Athletics: Merseyside challenge for Rotherham relay team

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Rotherham defend their Northern Womens Six Stage Road Relay title at Birkenhead on Saturday.

A strong team will look to head off a challenge from Northern Cross Country champions Leeds City who were runners up in the relay last time.

The experienced Jenny Blizard runs the opening stage, for the Rotherham team and she is followed by Steph Burns and Emma Parkinson. Next comes Sophie Cowper.

Finally for Rotherham, Zara Knappy and Samantha Johnson complete the line up.

It is the same as last year’s winning team except that Johnson comes in for the unavailable Natasha Hatswell.

Rotherham also field a strong B team.

Hallamshire have entered a strong squad which looks capable of a place in the top six.

In the men’s 12 stage relay, Rotherham, 10th last year, will again be looking for a place in the top dozen.

Meanwhile South Yorkshire’s Josh Dickinson runs for the England Schools Intermediate team in the SIAB Schools Cross Country International in Nottingham.

Dickinson, a Doncaster schoolboy, earned his place by finishing fourth in last week’s English Schools Championships.