The Inter Counties Cross Country Championships take place at Birmingham tomorrow.
The Yorkshire men’s team is weakened through injuries, particularly to county champion Alistair Brownlee (Bingley).
An Achilles tendon injury has interrupted Brownlee’s training for the Olympic triathlon and it is left to his younger brother Jonathan to lead Yorkshire’s challenge. Rotherham’s Philip Hoole and Rob Little (Hallamshire) are in the nine man team.
The women’s team are without Hallamshire star duo Hatti Dean and Lizzie Adams but include Hallamshire’s Nicola Squires who has run consistently well all season. Also in the team are Jade Allen, Steph Burns and Annabelle Grady, all from Rotherham Harriers.
Yorkshire champion Tom Bains (Hallamshire) leads Yorkshire in the under 17 men’s race and there’s a place for Bertie Houghton (Doncaster).
City of Sheffield pair Josh Naisbitt and Jonathan Shields line up in the under 15 boys team whilst Alfie Manthorpe (City of Sheffield) and Kane Smith (Rotherham) are in the under 13 team. Calli Thackery (Hallamshire), runner up in both the Yorkshire and Northern Championships, is in the junior women’s team along with Rotherham’s Natasha Hatswell, while Hallamshire’s Fiona Bell leads the under 17 women’s team which includes Eve Pound (City of Sheffield).
Natalia Hackett has had to withdraw due to a foot injury and her place is taken by her Hallamshire team mate Hannah Fletcher. Charlotte Slack (Hallamshire) is the sole South Yorkshire runner in the under 15 girls team but Hallamshire have three in the under 13 girls team, Imani Wilson, Mary McCarthy and Maddie Pearce.
Also in the team is Amelia Lancaster (City of Sheffield), who finished a superb eighth in the recent National Championships.