Morpeth Harriers' Leonard to run for Great Britain in European Cross Country Championships

Morpeth Harriers’ Rory Leonard has been selected to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland at next month’s European Cross Country Championships, in Ireland.

Morpeth Harriers' Rory Leonard is in the Great Britain team for the European Cross Country Championships
Morpeth Harriers' Rory Leonard is in the Great Britain team for the European Cross Country Championships

Leonard has been selected for the U23s men’s team, led by Tom Mortimer (Stroud & District) who was first across the line in the age group during the trials.

The U23s women’s team is led by Amelia Quirk (Bracknell) who was also first in the trials. Sam Charlton (Helen Clitheroe), who set a British U20s 10k road record at the Leeds Abbey Dash a few weeks ago, is called-up to a British team for the first time.

Trials winners Jess Judd (Blackburn) and Jack Rowe (Aldershot Farnham and District) lead the senior women’s and men’s teams respectively, while the senior mixed relay team includes Olympic 800m finalist Alex Bell (Pudsey and Bramley) who won the women’s short course race at Sefton Park on Saturday.

In the senior women’s team, Judd will line up with Abbie Donnelly (Lincoln Wellington), Jess Gibbon (Reading) and Jenny Nesbitt (Cardiff) who all finished in the automatic places at the trial, and they are joined by former European cross country medallist Kate Avery (Shildon), and Charlotte Arter (Cardiff), the latter’s selection subject to a fitness test.

Rowe will race alongside double Olympian Andrew Butchart (Central), Jamie Crowe (Central) and William Battershill (Erme Valley), the top four seniors in Liverpool, while Stuart McCallum (Winchester) will earn his first GB & NI vest. Jake Smith (Cardiff) completes the team of six.

Megan Keith (Inverness) and Henry McLuckie (Shaftesbury Barnet), who both competed at this summer’s European U20s Championships on the track, headline the women’s and men’s teams in the U20s category respectively.

Team Leader Chris Jones, said: “Following very competitive trial races in Liverpool, we are delighted to select these strong teams for Fingal-Dublin next month.

"We have several athletes who have competed in senior and junior teams at international level before, combined with nine debutants, so I am sure they will all support one another to deliver good team and individual performances at the European Cross Country Championships.”

The European Cross Country Championships will be held on Sunday, December 12.