England Athletics are pleased to announce a Junior England team who will compete against the Home Countries at the British and Irish Junior Mountain Running Championships. Hosted in turn by each of the participating countries, this year’s event returns to Peebles and closes out a busy mountain running season.
This event continues to provide a valuable development opportunity for our young mountain runners. England have an excellent record in the event with a strong squad looking to benefit from the experience of competing against some of the best of their peers.
Amelie Lane (Club: Wharfedale Harriers AC, Coach: Sally Malir)
Georgia Bell (Leven Valley AC)
Lauren Russell (Highgate Harriers)
Lex Whitaker (Harrogate AC, Joanne Day)
Isaac Battye (Horwich AC)
Sam Bentham (Ilkley Harriers AC)
Will Longden (Buxton AC, Terry Fowler)
Alex Poulston (Wirral AC, Katie Hewison)
Oliver Bailey (Staffordshire Moorlands)
Ewan Busfield (Derby Athletic, Jerry Hall)
Jack Sanderson (Settle Harriers, Alastair Scholey)
Jay Hutchinson (Trafford AC, Mike Hutchinson)
Emilia Frost (Dark Peak FR/ Hallamshire Harriers)
Rose Gilldaley (Eden Runners)
Graihagh Turner (Penistone Footpath Runners & AC/Rotheram, Richard Harris)
Izzy-Mai Wilson (Dark Peak FR/Hallamshire Harriers, Simon Martin)
This will be Georgia Bell’s fifth time running for England and her third time in the JHI; in 2022, Georgia also ran for GB in the European off-road championships where she came 9th. Earlier in 2023, Georgia was part of the bronze medal winning team in the WMRA U18 Cup in Annecy where she finished in a fine 15th place. More recently she finished 6th in the Inter Girls' 3000m at the English Schools' Track & Field Championships. Amelie Lane has a number of international vests behind her with several notable results to date. In 2022, she won the JHI and in the same year, she also represented GB at the European Mountain Running champs in El Paso, placing 10th . In May of 2023, she finished in an excellent individual 3rd place in the WMRA U18 Cup in Annecy and led England home to the team bronze medal. A month later, Amelie finished 4th representing GB in the World Trail and Mountain Running Championships in Austria and was part of the gold medal winning team. Lauren Russell is another squad member with valuable international experience, all gained in 2023. In her England mountain running debut at the WMRA U18 Cup in Annecy, Lauren finished in an excellent 5th place to join Amelie as part of the bronze medal winning team. She also made her GB debut in the World Trail and Mountain Running Championships, finishing in 5th place and adding a world team gold medal to her collection.
Lex Whitaker has represented England at mountain running throughout her junior years and this will be her last season competing as a junior. She was the 2022 joint U19 women Fell Running champion and in 2021 JHI, Lex won individual gold whilst also leading England to the team gold medal.
Isaac Battye earns his second England vest after a solid run to finish 4th in the Big Stone trial race in High Peak. He made his England debut in 2022 at the JHI in Ambleside where he finished in the top twenty. Sam Bentham’s 3rd place at the trial gains him his second England mountain running vest. Earlier in May, he finished 20th in his debut at the WMRA U18 Cup in Annecy and helped the England team to a fine bronze medal. Sam finished off his fell season with both the U19 men British Fell Running and the U19 men English Fell Running Championship titles. Will Longden’s win in the the trial race rewards him with his first England vest. He also won the junior trial race for the 2023 World Trail and Mountain Running Championships in Innsbruck-Stubai and making his debut for Great Britain he finished 23rd in a stacked field. Alex Poulston gains his fourth England vest, having finished second U20 in the trial race. He was a member of the winning England team at last year's JHI, taking individual gold in the U17 men's race. In June, Alex also made his GB debut at the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships where he finished in 31st place.
Oliver Bailey makes his England debut in a mountain running vest after finishing 3rd at the trial race. He has represented his county in cross country, on the track and on the fells. Oliver has finished a strong fell season by securing the silver medal in the 2023 U17 men Fell Running Championship. This is Ewan Busfield’s second England mountain running vest following his 2nd place in the trial race. In his debut in May at the WMRA U18 Cup in France, Ewan had a great run finishing just off the podium in 4th place and also led England home to an excellent team bronze medal. Ewan also made his GB mountain running debut in Austria and finished 28th junior in the World Trail and Mountain Running Championships
Jack Sanderson had an excellent run to win the trial race and gain his first England mountain running vest. He is a strong competitor over cross country and on the fell. In 2023, Jack became both the U17 men British Fell Running Champion and the U17 men English Fell Running Champion. Jack also placed 8th U15 boy at the Saucony English National Cross Country Championship, 9th at the CAU UK Intercounties' Cross Country Championship and also debuted In his first English Schools' Track & Field championships where he finished 12th in the Inter Boys' 3000m in 9:03. Closing out the U17 men's team with his 4th place in the trial, Jay Hutchinson earns his first England mountain running vest. In the last 12 months he has represented Greater Manchester in 5 athletics disciplines. Notable finishes to his credit in 2023 include 5th in the U17 men's Inter-Counties Fell Championships and, on the track, placing 12th in the English Schools' Inter boys' 1500m Steeplechase.
With her 3rd place in the trial, Emilia Frost earns her first mountain running vest for England. In her first year on the fells, she has made a strong start finishing 3rd in the U17 girls' Fell Running Championships. Emilia also represented her county at the ESAA Schools' Cross Country in her first year of cross country.
Rose Gilldaley is relatively new to mountain running but has made a great start, making her England debut earlier in May in the U18 Cup in Annecy. She added a second England vest with 4th place in the trial race. Domestically, in her first year on the fells, Rose finished 4th in the U17 girls' Fell Running Championship and earlier in the season led the Cumbria to team gold in the English Intercounties' Fell Running Championship. Graihagh Turner’s excellent win in the trial race earns her a first England mountain running vest. Like many in the squad, she has a strong background over cross country and on the fell with some notable titles to her name. On the country, she is the 2023 U15 Yorkshire County champion and she finished 8th in both the ESSA English Schools' and at the CAU UK Intercounties in Loughborough. On the fells, Graihagh has had an excellent season becoming both the U17 girls British Fell Running Champion and the U17 girls English Fell Running Champion. Izzy-Mai Wilson’s 2nd placing in the trial race gains her a first England vest. She has had a strong season and experienced her first cross country and fell championship races, representing Yorkshire in both disciplines. She is the current U17 woman Yorkshire Fell Champion and U15 girl 3000m Yorkshire Track champion.
Photo of Alex Poulston by Steve Ashworth