Trio prepare for Euro Cross action with GB in Women’s U23 race

Friday 9th December 2022

British Athletics – Jess Warner-Judd to captain team

The SPAR Euro Cross marks the final major international event of the calendar year – and a trio of top Scots are with GB and NI for the trip to Italy.

All three will feature in the Women’s U23 race in the event near Turin on Sunday morning, as Megan Keith, Alice Goodall and Eloise Walker prepare to pull on their spikes.

Megan of course is stepping up from U20 level after winning gold in the Junior Women’s race in Dublin this time last year.

The Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds athlete, who came through the ranks at Inverness Harriers initially, won the British trial when finishing second overall and has admitted she’s unlikely to change her aggressive approach.

Athletics Weekly guide to Turin event

In fact, the Lindsays Short Course XC champion has been speaking to Hannah England in a podcast for European Athletics.

‘I am confident that I am as fit as I can be at the moment and I will run as hard as I can,’ said Megan.

‘I am not known for my patience in cross country! I don’t like to be a ‘passive’ racer and I like to give it a good shot in a race and be bold.

‘You have no idea, really, how others are going to run it. You have to wait and see on that. I’m moving up an age group so it does feel as if the pressure is off a little bit.

‘You have to remember you are doing cross country for fun. Nobody is forcing you.’

British Athletics website update on team for Italy

Megan’s Hare and Hounds team-mate Alice Goodall is celebrating a first appearance at this kind of level after excellent form in recent weeks in Scotland and in Liverpool.

For Eloise Walker, this is another in a series of GB and NI appearance which in cross country began even before she had celebrated her 17th birthday and was still at school in Edinburgh.

‘I won my first GB and NI vest at the start of 2018 when I was still 16,’ recalled Eloise.

‘I had actually been injured that year (2017) from about January through to June so to do well in the second half of the year was really pleasing at that time.

‘The nice thing about that first selection was it was for Holyrood Park when they held the international races there. So I was racing in the GB U20 Women’s team in front of family and friends.

‘I went to the Euro Champs at U20 a couple of years later on the track and made the 3000m final. But I should have performed better because I think I was ranked about fourth and finished 11th.

‘I’ve been to the World Cross in Denmark and the Euro Cross last year in Dublin as well so I’m pleased there’s consistency of selection there – especially when you add in the Commonwealths.’

Eloise in action at the Commonwealth Games in the 5000m final in Birmingham (photo by Bobby Gavin)

That Team Scotland selection was a credit to Eloise after a cautious start to 2022 because of previous injury.

Posting strong times over 5000m pushed her name into the selection discussion and ultimately the selected team and there was a target of 15:15  (PB is 15:25). That’s not quite what transpired at the Alexander Stadium, however.

‘Obviously the 5000m final did not go the way I had hoped on the night,’ said Eloise, who struggled with dehydration symptoms in the final mile or so and required medical attention after the finish.

‘I was looking to run 15:15 and was actually through the 3000m mark in 9:09 so that kind of time seemed possible.

‘But it did not end well and if I didn’t laugh about it now I would cry.

‘It took me a full week or two to recover without training and I only raced once again in the 2022 track season. Getting back into cross country over the past few weeks is helping my fitness and hopefully I can race well in Italy.’


Tags: Alice Goodall, Eloise Walker, Euro Cross 2022, Italy, Megan Keith

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