Sterling performances from England's U20 men and Senior women at Home Countries XC

On a very wet day the Home Countries International took place at Stirling with the Celtic Nations Cup and the UKA Cross Challenge races incorporated. Scottish Athletics put on a good event despite the rain and wind and the course soon cut up but the competition was intense throughout the day.

The U20 races were early in the programme and Scotland got off to a good start in the women's event with Megan Keith winning in a time of 26.14, Scottish teammate Cera Gemmell took 2nd, 9 secs down, Olivia Mason (Border Harriers, Graeme Mason) for England was next in 3rd, England then placed 5th,6th and 7th with Amelia Samuels (Woverhampton & Bilston AC, John Abbiss), Maya Todd-McIntrye (Rushcliffe AC, Graham Moffatt) and Freya Stapleton (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Jeremy Sothcott) filling those spots but it was not enough to prevent Scotland from winning by 7 points to England's 14.

England hit back straight away with Thomas Keen (Cambridge & Coleridge AC, Mark Vile) a clear winner in the U20 Men; Thomas came home 1st in 23.38 with England teammate Matthew Stonier (Invicta East Kent AC, Peter Mullervy) 3 secs back and Tomer Tarragano (Brighton & Hove AC, John Clements) wrapped up the team race finishing 4th in 23.47. In this race the North of England squad picked up 2nd team and were led home by Josh Dickinson (Leeds City, Andrew Henderson) in 3rd with a time of 23.43. The fourth athlete for England, Will Barnicoat (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC) had to pull out on the morning of the race with chest problems.

There was another England winner in the Senior Women's event; Kate Avery (Shildon AC) scoring an 11 sec win over Abbie Donnelly (Lincoln Wellington AC, Rob Lewis) in a time of 29.20. The trio of England runners scoring was completed by Dani Chattenton (Milton Keynes Distance Project, Kyle Bennett) in 6th place, Dani recording 30.03. In 9th spot came Charlotte Dannett (Camberley, Alan Driver), Charlotte having replaced at late notice Emily Hosker-Thornhill (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC, Mick Woods) who had dropped out the day before with a foot injury.

The final HCI race of the day saw Kristian Jones of Wales take the Senior Men's race, Kristian winning in a time of 25.33, 10 secs in front of Jamie Crowe of Scotland. Third place went England's Adam Hickey (Southend AC, Eamonn Martin) in 25.49, Adam pipping Scotland's Andrew Butchart by 1 second. England's other runners were Ellis Cross (Aldershot Farnham & Dist AC, Mick Woods)) 14th and Tom Mortimer (Stroud AC, Christopher Brown) 27th while another late stand-in Rob Warner (Blackburn/Loughborough Students, Mick Judd) was 31st. Rob replaced the injured Jack Gray (Cambridge & Coleridge AC, Mark Vile). The placings gave Scotland the win while Wales also beat England in the Senior Men's race.

Thanks to Gary Mitchell for the photo
Thomas Keen (ENG 902), Tomer Tarragano (ENG 955), Matthew Stonier (NORTH 923).