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McCain Cross Challenge - Liverpool (Sefton Park)            Saturday 26 November 2011

FIve IEK at European trials

  Jason Prickett earns England vest and is named reserve for GB team in European Championships

    Bobby Clay wins in style - Alex Clay is 6th - Kieran Reilly 17th and Emily Hosker Thornhill 34th

With the first 3 under-20s at Sefton Park guaranteed  selection for the GB Junior Cross-country team for December's European Championships in Slovenia,LiverpoolMcCainXC2011u-20MJasonPrickett.jpg Jason Prickett (pictured left by Stuart Reilly) confirmed his credentials as a top flight athlete finishing 7th just one (1) second adrift of Jack Goodwin of Bedford & County, 6 seconds ahead of Tonbridge ace Robbie Farnham Rose, making Jason and Chris Thomas the only IEK athletes to have beaten Robbie at cross-country.

12 months ago Jason was 64th in this race and 3rd Kent man - this year's performance (1st of 6 Kent runners) earns him his first England vest plus a place as 1st reserve in the GB national junior team which was declared on Monday 28 November.

Hot on Jason's heels was 1st-year u-20 prodigy Kieran Reilly (4th Kent man home) who ran his best cross-country race to date - in last year's muddy u-17 race        

Kieran was 21st and about 50 seconds behind the top 4 who included race winner Harvey Dixon (Aldershot), Bradley Goater (Windor SE&H) & Tom Purnell (Stroud)... including Kieran, they've all moved up an age group this winter, and this time Kieran was 17th, ahead of all threeLiverpoolMcCainXC2011u20MKieranReilly.jpgPictured above (by Stuart Reilly) Kieran also dramaticallly narrowed the 2 minute deficit behind National champion Kieran Clements (Ipswich Harriers) at the Bristol Cross Challenge two weeks ago down to just 45 seconds.

Troubled all week by sore shin Emily Hosker Thornhill did well to limp home 34th in the Women's u-20 race

Pictured below (by Stuart Reilly) u-15 phenomenon Bobby Clay continues to impress - at the end of last season Bobby was 4th in the Schools International in Ireland behind race winner & England teammate, Bronwen Owen of Scarborough AC

Knowing that Owen dreads close fast finishes,  BobbyLiverpoolMcCainXC2011u15FemBobbyClay.jpg

raced astutely in Owen's wake until the final turn, 300m from home - on the final, energy-sapping uphill stretch, Bobby unleashed her trademark surge for the line to win by an astonishing 15 seconds, well ahead of rivals from as far afield as Guernsey and Blackpool. 

u-17 Woman Alex Clay got her tactics right to finish a strong 6th holding off a late challenge of 2 rivals from Sheffield and from Cannock - in the process Alex beat into 7th Hallamshire Sheffield's Natalia Hackett who was 2nd at the Bristol Cross-challenge 2 weeks ago.