Toby Middleton picks up his 2nd England vest of the year, after finishing 6th at the Trials, and picking up individual bronze at the (Home Countries) International Youth Cup 2021.

U20 Women’s Team Manager – Karen Brooks

England Women: A

  • Jess Bailey (Leven Valley)
  • Alice Crane (Derby AC)
  • Kitty Shepherd-Cross (Milton Keynes Distance Project)
  • Alexandra Whitaker (Harrogate Harriers)

Jess Bailey mixes track, cross country and fell running easily. On the track this year Jess became the English Schools 3000m champion in Manchester and earlier this year was 3rd in the 1500 English Championships. On the country Jess was 2nd at last year’s English Schools cross country championships, 3rd at last years English National cross country championships and 4th at the Inter Counties Cross country championships. Jess was the 2019 English Schools Fell Running Champion has two second places in two English Fell running Championship races this year. This will be Alice Crane’s second England vest having represented England at the International U18 Mountain Running Cup in Susa, Italy, in 2018. She a strong track and cross country background being a County 3000m champion and coming 12th in the 3000m at the English Schools Championships. Alice won selection through winning the trial race. Kitty Shepherd-Cross has a very strong track background having represented England at 1500m after coming 2nd at the English Schools’ Championships in 2017. This year Kitty came 2nd in the 5000m at the South of England U20/Senior Championships. Kitty is also runs cross country coming 4th in U20 Bedfordshire / Buckinghamshire County Championships last year. Her first foray into mountain running was the trial in which she came 2nd. Alexandra Whitaker has already competed for England in the 2019 Junior Home International in Llanberis, Wales coming 4th, Alexandra was U17 English Fell Running Champion that year and has a triathlon background.

England Women: B

  • Lucy Bednall Buxton AC
  • Ellen Patton Dark Peak Fell Runners
  • Isabel Richardson Holmfirth Harriers
  • Rosie Woodhams Kendal AAC

Lucy Bednall is another who comes from a multi-event background winning the 2020 European Duathlon title in Spain. Lucy has raced cross country as an age group champion, was second in the 2019 English U17 Fell Running Championships, was 2019 English Schools Fell running Champion and currently in first place in this year’s U19 English Fell Running Championship series. Ellen Patton comes from a triathlon background before moving more into track and cross country, with a best of 41st at the English Schools cross country Championships in 2019. Ellen’s 5th place in the trial race earns her selection. Isabel Richardson was 2nd in the 2018 FRA English Fell Running Championships and 3rd English Schools’ Fell Running Champs (year 10/11) in 2019. Also with a strong track and cross country background, Isobel was West Yorkshire County Schools’ cross country champion in 2020 and won the 1500m at the English Schools’ Cup North Midlands Final. Rosie Woodhams represented Great Britain in 2018 at the World Championships in Andorra, coming 27th and the European Championships in Skopje, coming 23rd. Rosie has represented England at the International U18 Mountain Cup in both 2018 and 2019 and was English Schools’ Fell Running Champion in 2017.

Under 17 teams

U17 Men’s Team Manager – Helen MacVicker

England Men: A

  • Charlie Allmond Ambleside AC
  • James Bowen Ambleside AC
  • Jacob Deacon Chorley Athletics and Tri Club
  • Alex Poulston Wirral A.C.

The JHI will be Charlie Allmond‘s second vest after earning his first at the Home Countries International in his home town of Ambleside and winning both trial races.. He has won all 3 of his age group English Championship races this year including the Inter-Counties Fell running Championships and currently leads the series. James Bowen had a great race at the trial coming 3rd to qualify for automatic selection. He is a committed fell runner and is currently lying 5th in the English Fell Running Championship series after winning silver in the U15 English Fell running championships. James won a county title at 1500m and was 3rd in the Northern Schools Inter Counties 1500m. Jacob Deacon only started competitive running 18 months ago moving across from rugby to Duathlon/triathlon. From Tri Jacobs running ability took him to 2nd place in the English U17 Fell running Championships and meant he gained his first England vest at the Home Countries International Youth Cup in England in July. The JHI will be Jacob’s second international appearance. Alex Poulston is an enthusiastic cyclist (road and mountain bike) as well as a triathlete, track and fell runner. Alex has won a number of age group triathlons and aquathons. A former County 1500m and cross country champion Alex currently lies 3rd in the English Junior U17 fell running championship series and was 4th in the trial race for this event.

