It was busy weekend on the International Cross Country scene and the English Cross Country Association (ECCA) sent teams to both Belfast and Seville to take part in quality races to prepare England athletes for Championships to come.
Home Countries International, Dundonald, Belfast (N. Ireland)
The first was the Home Countries International in Dundonald near Belfast. This event was held in conjunction with the British Cross Challenge and competition in the senior races was augmented by a group of Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes. In the Senior Men’s race with the top three from Kenya and Ethiopia, England packed well as a team and Alex Teuten, Jack Gray, Phil Norman and Adam Hickey finished 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th respectively. This was once again good enough to win the HCI team event. In the Senior Women’s race there were also two Kenyans and two Ethiopians in the first four. However Emily Hosker-Thornhill produced her best performance for some time to finish 5th, with Kate Avery 7th, Claire Duck 9th and Louise Small 12th - making it another team win.
The England U20 teams gave an excellent account of themselves, with Zak Mahamad following his victory in Elgoibar last week scoring another at Belfast. He was pushed hard by Ben West to took second and with Connor Bentley in 6th the team easily won. Not to be outdone by the men, Grace Brock led England U20 women home with a great victory. Maya Todd-McIntyre was an excellent 3rd, Charlotte Alexander 6th and the team was completed by Kate O’Neill in 9th.
Click here for full results (XLS 60kB)
Cross Internacional de Italic, Seville (Spain)
The busy weekend continued with England runners taking part in the IAAF meeting in Seville Spain. This was another top quality meeting and England athletes were there for the experience. The ECCA took only two men this year due to clashes with other events, with in the senior race Mahamad Mahamad running extremely well for 16th place against Africans and a host of Spanish and Portuguese athletes. His teammate was Lachlan Wellington who ran in the U20 race, making the podium in 3rd place behind two top Portuguese athletes. The England Women again faced top class fields with the top five places going to Africans and Can who represents Turkey. England's best runner home was Jessica Piasecki in 7th place just one second ahead of Verity Ockenden. Lucy Reid came in 17th just ahead of Lily Partridge who had received a sponsor's invitation to the event.
Click here for full women's results (PDF 150kB)
Click here for full men's results (PDF 150kB)
Next up is a trip to Roteslaar, Belgium in February.