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european cross country champion steel selected in 36-strong team 

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Gemma Steel
1 December 2015 


British Athletics’ today announced the 36-strong team heading to the European Cross Country Championships including reigning champion Gemma Steel (coach: John Nuttall) who will defend her senior women’s title in Hyères, France on Sunday 13 December.

Steel out sprinted Kate Avery (Tony Simmons) to the gold medal in Samokov last year and after a similar battle at the trials in Liverpool last weekend, both will be in the hunt for European glory in under two weeks’ time. Steel, a three-time medallist at these championships, will once again be one of the favourites for the title as she joins the British team who have topped the medal table at the last 12 editions of the event.

Ross Millington (Steve Vernon) leads the senior men’s team in France after a commanding performance at the trials. He was fifth in Bulgaria last December so will be hoping for another strong showing against the best in Europe later this month.

After a breakthrough 2015 on the track, Laura Muir (Andy Young) has been selected for the U23 team. The Scot who went to second in the UK all-time standings over 1500m this year, will switch her attention to the cross country event, four years after she made her international debut at the championships in Velenje.

Jonathan Davies (Rob McKim) spearheads the men’s U23 sextet after an impressive winter season so far. The Reading athlete won the recent Milton Keynes Cross Challenge and was the first U23 finisher on Merseyside.

After taking victory in the opening two Cross Challenge fixtures, Bobby Clay (Rob Denmark) has earned her place in the junior women’s team. After injury ended her chances of a cross country season in 2014, the Invicta East Kent athlete will be raring to go after a season of improvement which saw her win European Junior 1500m gold on the track.

Ben Dijkstra (Alan Maddocks) joins eight debutants in the British Athletics’ squad, after a hard-fought win on the muddy course at Sefton Park in the junior men’s race.

Spencer Duval, the Team Leader said: “After the successes in Samokov last year (nine medals including four gold), we have selected a team which will look to continue Britain’s fine form at the European Cross Country Championships.

“There have been a number of encouraging performances so far this season and I’m confident that the team will equip themselves well against the best in Europe.”


The British Athletics’ team for the European Cross Country Championships in Hyères, France on Sunday 13 December 2015:

Senior men

Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans)

Jonny Hay (Mick Woods)

Adam Hickey (Eamonn Martin)

Tom Lancashire (Steve Vernon)

Ross Millington (Steve Vernon)

Jonathan Taylor (Gordon Surtees)

 

Senior women

Kate Avery (Tony Simmons)

Lauren Howarth (Steve Vernon)

Sonia Samuels (Self-coached)

Gemma Steel (John Nuttall)

Steph Twell (Mick Woods)

Elle Vernon (Steve Vernon)

 

U23 men

Jacob Allen (Mick Woods)

Jonathan Davies (Rob McKim)

Richard Goodman (Mick Woods)

Henry Pearce (George Gandy)

Marc Scott (Steve Gulley)

Luke Traynor (Dudley Walker)

 

U23 women

Beth Hawling (Matt Richards)

Laura Muir (Andy Young)

Jenny Nesbitt (David Walker)

Madeleine Murray (John Lees)

Rebecca Murray (Alex Stanton)

Alice Wright (David Walker)

 

Junior men

Ben Dijkstra (Alan Maddocks)

Oliver Fox (Richard Llewellyn Eaton)

Mahamed Mahamed (Peter Haynes)

Chris Olley (Mark Hookway)

Joe Steward (Harry Kelly)

Alex Yee (Kenneth Pike)

 

Junior women

Grace Baker (Mick Woods)

Bobby Clay (Rob Denmark)

Amy Griffiths (Mick Woods)

Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden)

Sabrina Sinha (Peter Mullervy)

Mari Smith (William Alan Winter)


Rhona Auckland (Joe Franklin) was unavailable for selection and has opted to focus on the 2016 season.