Yorkshire trio earn places in national team for Europeans
James Wilkinson (Leeds City), Jenny Walsh (Spenborough) and Annabel Mason (Wakefield) earned selection for the European Cross Country Championships when they ran well at the McCain Cross Challenge at Sefton Park, Liverpool, on Saturday.
Wilkinson finished 20th in the senior race, won by Jonathan Taylor (Morpeth) but, more important, was the fourth Under-23 to clinch his place in the Under-23 team. Still not fully fit after a late summer injury lay-off, Wilkinson achieved his target and should make an impact in next month’s Europeans where he was runner-up last year.
Hallamshire’s Andy Heyes was seventh and Leeds City’s Carl Smith tenth of the Under-23 runners.
James Walsh (Leeds City) was off the pace finishing 24th in his bid to regain his place in the British senior team.
Jenny Walsh finished runner-up in the Under-20 race to make sure of her place in the European junior race. It was a hugely significant run for the 19-year-old Durham University student who almost caught Amelia Gorecka (Aldershot) on the line. Gorecka has had a long unbeaten run in her own age group, usually winning by a huge margin. On this occasion she shared the winning time with the Spenborough runner, Walsh almost catching her on the line.
Walsh – an IAAF World Juniors 1500m finalist this summer – was delighted with her performance. “I obviously came here hoping to make the team but to finish so close to Emelia is brilliant and gives me so much confidence.”
Mason finished fourth in the Liverpool race and joins Walsh in the team for the Europeans in Budapest. It was a remarkable run by the Wakefield athlete who is still an Under-17 and will be one of the youngest athletes in the Budapest race.
Other notable performances at Liverpool included Susan Partridge (Leeds City), 14th senior women, Calli Thackery (Hallamshire), 11th junior women, Bronwen Owen (Scarborough), 4th Under-17 women, Emma Clapton (Scarborough), 4th Under-15 girls, Robbie Brown, 9th and Josh Schofield, 12th (both City of York), Under-15 boys, Alfie Manthorpe (City of Sheffield), 13th Under-13 boys and Amelia Lancaster (City of Sheffield), 3rd Under-13 girls.
There were new winners in both men’s and women’s races at the third West Yorkshire cross Country League meeting at Fartown, Huddersfield, on Saturday. In the absence of James Walsh, his Leeds City team-mate Alan Buckley made no mistake, going clear in the later stages on a heavy course to beat Ian Mitchell (Longwood) by 10 seconds. Mike Burrett (Leeds City) was third and his team again swamped the opposition with their counting six in the first nine places.
Katie Walshaw (Holmfirth), winner of the first two races, was a non starter this team leaving the way clear for her team-mate Helen Berry who forged ahead of another Holmfirth runner Helen Fines and Bingley’s Jo Buckley in the second half of the race. Buckley, with a second and two third places, heads the league but, with three of the four races to count, Walshaw will be favourite if she contests the last race at Wakefield in two weeks’ time.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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