Two of our British athletes delivered outstanding performances in Sefton Park in Liverpool on Saturday (24 November), with both of them earning a GB vest for the upcoming European Cross Country Championships as a result.
Verity Ockenden (Swansea Harriers) finished a superb 2nd in the senior women’s race, after catching and passing Jessica Piasecki just metres from the finish line. In the senior men’s contest an hour or so later, Emile Cairess (Leeds City AC) not only finished 1st among the U23 athletes but also took 6th place overall, an impressive result for an athlete who has not yet turned 21.
Having not competed for much of the middle of this year owing to a persistent injury, Verity finished 5th at the first Cross Challenge fixture in Milton Keynes on 10 November, a result which suggested she was well on target for a good performance in Liverpool.
By contrast, for Emile this was the latest in a series of impressive results over the course of this year. In October he won the annual Cabbage Patch ‘10’ by almost three minutes, and earlier this month he finished 2nd (behind housemate Jonny Hay) in the Hampshire League cross country meet in Aldershot. Emile is supported by adidas.
The European Cross Country Championships take place in Tilburg, Holland, on Sunday 9 December.
Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic and not to be outdone, Mike Tate finished 2nd in the Canadian Cross Country Championships in Kingston, Ontario.