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UK Athletics

UK Cross Challenge and European Trials report


The European Trials, incorporated into the UK Cross Challenge at Sefton Park, Liverpool, on Saturday 25 November, resulted in victories for Frank Tickner, Jo Pavey, Tom Minshull and Steph Twell. 

Senior / Under 23 Mens’s 10km

Despite energy-sapping mud covering much of the course after a week of rain, Tickner led for such a long way that he confessed afterwards: “I was expecting them all to come past me.” But he dug in so well that he was able to hold off a strong challenge by Mike Skinner in the testing home straight, Andy Vernon, silver medallist in the Junior Men’s race at last winter’s Europeans, stormed through from 12th at halfway to 6th at the finish to lead home the Under 23 candidates for the demonstration race that will be included for the first time in this year’s European Champs in Italy on 10 December. The mud was so tricky though, that former junior international Ryan McLeod (Elswick) battled through 7km in his socks after having both spikes sucked off his feet. He finished 34th in 33:17.


Leaders: 1 F Tickner (Wells City Harriers) 31:18; 2 M Skinner (Blackheath and Bromley) 31:22; 3 Gavin Thompson (Crawley) 31:29; 4 Steve Vernon (Stockport) 31:36; 5 Chris Thompson (Aldershot, Farnham and District) 31:47; 6 Andy Vernon (U23, Aldershot, Farnham and District) 31:50; 7 Moumin Geele (U23, Newham and Essex Beagles) 32:01; 8 Ben Noad (Highgate Harriers) 32:08; 9 Angus Maclean (Team Southampton) 32:11; 10 Rob Whalley (Bristol and West) 32:20; 11 Andrew Baddeley (Harrow) 32:26; 12 Neil Burton (Tipton) 32:28; 13 Dominic Bannister (Shaftesbury Barnet) 32:32; 14 Phil Hinch (Tipton) 32:35; 15 Mark Powell (Oadby and Wigston Legionnaires) 32:37; 16 Dan Robinson (Stroud) 32:38; 17 Alistaire Davy (Leeds City) 32:39; 18 Tom Humphries (U23, Cannock and Stafford) 32:40; 19 Rob Bugden (U23, Bristol and West) 32:40; 20 Andrew Baker (U23, Loughborough Students) 32:44; … 23 Matthew Ashton (U23, Aldershot, Farnham and District) 32:47; 24 Tom Russell (U23, Stroud) 32:47; … 27 James Ellis (U23, Winchester) 32:53. 

Senior / Under 23 Women’s 6.5km

Jo – “I’m terrible in the mud” – Pavey battled to an impressive victory, almost 100m clear of a tremendous battle for the other medals between Felicity Milton, the 19-year-old discovery of the winter, and Kate Reed, who helped Norwich Union GB win the Team Silver medals at last year’s Europeans.


Pavey reckoned the deepest mud on the last lap slowed her to the pace of athletes she was lapping but she found enough good ground to demonstrate why she had been pre-selected, along with Hayley Yelling, on the strength of her recent road form.


Leaders: 1 J Pavey (Exeter Harriers) 23:28; 2 F Milton (U23, Durham University) 23:53; 3 K Reed (Bristol and West) 23:54; 4 Liz Yelling (Bedford and County) 23:59; 5 Natalie Harvey (South London) 24:00; 6 Eleanor Baker (South London) 24:05; 7 Hatti Dean (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield) 24:18; 8 Gemma Phillips (Kendal) 24:27; 9 Susan Partridge (City of Glasgow) 24:39; 10 Claire Martin (Telford) 24:19; 11 Victoria Wilkinson (Bingley) 24:52; 12 Tara Krzywicki (Charnwood) 24:53; 13 Vicky Gill (Chorley) 25:00; 14 Sonia Thomas (Sale) 25:00; 15 Sophie Morris (Army) 25:09; 16 Michelle Ross-Cope (Stoke) 25:13; 17 Morag McDonnell (Chester le Street) 25:15; 18 Susie Bush (Aldershot, Farnham and District) 25:17; 19 Hannah Whitmore (U23, Charnwood) 25:20; 20 Catherine Dugdale (Swansea) 25:22; … 22 Claire Holme (U23, Ipswich) 25:29; … 27 Victoria Webster (U23, Shaftesbury Barnet) 25:36; … 29 Lucy O’Gorman (U23, Wakefield) 25:39; 30 Louise Durman (U23, Dursley) 25:45; 31 Rachel Gibbs (U23, Bedford) 25:50. 

Junior Men’s 6.5km

Tom Minshull so enjoyed his taste of international action last winter that he wanted more – and made sure by striding away to a well-paced victory.

Leaders: 1 T Minshull (Trafford) 21:51; 2 Lewis Timmins (Gosforth) 21:57; 3 Kevin Deighton (Bridlington RR) 22:10; 4 Rory Fraser (Oady and Wigston Legionnaires) 22:17; 5 Jon Pepper (Enfield and Haringey) 22:21; 6 Ricky Stevenson (New Marske) 22:23; 7 Conor McNulty (Scotland) 22:26