England Athletics’ Talent Pathway athletes shine at Liverpool Cross Challenge

For cross country runners, the annual British Cross Challenge at Sefton Park is a staple on the calendar, knowing that plenty of mud and an exciting day of races is in store. And this years’ British Athletics Cross Challenge in Liverpool was no different. Past Olympians and future stars were on show as the action kicked off.

The day started with the men’s and women’s senior short course relay trial, with each of the winners qualifying for the European Cross mixed relay line-up. Joshua Lay took the victory in the Men’s race with Bethan Morley taking the Women’s title – both securing their place on the British Team for the Mixed Relay in Brussels next month. These impressive performances paved the way for the remainder of the days’ races with tactical efforts, close-fought battles and dominant runs delighting the crowds.

Talented Athlete and Coach Pathways

Liverpool Cross Country under 17 women's race

England Athletics’ Talented Athlete and Coach Pathway provides a progressive support structure for athletes and coaches to develop skills and competencies with the aim of moving athletes on to representative honours at England and GB Level. This was no different at the Liverpool Cross Challenge as a host of Youth Talent Pathway (YTP), Junior Talent Pathway (JTP) and Senior Programme (SP) athletes laid down their best performances to date, and in many cases gained automatic selection for the European Cross Country championships.

Youth and Junior Talent Pathway athletes

YTP athletes secured top-10 positions in the Under 17 girls race as Isobelle Jones claimed 6th, closely followed by Eliza Nicholson in 7th and Georgia Bell rounding out the top 10. Another top-10 place was secured in the Under 17 boys race as Ash Burgess came home in 8th.

Liverpool Cross Country under 17 men's start

The Under 20s races followed through with three JTP athletes and a YTP athlete coming home in the top five, all gaining selection for the U20s British Team in the Belgian capital. YTP Henry Dover claimed the victory in the U20 Men’s race with Louis Small claiming a podium place in 3rd, followed by Sam Mills in 4th and Rowan Miell-Ingram in 5th. On the women’s side, YTP member Jess Bailey secured a 2nd place finish while YTP Lizzie Wesllsted finished in 4th.  Both athletes booked their seats to test themselves against the best Europe has to offer.

Senior Programme athletes

Liverpool Cross Country under 20 and senior women's race

Not wanting to be outdone by their junior counterparts, the SP athletes secured five automatic selection places for Brussels with the opportunity of more to join them. Jack Rowe claimed silver on the Senior Men’s Podium followed by Zak Mohamed in 4th. Following his World Silver Medal over the Mile in the autumn, Callum Elson showed his range with a 6th place finish hoping to impress the selectors enough to join his teammates in Belgium. Three STP members secured their GB vests in the Senior Women’s race with Abbie Donnelly coming home as the first senior athlete and Izzy Fry and Amelia Quirk coming home as the 2nd and 4th Senior in a combined Senior and Under 23 race.

Read British team selections for Brussels

Alan Richardson, Talent Pathway Manager said:

“It is great to see such outstanding competition and athlete performances in Liverpool. The performances of the athletes involved in the three England Athletics Talent Programmes highlights the progress that they are making through the programme. High-quality competitions help to further their athletics education and support their longer-term development."

Congratulations to all medallists and qualifiers. We look forward to following all our YTP, JTP and SP athletes as they continue their path to reach their full potential.

Download all Liverpool Cross results