Photo by Mark Shearman
(*NOTE – we are planning to cover the Euro Club Cross trial races in a separate story)
Megan Keith stamped her class on Liverpool again to win the British Cross Challenge U23 Euro Cross trial.
The Scotland athlete was second only to Jessica Warner-Judd over 8k in Sefton Park and was always in the leading group of three.
It was a superb performance stepping up from U20 last year and victory at U23 ensured Megan’s automatic selection for the Euro Cross in Italy next month and one or two other Scots will retain hopes of racing in Turin ahead of the selection decisions.
‘I was getting a bit impatient and I am not used to 8k, so halfway through the first lap I just kind of thought ‘I want to get through this’ and pushed on a bit,’ said Megan.
‘When I realised after a while that it was myself and Jess Judd battling for top two I felt as if it was all a dream or something!
‘My training is longer now but 8k does feel a long way. I want to go into the U23s in Turin and just have a good time as a first year in this age group. We will see how it goes.’
Megan was followed home by Alice Goodall (Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds) in terms of the Scots, 13th in the race overall.
Alice however was the fifth athlete home, just outside the four automatic selections, and will hope for a discretionary pick. Eloise Walker was sixth U13 at 15th overall and may have a chance, too. Steph Twell was 22nd.
Unfortunately, Scottish men found the depth of competition even tougher in a strong Senior Men’s race that also featured the U23 trial.
Duncan Robinson (Giffnock North) was best-placed at 17th as the ninth U23. Angus McMillan was 24th overall (11th U23) and Tom Graham-Marr (Central AC) was 27th overall (13th U23) with Christian Graham (Lasswade AC) at 30th (14th U23).
In the short relays trial, there were fifth place finishes for Ben Greenwood (Central AC) and Jenny Selman (Fife AC) – with only the top two booking their places for Turin.
There were some good performances by Scots in the younger age group races . . .
In the U13 Girls race that was a fifth place for Cerys Wright (Team East Lothian) with Erin Burnett (Garscube Harriers) at 14th.
Scots impressed in the U13 Boys race with Rhuairdh Laing (VP-Glasgow) in fourth and followed home by Giffnock north duo Ethan Scobie, in ninth, and Finlay Iaskey in 12th.
It was even better in terms of packing in the U15 Boys race with Calum Dick of Giffnock and Luke Culliton of Falkirk Vics taking third and fourth.
Andrew Baird (Ross County) was eighth, James Alexander (Garscube Harriers) 10th and Alistair Street (Kilbarchan AAC) at 11th to make it five Scots in those top 11 places.
In the U15 Girls, there was a sixth place finish for Zara Redmond (Kilbarchan AAC) followed by Scarlett Wilson (Giffnock North) at 10th, Freya Campbell (Giffnock North) at 12th, Elsa McGregor (Edinburgh AC) at 13th and Eilidh Dallas (Strathearn Harriers) at 14th.
In the U17 Women’s race, the best-placed Scot was Caitlyn Heggie (Ross County) at 12th. Orlaith Shepherd (Edinburgh AC) was 14th and Jessica Inglis (Law and District AAC) was 17th.
Hannah Ryding wasn’t far away from the selection places in the U20 Women’s race as the Giffnock North athlete came home in eighth place. Meredith Reid (Inverclyde AC) was 17th and Pippa Carcas (Edinburgh AC) at 21st.
Calum Dick takes 3rd Place in U15Boys at British XC Challenge in Liverpool! Congratulations Calum👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/9TSFLHO4gI
— Giffnock North A.C. (@gnaac1) November 26, 2022
Scots were very prominent in the top 15 or so in the U17 Men’s race.
Aberdeen athlete Hamish McKay was fourth with Connor Bell of Central AC in fifth.
Then there were solid runs for: Oliver Patton (Kilbarchan AAC) at 8th, Jamie Connor (East Kilbride AC) at 11th, Alasdair Nugent (Giffnock North) 12th, Andrew McWilliam (Lasswade) 13th and Matthew Knak (Giffnock north) 14th.
Jack Patton (Kilbarchan AAC) was the best Scot in the Men’s U20 race as he came home in 11th place, with Corey Campbell (Team East Lothian) just one place behind.
Reiss Marshall (Fife AC) was 17th and Cameron Green (Giffnock North) made it four Scots in top 20.
Well done to all the Scots and their families, coaches and clubs who made the trip to the British Cross Challenge event in Liverpool to experience deeper, British-wide competition.
*Sincere apologies if we have missed a significant performance.