Junior Mountain Running team selected for Home Countries International

The British and Irish Junior Mountain Running Championships incorporating Home Countries International takes place in Glendalough, Ireland on 8 September 2018.

The British and Irish Junior Mountain Running Championships is hosted in turn by each of the participating countries and this year’s event in Glendalough follows on from a successful event in Scotland in 2017. The Junior Home International has often been the first opportunity for many current top Athletes to get the opportunity to represent their country, and compete against the best the home nations has to offer.

Team manager Alec Duffield told us, "This event brings the mountain running season to a close and provides an important development opportunity. England have a good record and this year we have a particularly strong team."

Under 20 A teams

  • Ben Bergstrand (Middlesborough AC)
  • Joe Hudson (Keighley & Craven AC)
  • Elliot Matier (Border Harriers)
  • Mac O’Malley (Trafford AC)
  • Emily Field (Bingley Harriers)
  • Lily Higgins (Halesowen A&CC, Michael Mielczarek)
  • Eve Pannone (Eden Runners)
  • Finty Royle (Chorley AC, Katie Hewison)

made his debut with a good run in last year’s JHI, where he finished 11th. After an injury-hit year, he has come back strongly to finish 3rd in the trial race. Joe is a consistent high performer in mountain running, with several England vests to his credit, notably finishing 5th at the 2018 International Youth Cup in Lanzada and 2nd U17B at the 2017 JHI in Peebles. Elliott has also previously represented England and more recently GB as a Junior in the 2017 European Mountain Running Championships where he finished 31st. He ran well to finish 4th in the trial race in Arncliffe. Mac has run consistently well on track, road and cross country and gained an England U20 vest for an international 10k in Italy.  He has successfully converting that speed to mountain running and won the U20 trial this year.

Emily impressively won the U17 bronze in last years’ JHI in Peebles. In 2018, she was 13th in the International Youth Cup in Italy and also won the U19 title in the FRA English Fell Running Championship. Lily ran strongly to finish 2nd in the trial and pick up another England vest. Having previously represented England in the 2017 JHI in Peebles, she finished 12th and also competed in the 2017 International Youth Cup in Italy where she finished 28th. Eve had a strong race to win the trial race. She earned her first England vest earlier this year where she placed 20th in the International Youth Cup in Lanzada. She also finished 3rd U19 in the FRA English Fell Running championship this year. Finty also made her England debut in the 2018 International Youth Cup in Italy where she placed 25th. A strong cross country runner, she finished 3rd in the Inter Counties U19 fell championship and won the 2018 Lancashire U17 Cross Country Championship. She came 3rd in the trial to secure her place in the team.

Under 17 A teams

  • Louis Hudson (Keighley & Craven AC)
  • Finnian Hutchinson (City of York AC)
  • William Kay (Telford AC)
  • Fraser Sproul (Kendal AC)
  • Lilli Carr (Keighley & Craven AC)
  • Lauryn Gregg (Rossendale Harriers)
  • Chloe Rylance (Ambleside AC)
  • Abigail Smith (City of York AC)

This is Louis first time representing England following his 2nd place in the trial.  A keen 1500/3000m track and cross country runner, Louis’ strength on the hills was highlighted with his 4th at the 2017 English Schools' Fell running Championships. One of two athletes with an older brother in the U20 team, a keen triathlete, this is Finnian’s second England vest, following his debut at the Junior Home International last year in Scotland where he came 15th. William was selected for his 3rd place at the trial race in Arncliffe.  Racing consistently well over cross country, winning the Shropshire County title and coming 15th at English National Championships at Parliament Hill, he is also competitive on the track, holding the Shropshire 3000m County Championship title. Winner of the England Trial race, this will be Fraser’s first England Mountain Running vest although he has competed for England at Cross country, coming second in the SIAB Home Countries Schools' International earlier this year.  Fraser is the reigning English Schools' Fell Running Champion.

