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UK Athletics

Norwich Union GB and NI team for European Cross Country

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27 November 2007 



UK Athletics has today named full teams to compete at the Spar European Cross Country Championships in Toro Spain on 9 December.


Amongst the senior athletes to be selected are trials winners Hayley Yelling (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) and Peter Riley (Leigh Harriers) as well as World Championship 1500m finalist Andy Baddeley (Harrow).


Making a return to the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team following a couple of years of injury frustration is Billy Farquharson (Notts AC), whilst Louise Damen (Winchester & District) who has recently stepped up to half marathon distance returns to the cross country for GB for the first time in five years in the senior women’s team.


The decision over which athletes would join pre-selected Emily Pidgeon (Gloucester) and Steph Twell (Aldershot Farnham & District) in the junior women’s team went with the top results from Saturday’s trials – with Stockport’s Jess Coulson named as first reserve. Impressive trials winner David Forrester (St Helens Sutton) heads the top six from the trials race named in the Junior men’s team


The strong women’s under 23 team features twin sisters Katherine and Jessica Sparke, as well as Katrina Wootton, whilst Yeovil’s Andrew Baker who competed at last year’s European Cross Country, has been selected for the under 23 men following his 28th position at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in the USA.


Spencer Barden, UK Athletics Senior Coordinator for Endurance said:


“Despite the withdrawal of Mo Farah, we’re confident that the teams selected for Toro will be able to match our strong performance from Italy last year.


“Once again we are looking to return home with both team and individual medals, as well as confirming our position as the most successful nation at the European Cross Country championships.


“Our age group teams in particular should be capable of medal winning performances and should look to use Toro as a springboard into the key Olympic year ahead – such is the importance of a successful cross country campaign in preparing our endurance athletes.”



Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for European Cross Country Championships in Toro, Spain on 9 December:


Senior Men: Andy Baddeley (Harrow); Billy Farquharson (Notts); Tom Humphries (Cannock & Staffs); Peter Riley (Leigh Harriers); Michael Skinner (Blackheath & Bromley); Frank Tickner (Wells City). Reserve: Phil Nicholls (Tipton).


Senior Women: Helen Clitheroe (Preston); Louise Damen (Winchester & District); Hatti Dean (Hallamshire); Kate Reed (Bristol & West); Hayley Yelling (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow); Liz Yelling (Bedford & County). Reserve: Carly Needham (Rochdale).


Under 23 Men: Andrew Baker (Yeovil); Kevin Deighton (Bridlington); Keith Gerrard (Newham & Essex Beagles); Tom Lancashire (Bolton United); Ryan McLeod (Elswick); Andy Vernon (Aldershot Farnham & District). Reserve: Rob Bugden.


Under 23 Women: Susie Hignett (Bath University); Felicity Milton (Durham City); Jessica Sparke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies); Katherine Sparke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies); Sarah Tunstall (Kendal); Katrina Wootton (Bedford & County). Reserve: Linzi Snow (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies).


Junior Men: David Forrester (St Helens Sutton); Mitch Goose (City of Norwich); Lee Carey (Nuneaton); Ben Lindsay (Aldershot Farnham & District); Ross Murray (Gateshead); Craig Ruddy (Inverclyde). Reserve: Ricky Stevenson (New Marske).


Junior Women: Jo Harvey (Exeter); Laura Park (Ellenborough AC); Emily Pidgeon (Gloucester); Charlotte Purdue (Aldershot Farnham & District); Charlotte Roach (Vale Royal); Stephanie Twell (Aldershot Farnham & District). Reserve: Jess Coulson (Stockport).