England Men: B

  • Harry Bowen Ambleside AC
  • Theo Clay Bingley Harriers
  • Joe Ormrod Rossendale Harriers
  • William Walker Clayton Le Moors

Harry Bowen was 6th in the trial race for this event and is currently placed 12th in the English Junior Fell Running Championships. Harry has also represented his County at cross country. Theo Clay has a fell and cross country background, he was 21st in the English Schools Fell Running Championships and lies 14th currently in the FRA English Fell Running Championship series. Theo runs cross country and was 17th in the 2019 U15 Yorkshire County Cross country Championships. Joe Ormrod was 5th in the trial race and currently lies 7th in the English U17 Fell Running Championship series. Joe has raced cross country for his county, Lancashire, and was 3rd at the 2017 English Schools Fell Running Championships. William Walker was 7th in the trial race. William was 8th at the 2019 English Schools Fell Running Championships and currently lies 4th in the U17 FRA English Junior Championship series. Will was also 2020 Lancashire Schools cross country champion and so represented his county Lancashire at Nationals.

U17 Women’s Team Manager – Carol Evans

England Women: A

  • Isabel Holt Blackburn Harriers
  • Amelie Lane Wharfedale harriers
  • Charlotte Rawstron Skyrac AC
  • Eve Whitaker Harrogate Harriers, Mark Bryant and Joanne Day

A relative newcomer to running since 2018, Isabel Holt makes her England mountain running debut following a strong run to come home in 2nd place at the trial. Isabel has used her experience over Cross Country and Fell running to the good with a commendable 3rd place in the British Inter-Counties FU17 Fell championships this year. Isabel also finished 3rd in the 2021 English FRA FU17 championships. Amelie Lane also secures her first England mountain running vest with a convincing win in the trial race. Since 2019, she has consistently finished on the podium in County, English Fell Running and the Fell Runners Association championships. Amelie’s experience and commitment have resulted in her winning the British Inter-Counties FU17 Fell title as well as becoming the 2021 English FRA FU17 champion. Charlotte Rawstron makes her debut for England mountain running following a strong run to place 4th in the trial. Charlotte draws on her experience over Cross Country where she has previously finished 5th in the Yorkshire championships in 2020. Gaining her second England mountain running vest with her 3rd place in the trial, Eve Whitaker complements her training with her triathlon background. Eve recently finished an excellent 2nd in a strong field in the U18 Home Countries Youth Cup in Ambleside. Other notable achievements include age group titles in the Yorkshire and English Fell Running championships and silver in the 2021 English FRA FU17 championships.

England Women: B

  • Georgia Bell Leven Valley AC
  • Rebecca Flaherty Bingley Harriers
  • Emily Gibbins Ilkley AC

A 5th place in the trial race gave Georgia Bell her first England mountain running vest. Like many of the team, Georgia has a background in Cross Country. On the fells, she gained a bronze in the 2021 British Inter-Counties FU17 Fell championships. Georgia also finished 4th in the 2021 English FRA FU17 championships. Rebecca Flaherty gains her second England vest after representing her country earlier in July in the U18 Home Counties Youth Cup in Ambleside. Her wide range of running experience has yielded some promising results including finishing 4th in the 2019 English schools Fell running Championships (Year 8/9), winning the Northern Athletics 1500m title in 2019 and coming 4th in the 2020 Yorkshire Cross Country Championships. Emily Gibbins secures her first England vest after a strong showing in the trial for the U18 Home Countries Youth Cup in Ambleside, where she finished 6 seconds behind automatic selection. Like her teammates, Emily’s experience over Cross Country has produced a bronze in the 2020 U17 Yorkshire County Championships and a commendable 17th place in the CAU Inter Counties FU15 championship race in 2020. Emily also finished 5th in the 2021 English FRA FU17 championships.