Home » Brits Name Strong Squad for Euro Cross in Brussels
Brussels Europe European Union Featured Global News News World News

Brits Name Strong Squad for Euro Cross in Brussels

Megan Keith, Hugo Milner and Innes FitzGerald are part of the GB team for December 10 event

The British team will once again aim to be crowned cross-country running kings and queens of Europe after a strong squad was named for next month’s European Championships in Brussels.

Megan Keith will go into the event in the Belgian capital on December 10 as favourite to win the under-23 title after earning silver last year behind Nadia Battocletti – the Italian having moved into the senior age group this winter.

Keith’s 53-second winning margin at the British trials at Sefton Park in Liverpool on Saturday is the biggest-ever victory in a senior race at the trials event for the Euro Cross. Paula Radcliffe won by 32 seconds at the trial in Margate in 1998 over a shorter race distance but most trials races are decided by a handful of seconds.

Keith will be aiming to add European cross-country gold to the European under-23 5000m title she claimed in the summer.

Abbie Donnelly and Jess Warner-Judd, meanwhile, will lead the senior women’s team in Brussels as Karoline Bjerkeli Grøvdal of Norway aims to compete a hat-trick of senior women’s titles.

Such has been FitzGerald’s dominance of the domestic cross-country scene lately, it was almost a surprise to see her win by “only” half a minute at Sefton Park. This was partly because Jess Bailey ran a strong race to finish runner-up.

Together they will be aiming to make the podium in Brussels – FitzGerald was fourth last year aged 16 – but they have a tough act to follow as the British under-20 women’s team led by Steph Twell managed to sweep the top six positions when the Euro Cross was last in Brussels in 2008!

Hugo Milner leads the senior men’s hopes in Brussels. There will be a new champion, too, due to Jakob Ingebrigtsen deciding not to defend his title following injury.

Milner proved again at Sefton Park that triathletes are a force to be reckoned with as he beat Matt Stonier and Jack Rowe – although Rowe has not been named in the 40-strong squad. The senior men’s team does however include last year’s European under-23 silver medallist Zak Mahamed and miler Callum Elson.

The top under-23 man in Sefton Park was Stonier and he is joined by 2022 European under-20 champion Will Barnicoat as the latter moves up an age group.

In addition to Rowe, the team is also missing Charles Hicks, the US-based Brit who won the European under-23 title in style ahead of Mahamed 12 months ago.

The under-20 men’s team, meanwhile, is led by trials winner Henry Dover.

In the mixed relay, the British trials saw a great comeback run from Josh Lay following injury and he is joined by women’s trial winner Beth Morley plus Khai Mhlanga and US-based Adam Fogg.

Full team

Senior women: Niamh Bridson Hubbard; Abbie Donnelly; Izzy Fry; Amelia Quirk; Poppy Tank; Jessica Warner-Judd

Senior men: Callum Elson; Calum Johnson; Zakariya Mahamed; Alfie Manthorpe; Angus McMillan; Hugo Milner

U23 women: Megan Keith; Olivia Mason; Lynn McKenna; Alexandra Millard; Eloise Walker; Tia Wilson

U23 men: Will Barnicoat; Matt Stonier; James Kingston; Rory Leonard; Henry McLuckie; Tomer Tarragano

U20 women: Jess Bailey; Innes FitzGerald; Zoe Hunter; Moli Lyons; Katie Pye; Lizzie Wellsted

U20 men: Henry Dover; Sam Hodgson; Andrew McGill; Rowan Miell-Ingram; Sam Mills; Louis Small

Senior mixed relay: Adam Fogg; Joshua Lay; Khahisa Mhlanga; Bethan Morley

Source: Athletics Weekly