Hallamshire’s Hatti Dean was in top form at the McCain Cross Country Challenge at Sefton Park, Liverpool, on Saturday beating a top class domestic field. The race served as a trial for the European Championships in Slovenia in two weeks time and Dean booked her place in decisive fashion.
It was Dean’s first race since August after injury cut short her track season which meant she missed the World Track Championships.
Just back from altitude training in Kenya, Dean forced the pace until only Gemma Steel (Charnwood) remained as a serious challenger. Steel has impressed recently with a series of wins on the road and country but met her match this time: “I knew Gemma was in good shape but she’s not always been up against such good quality competition until today,” admitted Dean.
“I had no idea what shape I was in, I felt really good in Kenya but I wasn’t doing track sessions just a lot of mileage and sessions on the roads so I didn’t have real markers.
The 29-year-old will be aiming to lead the British team to medals in the European race.
There was a good run by Hallamshire’s Lizzie Adams who finished 18th.
In the younger age groups at Liverpool Tom Bains (Hallamshire) impressed with fourth place in the under-17 men’s race whilst in the same age group for women Hallamshire duo Natalia Hackett (7th) and Fiona Bell (13th) were in top form whilst Rotherham’s Jessica Freeman did well for 35th place
Calli Thackery (Hallamshire) followed her win in the Barnsley 10K last week with 15th place in the under 20 race. Alfie Manthorpe (City of Sheffield) was 8th in the under 13 age group and Hallamshire’s Maddy Pierce was 17th in the under 13 girls race.
Jacob Clark (City of Sheffield) won the third South Yorkshire Cross Country League meeting at Mount St Mary’s College, Spinkhill.