Andrew Butchart – second place at Liverpool and Milton Keynes
Top Scottish cross country runners head for Birmingham this weekend – with a series of targets at the World Cross Trials and Inter-Counties final.
Athletes representing the East and West in various age groups as both teams and individuals, plus four individual athletes from the North, will compete at Cofton Park on Sunday with the overall Scottish contingent numbering over 50 competitors.
National XC Senior Men’s champion, Andrew Butchart, is among those chasing a possible place in the World Cross in China later this month – but Callum Hawkins has decided against racing this weekend.
There are British Cross Challenge series titles, places and cash prizes up for grabs with Scottish athletes well-placed in those competitions from the U13 age group right through to Butchart, who is second to Adam Hickey ahead of the Inter-Counties showdown.
Team medals look a distinct possibility, too, for Scottish squads with East and West entered at Senior Women, Senior Men from the East, U20 Men and Women from East and West and U17 Men for both East and West.
The East Men’s team looks strong with Butchart backed up by Central team-mates like Alex Hendry and Dale Colley, Corstorphine pair Calum McKenzie and Howell Craske as well as Max McNeill (Lothian), Patryk Gierjatowicz and Murray Strain (Hunters Bog Trotters).
In the U20 Age Group, the top four from the National XC – Jonny Glen (Inverclyde), Aidan Thompson (Central AC), Euan Gillham (Kilbarchan AAC), Ryan Thomson (Ronhill Cambuslang) – will be desperate to impress with the West chasing team medals and individuals looking for the top three slots which would clinch a confirmed place in GB and NI team for the World Cross.
East athlete Kathryn Gillespie (Central AC), who won the National XC U20 title, competes as an individual in Birmingham and will be keen to test herself in a race which carries the chance of a trip to China – with GB taking teams of six at Junior level.
National XC winner, Edinburgh AC’s Maddie Murray, leads the East Women’s team which also includes the likes of Charlotte Morgan (Carnethy), Fiona Thompson (Central) and Kirstin Maxwell (Gala).
In the Inter-Counties team races, it is six counters required at Senior level and four in the younger age-groups.
The North is represented with two athletes at U17 level – Stornoway’s Michael MacMillan and Anna McFadyen of Forres at U17. Connor Maclean, the Scottish U17 champion, will race at U20 in Brimingham and Cameron Main of Forres is in the U15 Boys race.
British Cross Challenge Series
The overall British Cross Series sees athletes compete for cash prizes – with a total pot of around £25,000 to be shared out once the final points have been allocated.
It is double points for Birmingham and Butchart is currently lying only five points behind Hickey in the race for £3500.
Glen is currently fourth at U20 level with Gillham at sixth place. Hamish Armitt of Giffnock North leads the U13 table.
Catriona Graves (Garscube) is fifth in the Women’s U20 table but is not competing in Birmingham. Ayr Seaforth’s Kirstin Oakley is third at U17 level with here club-mate, Emma Frew, top of the table at the moment at U13 ahead of the Cofton Park final.
All at scottishathletics would like to wish all those travelling to Birmingham all the best and good luck to those competing either in a team sense or as individuals across all the age groups.
There’s more information about the British Cross Series online on the British Athletics website.
*From the Scottish Inter-Counties selection document above, note there there are the following changes:
Out: Euan Trout U17 West; Lesley Chisholm Women’s West; Sophie Mullins Women’s East; Scott McDonald Men’s East.
In: Clare Stewart U15 East; Dale Colley Men’s East.
Connor Maclean at U20 North
11.05 Under 20 Men 8,000m
11.35 Under 13 Boys 3,000m
11.50 Senior Women 8,000m
12.25 Under 15 Boys 4,500m
12:45 Under 17 Women 5,000m
13.10 Under 20 Women 6,000m
13.35 Under 13 Girls 3,000m
13.55 Under 17 Men 6,000m
14.15 Under 15 Girls 4,000m
14.40 Senior Men 12,000m