The British Cross Challenge and Euro Trials event is coming up soon in Liverpool – with Saturday 23 November the date for races at Sefton Park.
And we’re delighted to announce a series of Scotland vest selections for that event on Merseyside.
In total, 22 athletes have been picked to receive support from scottishathletics and wear Joma international kit if they wish in an international opportunity via the Road Running and Cross Country Commission handbook.
Performances over the past couple of months, particularly in cross country and/or over 10k on the road, came into the thoughts of our selection panel.
There are a number of familiar names involved but also a handful of athlete for whom this will be a first chance to represent Scotland.
Here are the selections for the British Cross Challenge in Liverpool:
Senior Men: Jamie Crowe (Central AC), Jonny Glen (Inverclyde AC), Ryan Thomson (Cambuslang Harriers), Lachlan Oates (Shettleston Harriers)
Senior Women: Mhairi Maclennan (Inverness Harriers), Steph Pennycook (Fife AC), Jenny Selman (Fife AC)
U23 Men: Sol Sweeney (Glasgow Uni), Jack Leitch (Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds), Connor Maclean (Kilbarchan AAC), Freddie Carcas (Edinburgh AC)
U23 Women: Annabel Simpson (Fife AC), Holly Little (VP-Glasgow), Kerry Macangus (Kilbarchan AAC)
U20 Men: Hamish Armitt (Giffnock North AC), Hamish Hickey (Central AC), Cameron Wright (Kilbarchan AAC), Kristof Hornyik (Dundee Hawkhill)
U20 Women: Eloise Walker (Glasgow Uni), Megan Keith (Inverness Harriers), Cera Gemmell (Team East Lothian), Erin Wallace (Giffnock North)
Many congratulations from all at scottishathletics to these athletes and their families and coaches.
While there is no actual team race opportunity at international level at Liverpool, we do regard this as a good opportunity for these athletes to represent Scotland and to hopefully push for Euro Cross selections.
Kirkcaldy winner Annabel Simpson and her Fife AC team-mate, Jenny Selman, now picked for Scotland as well as bronze medallist and U20 champion Megan Keith, also selected for Liverpool
The vests also mark as recognition for recent performances and that certainly applies to Fife AC athlete, Jenny Selman, in the Senior Women’s team.
As we reported after the Lindsays Short Course Champs, Jenny is having a strong 2019 on various surfaces with a fine fifth place finish on the track in the British Champs 1500m final in late August proving a good marker.
The 28-year-old followed that up with the second fastest leg at Cumbernauld in the Lindsays National XC Relays and then a silver medal at Kirkcaldy.
‘I’m delighted with the selection and looking forward to Liverpool – it is my first XC vest for Scotland,’ said Jenny, who raced for Scotland over 800m at Loughbrough a couple of times, with the last of those back in 2010.
‘I just can’t believe first vest in many years has come over 8k and in cross country because that is 10 times my preferred distance of 800!
‘For years I focussed on 800m but I’ve really struggled with Achilles injuries. After tearing it a few years ago, I found that the speed work required for the 800m was too much for my Achilles and decided to move up.
‘I’ve been enjoying the longer winter training, especially the social side of xc races and longer runs!
‘My training is set by a mixture of Lewis Walker, my husband Dougie and myself but I often join in with the group coached by John Lees in Edinburgh.
‘It is a great group of girls and John himself has been very welcoming and supportive over the last year or so and I really appreciate that help.’
Ryan Thomson of Cambuslang comes home for sixth place at Kirkcaldy in the Men’s 4k race (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Cambuslang athlete Ryan Thomson is another rewarded for recent strong performances.
After a spell in America, Ryan has hit form in 2019 in track, road and cross country and recently took a big slice off his 10k PB with a strong run at the Abbey Dash event in Leeds.
He clocked a 29.13 PB that day as a clear indication of progress – after running 31.55 at the Ribble Valley 10k at Christmas in 2018. Ryan followed that up with a strong run at the Lindsays Short Course XC at Kirkcaldy where he finished sixth.
Now Ryan is part of what looks a strong Senior Men’s quartet with Jamie Crowe of Central AC, Jonny Glen of Inverclyde AC and Lachlan Oates of Shettleston Harriers.