Scottish team for European Cross Country Championship trial announced

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Top Scottish athletes are headed for Liverpool on November 29 for the British Cross Challenge which doubles up as the European Cross Country Championship trial.

And no fewer than 21 will do so with backing and support from scottishathletics as Scotland selections for the event on Merseyside.

The races that day determine who features for Team GB and NI in Bulgaria in December and a number of Scots look to have strong hopes of GB vests.

National 4K champions like Andrew Butchart (Central AC), Rhona Auckland (Edinburgh Uni), Kathryn Gillespie (Central AC) and Euan Gillham (Kilbarchan AAC) have all been picked to represent Scotland in Liverpool.

Hampden Commonwealth Games steeplechaser Eilish McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill), who made a fine 10K road race debut at Leeds last weekend with second place to Steph Twell (Aldershot, Farnham and District), will represent Scotland in the mud in her first cross country assignment for a number of years. She is joined in the selection by Commonwealth Games team-mates Twell, Callum Hawkins (Kilbarchan AAC) and David Bishop.

It is a ‘competition opportunity’ for athletes rather than a team competition as such but all at scottishathletics congratulate those selected, their families, coaches and clubs.

Central AC men will pursue a place in the European Clubs XC once again – the Stirling-based club finished 10th in 2013 in Spain – as they face English and Welsh opposition in the team competition. Edinburgh AC carry the flag for Scotland in the women’s equivalent competition.

Scotland athletes for Liverpool:

U20 Men: Euan Gillham, Gavin McArdle (both Kilbarchan AAC), Jonny Glen (Inverclyde AC), Neil Gourley (Giffnock North AAC).

U20 Women: Kathryn Gillespie (Central AC), Catriona Graves (Garscube Harriers), Stephanie Pennycook (Edinburgh Uni), Annabel Simpson (Fife AC).

U23 Men: Callum Hawkins (Kilbarchan AAC), Luke Traynor (Giffnock North AAC), Howell Craske (Corstorphine AAC), Lachlan Oates (Shettleston Harriers).

U23 Women: Rhona Auckland (Edinburgh Uni).

SEN Men: Andrew Butchart (Central AC), Tewolde Menisteab (Shettleston Harriers), Craig Ruddy (Inverclyde AC), David Bishop (Bristol and West).

SEN Women: Steph Twell (Aldershot, Farnham and District), Eilish McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill), Rosie Smith (Hunters Bog Trotters), Morag MacLarty (Central AC).

*Scottish championships medals will be up for grabs over 3000m at the Glasgow Athletics Association Miler Meet at the Emirates Arena on January 3.

The meeting is always a popular one and now it will host the Scottish 3000m Champs for U17, U20, Senior and Masters athletes. See www.scottishathletics.org.uk