In-form Dean primed for nationals tilt

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Hatti Dean leads Hallamshire’s women’s team in the National Cross Country Championships at Alton Towers tomorrow.

Winner two years ago and bronze medallist last year, Dean is sure to be a leading contender again.

Back from a second spell of altitude training in Kenya, the 29-year-old is in top form and recently won a five mile road race in a fast time of 27.32.

Hallamshire, fourth last year, look stronger this time and include Lizzie Adams who has raced sparingly this winter but showed her class in emphatic style when she finished fifth in the Northern Cross Country.

With Nicola Squires, Michelle Jenkins and Ruth Proctor challenging for the other two counting places, it is a strong Hallamshire squad.

Yorkshire champions in the men’s race, Hallamshire will be looking to beat last year’s National effort when they finished ninth.

Silver medallists in the Northern Championships, they will be led by Oxford Blue Andy Heyes but will be without Andy Thake.

Leading Hallamshire runner in last year’s race, Thake is expected to be out of action for six weeks with a broken toe. Thake apart, Hallamshire expect to be at full strength.

In the Aviva Indoor Grand Prix at Birmingham tomorrow (Sat), Luke Cutts (Dearne ALC/City of Sheffield) renews his rivalry with Max Eaves and Steve Lewis in the pole vault.

Eaves has beaten Cutts twice recently and last week all three unsuccessfully attempted 5.70 which is the European qualifying mark. Tomorrow will give them another chance.

Matt Hudson (City of Sheffield) is listed for the 60 metres hurdles.

The British Universities Indoor Championships take place at Sheffield’s EIS tomorrow and Sunday, whilst several local road runners will be in action in the Wombwell 5 mile race on Sunday starting at 10:00 am.