England team announced for Home Countries International

England Athletics is delighted to announce the 16-strong team for the Home Countries International taking place in Milton Keynes on Saturday 12 November.

The Home Countries International rotates round the four home countries each year. This time it is England’s turn to host the event which will take place as part of the UK Cross Challenge.  The race also includes the four regions (North, Midland, South, and East) to increase the quality of the event.

Eamonn Martin, England senior men's team manager, says:

"Clearly we would like England to win but are also aware that giving the opportunity to compete for many of the athlete’s development and upward progression is equally important, particularly the junior teams. The event is placed two weeks before the UK Athletics European Cross Country Trial with many athletes rounding off their preparation with this event in the hope of making the GB cross country team for the European Cross Country in Turin on December 11th."

Senior men

Mahamed Mahamed (coach: Idris Hamud; club: Southampton AC)

Mahamed is a three times English National Cross Country Champion including February this year and has already shown good form at the UK Cross Challenge in Cardiff a few weeks ago finishing 6th.

Zak Mahamed (Idris Hamud, Southampton AC)

The younger brother of Mahamed was 4th in the English National in February having won the UK Cross Challenge and international event in Belfast last January. He has already shown good form at the UK Cross Challenge in Cardiff a few weeks ago where he was 7th, one place behind his brother.

Hugo Milner (Derby AC)

Hugo secured successful wins in both the Cardiff and the Milton Keynes UK Cross Challenges last season as well as winning the Northern area title in January. It was also a very good run for first Englishman as he came home in 9th place in Elgoiibar, Spain last January.

Alex George (Paul De-Camps, Birchfield Harriers)

Alex was selected based on his recent good run in the UK Cross Challenge in Cardiff a few weeks ago, finishing 8th (just one place behind Zak Mahamed) after having clocked 13:33 for 5000m this summer. Alex previously ran for the England Junior Cross Country Team but we welcome him to the England Senior Cross Country Team for the first time.

Senior women

Jessica Gibbon (Reading AC)

Jessica won the English National in February and followed that with 2nd in the Inter Counties in March to round of a fine season. She recently came 3rd at the UK Cross Challenge in Cardiff to continue her good form from last season.

Alexandra Millard (Bill Foster, Invicta East Kent AC)

Alexandra won the English National U20 in February and the Loughborough International 3000m in the summer. She has started well this season with 3rd place in the Open International Cross Country in Dublin in October.

Sophie Tarver (Bill Foster, Wirral AC)

After coming 7th in the English National in February and a strong run for England (8th) in Diest, Belgium last February, she has opened this winter with 5th place in the Open International Cross Country in Dublin in October.

Jennifer Walsh (Phillip Townsend, Leeds City AC)

Jennifer came 8th in the English National in February followed by 4th in the Inter-Counties in March, showing good form towards the end of last winter.

U20 men

Edward Bird (Mark Pauley, Poole AC)

Ed has kicked off this cross-country season with a very impressive victory in the UK Cross Challenge in Cardiff. Ed is one of our younger juniors so should be around for some time. His track speed is a real asset which he put to good use both in Cardiff and earlier this year in the European Athletics U18 Championships in Jerusalem where he finished 3rd in the 3000m in 8:14.

Ben Brown (Peter Haynes, Southampton AC)

Ben is making it a habit to finish 2nd as he added his runner up spot in Cardiff to the 2nd place (first Englishman) he secured earlier this year in CAU Inter County Championships (including British Athletics Cross Challenge). Can he go one better?

Daniel Maydew (Simon Prior, Wells City Harriers)

Daniel has put down a marker this winter with a much-improved run in Cardiff (4th Englishman). Juniors always have the capacity to make big improvements at this age and Daniel looks in the form to do just that.

Louis Small (Ashford AC)

Louis wasn’t quite at his best in Cardiff - a possible victim of ‘freshers’ week. That said 1st place in the ESSA English schools at Tonbridge, 3rd place in the South of England’s and 3rd place in CAU Inter County Championships (Inc British Athletics Cross Challenge) shows that Louis knows his way around a cross-country course.

U20 women

Alice Bates (Shane Smith, Kettering AC)

Alice has had a good year representing GB at the European Under 18 Champs making the final in 1500m. This cross season has started very well with being the first under under 20 at the Cardiff race and fastest leg in the ECCA cross country relays.

Sophie Nicholls (Simon Prior, Wells City Harriers)

Sophie was 3rd at the English Schools and placed 7th in the Inter Counties. She has started this season well finishing  4th Under 17 at Cardiff Cross Country.

Kiya Dee (Cheltenham and County Harriers)

Kiya finished 3rd in the English National U20 in February. During the last track season, Kiya competed over steeplechase and was top ranked under 20 at 3000SC. She recently ran well at the Cardiff Cross Country race.

Libby Huxley (Andy Bibby, Preston Harriers)

Libby has not ran a lot of races this year but recently finished 3rd under 20 at the Cardiff Cross Country having won the English Schools 3000m in the summer.

Team managers

  • Senior Men – Eamonn Martin
  • Senior Women – Sue Lamb
  • Junior Men – Keith Holt
  • Junior Women – Barbara Cutting