Like her fellow team members, Lilli has performed strongly in cross country, track and on the fells. Lilli gains her first England vest following a fine run in the trial to finish in 3rd place. Currently holding 2nd place in the British Open Fell Runners' Association U17 championships, Lauryn’s strong run to finish 4th in the trial secured her selection for the England team for Glendalough. Chloe consolidated automatic selection as the 2018 FRA U17G champion with a win at the trial at Arncliffe. Another consistent performer over the fells, cross country and track, Chloe will be making her England debut at Glendalough. Abigail had a fine run in the trail race to finish 2nd and gain automatic selection for Glendalough, This will be Abigail’s first England vest, one of 6 of the 8 U17 girls making their junior international debuts.

Under 20 B teams

  • Martin Howard (Calder Valley FR)
  • Tom Humphries (Lancaster & Morecambe)
  • Tyler Hutchinson (City of York AC)
  • Matthew Merrick (Bingley Harriers)
  • Robyn Bennett (Morpeth Harriers, Christopher Waugh)
  • Katie Lord (Notts AC, Robert Hughes)

gains his first England junior vest this year. He has been competing consistently on the fells with several top 3 performances in 2018. Tom has also performed consistently on the hills this year, reflected in his winning the 2018 FRA English fell Running U19 Championship. This will be his first England vest. Tyler has represented England at the JHI several times, finishing an excellent 7th in 2017 in Peebles. Matthew also has several junior England vests in mountain running. A strong road runner, he won the 2015 London mini-marathon. With a consistently strong record on the hills and in cross country, he finished a creditable 5th in the trial race.

Robyn was 11th in the 2016 JHI and improved to 8th in 2017. She finished 5th in the trial to secure her place in the team for Glendalough. Katie gained a bronze at both the U23 inter counties fell champs and the National U20 Steeplechase. Her 4th place at the trial has earned Katie her first England vest.

Under 17 B teams

  • Eric Beaumont (Keighley & Craven AC)
  • Rowan Bennett (Morpeth Harriers)
  • Matthew Knowles (Lancaster & Morecambe)
  • Daniel Sanderson (Ambleside AC)
  • Briony Holt (Clayton le Moors Harriers)
  • Emily Jones (Wharfedale Harriers)
  • Bernadette Raven (Ilkley Harriers)
  • Bethany Bergstrand (Middlesborough AC, Martin Peevor)

has focussed on fell & hill running this year, coming 4th in the FRA English Fell Running Championships and is currently leading the British Open Fell Running Association Series.  Eric was 5th in the trial race qualifying him for selection. A keen track athlete, Rowan is Northumberland Schools' 1500m  Champion and qualified for England B in coming 6th at the trial race.  Rowan was 11th at the 2017 English Schools' Fell Running Championships. Matthew is this year’s FRA English U17 Fell Running Champion, winning four of the five Championship races.  A strong cross country runner, Matthew was 2nd in the Lancashire Schools cross country Championships, 11th at the Northern Counties cross country and 28th at the English Schools Championships. Daniel had a very good trial race with his 4th position qualifying him for his first England vest.  Based in the Lake District, Daniel races on the local fells as well as cross country, in which he was 15th at the English Schools Championships earlier this year.

Finishing 6th place in the trial, Briony gains her 2nd junior international selection for England, Briony is one of two team members bringing valuable experience from the 2017 JHI where she finished in a fine 4th place. This will be Emily’s 2nd England junior outing following her 5th placing at the trial. She previously represented England at the 2017 JHI in Peebles where she finished 14th in  a strong field. Bernadette has run strongly on the fells this season to finish 3rd U!7 in the  2018 FRA English fell Running championship and is currently leading the British Open Fell Runners Association (BOFRA) U17 Championship with 4 races remaining. Placing 7th in the trial race, Bernadette makes her England junior debut. Finishing 8th in the trial, Bethany secured the final slot in the U17G squad to make her England debut. Like her team members, she has a strong background in cross country, track and on the fells, the latter reflected in her finishing 2nd U17 in the 2018 FRA English Fell Running championship.

Team Managers

  • Alec Duffield
  • Duncan Richards
  • Carol Evans
  • Sarah Wilkinson
  • Neil Wilkinson

Photo: David Woodhead