Ellie Wallace (club: North Somerset, coach: Julian Emery) and Jack Gray (Cambridge & Coleridge, Mark Vile) produced dominant runs to take the England 5k Championships at the Mid Cheshire 5k on Friday evening.
Wallace retains title against fantastic field
Wallace was back to defend the title she won in August and pushed strongly from the gun against a high-quality women’s field that included 2022 silver medallist Lauren McNeil and former European Cross Country Champion and silver medallist at the 2023 National Cross Country Championships Gemma Steel.
The North Somerset athlete showed her determination to retain her title as she ran away from the field to cross the line in a new PB of 15:39, nine seconds quicker than her winning performance here last year.
The silver medal went to Wolverhampton & Bilston’s under-23 athlete Amelia Samuels (John Abbiss). Samuels, who represented Great Britain & Northern Ireland at the 2019 World Cross Country Championships, took six seconds off her PB to run an impressive 15:53.
The bronze medal went to Lauren McNeil (Hallamshire) in 15:57 with another impressive run after a fine year which included representing England at the Copenhagen Half Marathon in September.
Gray caps impressive start to 2023
Jack Gray has started 2023 in fantastic form, running 13:50 at Armagh 5km, picking up a bronze medal at the Intercounties Cross Country, and a silver medal at the National Cross Country. On Friday he went one better to claim his first senior national title running away from a group including Jordan Skelly (Lincoln & Wellington), Lewis Jagger (Sheffield & Dearne, James Thie) and Luke Vine (Tipton) just after 3km to cross the line in 13:58.
Skelly, who competes as a road runner and triathlete, claimed the silver medal in 14:04 just edging out Lewis Jagger (14:05) who was another athlete who had a fine 2022 which included PBs of 29:03 over 10km and 14:03 over 5km.
Team Selections for Home Nations 5k
The England Champions gained automatic selections to represent England at the Home Nations 5km in Cardiff in August. Expressions of interest for the other places on the team are currently being taken.