[Skip to content]

Search our Site
  • Instagram Icon
  • RSS Icon
  • Twitter Icon
  • Facebook Icon
  • YouTube Icon
UK Athletics

butchart and hickey to go head to head in milton keynes

Share this

Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Tell friends via WhatsApp Email us
Andrew Butchart

6 February 2015

The Cross Challenge heads to Milton Keynes for the first time where Teardrop Lakes will host the third race in the series. Several GB & NI internationals will line-up for the penultimate event with valuable points on offer ahead of the finale in Birmingham in March.

Overall Cross Challenge leader Adam Hickey (coach: Eamonn Martin) will take on fellow GB & NI international Andrew Butchart in the eagerly anticipated senior men’s race.  The Southend athlete won the last round in Cardiff and will be targeting a similar result this weekend but he will face a tough test. Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton), who will represent Scotland this weekend was second in a thrilling sprint finish behind Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins) in Liverpool last November and will be aiming to go one better and take the victory in Milton Keynes.

Jonathan Taylor (Gordon Surtees) will take on Hickey once again after a frantic sprint for the line at the Great Edinburgh XCountry last month. The Morpeth athlete finished ahead on that occasion and will be a strong contender in Buckinghamshire on Saturday. Others to watch out for this weekend includes Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans) fresh from a third place finish in Cardiff; Shaftesbury Barnet’s Richard Goodman (Mick Woods) and Northern cross country champion, Andrew Davies (Steve Vernon).

The senior women’s race will see many of the main protagonists in the Cross Challenge seek to close the gap on overall leader Lily Partridge (Woods) who won’t be competing in Milton Keynes. Bristol & West’s Imogen Ainsworth (Keith Brackstone) is currently fourth in the overall Cross Challenge standings after a third place finish last month, and she will have a chance to move up the leader board with a high placing on Saturday.

Georgie Bruinvels (Woods) earned her first GB & NI cap last month in Edinburgh and will be a possible contender for the title in the inaugural event at Teardrop Lakes. European cross country championships duo Maryse Haynes (Bud Baldaro) and Rebecca Murray (Alex Stanton) will take part in their second Cross Challenge event as they target important points ahead of the final event. Sarah Tunstall and Louise Small (Woods) could also feature at the front end of the race.

The U20 men’s races will be closely contested with Inverclyde’s Jonathan Glen (Mark Pollard) and Kilbarchan’s Euan Gillham (Hawkins) both set to feature. However, they will face two athletes who are currently second and third in the overall U20 men’s Cross Challenge, Iolo hughes (Andrew Walling) and  Jordan Rowe (David Smith) respectively. With leader Jac Hopkins (Kevin Tobin) not competing this weekend, both athletes have a chance to make their mark ahead of the final at Cofton Park next month.

The U20 women’s race will see a rematch between Welsh duo Olivia Gwynn (Tobin) and Bronwen Owen (Andrew Henderson) after their race long tussle in Cardiff with the former coming out on top. Gwynn leads the U20 women’s rankings but will face strong opposition in the form of Phoebe Law (Richard Holt) who was second at the Liverpool Cross Challenge.

With U17 women’s leader Yoyo Barnsley (John Knowles) absent from the Milton Keynes race, there will be a chance for Heidi Davies to make a significant move in the standings. The Brecon athlete was out-sprinted in the last few metres by Kate Waugh (Thomas Millmore) previously so will be targeting victory this time around.

Emile Cairess will start as the favourite for the U17 men’s race after twice finishing second at the Liverpool and Cardiff events. The Bingley athlete currently leads the age group standings and another good performance would leave him in a strong position going into the final event.

After a thrilling finish in the U15 boy’s race at Blackweir Fields, this promises to be entertaining encounter once again. Luke Davies who won courtesy of a dip finish at Blackweir Fields will line up against the winner at Sefton Park, Matthew Willis (Nigel Evans) and overall Cross Challenge leader Reece Curtis (Stephen Shaw). Derby’s Jasmine Cooper will be the one to watch in the U15 girl’s race after her comfortable win in Cardiff.

Both of the U13 Cross Challenge leaders Hamish Armitt and Fern Harrison (John Skevington) will turn out in Milton Keynes with a chance to consolidate their leads. Giffnock’s Armitt will once again make the long trip from Scotland to compete and will be hoping for similar success again.

For more information on the Milton Keynes Cross Challenge click here