Butchart Heads Up British Athletics Team For European Cross Country Championships

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British Athletics today announced the 36-strong team heading to the European Cross Country Championships in Chia, Italy, including Olympic 5000m sixth placer Andrew Butchart (coach: Derek Easton) and senior women’s 2014 European gold medallist Gemma Steel (Rob Denmark).

Butchart heads up the senior men’s team following a highly impressive run at the trials in Liverpool last weekend where he powered away to victory ahead of compatriot Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins) in a gripping race. The Scottish pair are joined on the team by Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau), an individual bronze medallist at the 2013 edition of the championships.

Steel makes her fourth consecutive team for the championships following a fourth consecutive win at the trials, with Charlotte Arter (James Thie) and Steph Twell (Mick Woods) amongst those adding medal potential to the team.

Jonny Davies (Rob McKim), the first U23 finisher at the trials in Sefton Park, will head to Italy looking to defend his title of U23 champion from last year’s championships in Hyères.

Bedford & County athlete Rebecca Murray (Alex Stanton) will look to build on her 14th place finish at the 2015 championships following her U23 triumph in Liverpool, and will be joined by European U23 10,000m bronze medallist Alice Wright (Joe Franklin) and Jessica Judd (Mick Judd), the latter a second place finisher in Milton Keynes.

Alex Yee (Kenneth Pike) will look to round off a year of achievement following an impressive victory in Liverpool. The Kent AC junior finished ninth in the 5000m final at the IAAF World Junior championships this year and will be looking to translate the strong form seen at Sefton Park into Italy’s championships.

Accompanied by a host of European Cross debutants, Victoria Weir (Simon Anderson) earns her first British junior vest for the championships following a spirited sprint finish in Liverpool which saw her break the tape ahead of 2015 European Cross Country Junior silver medallist Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden).

Spencer Duval, the Team Leader, said: “Last year’s championships in Hyères were a success once again with our team topping the medal table for the 13th consecutive year, and we are hopeful that those selected for Chia can continue the strong record we have at the European Cross Country championships.

“We have seen what several of those selected for the team are capable of, and we are confident that the team has the potential to win medals across the age groups.”

The British Athletics team for the European Cross Country Championships in Chia, Italy on Sunday 11 December 2016:

Senior Men

Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton)

Ben Connor (Spencer Duval)

Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans)

Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins)

Ross Millington (Steve Vernon)

Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau)


Senior Women

Charlotte Arter (James Thie)

Katrina Jones (Harvey Rose)

Emily Hosker-Thornhill (Mick Woods)

Gemma Steel (Rob Denmark)

Steph Twell (Mick Woods)

Pippa Woolven (Luke Gunn)


U23 Men

William Christofi

Ellis Cross (Mick Woods)

Jonathan Davies (Rob McKim)

Patrick Dever (Andy Bibby)

Alex George (Paul de-Camps)

Alex Short (Phillip O’Dell)


U23 Women

Jessica Judd (Mick Judd)

Rebecca Murray (Alex Stanton)

Georgina Outten (Andrew Walling)

Mari Smith (William Alan Winter)

Charlotte Taylor (Helen Lehman-Winters)

Alice Wright (Joe Franklin)


Junior Men

William Fuller (George Gandy)

Josh Kerr (Joe Franklin)

Mahamed Mahamed (Peter Haynes)

Sam Stevens (Alan Maddocks)

Paulos Surafel (Craig Winrow)

Alex Yee (Kenneth Pike)


Junior Women

Gemma Holloway (Brenda Stone)

Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden)

Phoebe Law (Mick Woods)

Hannah Nuttall (John Nuttall)

Amelia Quirk (Beverly Kitching)

Victoria Weir (Simon Anderson)


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First published on: 30 November, 2016 12:00 am