Trio lead bid to retain title

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Hallamshire Harriers defend their men’s title at the Yorkshire Cross Country Championships at Thornes Park, Wakefield, today.

Rob Little, Andy Thake and Tom Jenkins spearheaded their win last year and this trio are again in the Hallamshire line-up, with support expected to come from Dave Archer, Rob Baker and Andy Challenger.

With six to count it is a formidable Hallamshire squad missing only Andy Heyes from last year’s winning team.

Heyes, the top Hallamshire man in last year’s race, is taking time out from his medical studies at Oxford University to spend a year at Tulsa University in America.

Leeds City, even though well below full strength, are the biggest threat to Hallamshire.

Rotherham’s Phil Hoole will be aiming to repeat last year’s run when he finished third.

Hallamshire’s women’s team will also be looking for team honours and have a strong team headed by Lizzie Adams who is a contender for individual honours.

However, they will be without their top runner Hatti Dean who competes instead at the BUPA Edinburgh International Cross Country.

Dean, who finished sixth in an International race in Belgium recently, is expected to be well placed in a top-class field.

She then goes to Kenya for what will be her third visit of the winter season for altitude training.

Hallamshire’s Fiona Bell won the Yorkshire under 17 women’s race last year but will find it hard to retain her title with her teammate, Natalia Hackett, in top form in her first year in the age group.