County runners targeting World Championship places

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South Yorkshire will be well represented in the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships at Loughborough this weekend.

Steve Bayton was Yorkshire’s leading runner last year and he runs again alongside his Hallamshire team mate Dave Archer.

City of Sheffield and Dearne’s Iraitz Arrospide will make his county debut at the event.

Yorkshire will defend their junior men’s title, led by Jonathan Shields who was sixth overall.

Shields runs again along with City of Sheffield team mate James Gormley while Rotherham’s Joe Massingham should also be well-placed.

This age category is arguably Yorkshire’s strongest and, at their best, both Shields and Gormley should be strong contenders.

Rotherham are represented with three runners in the women’s team. Zara Knappy, Emma Parkinson and Steph Burns are all in action.

Withdrawals from the team has left the team unlikely to retain their title but in Leeds City’s Claire Duck they have a contender for the individual title.

Rotherham’s Maya Taylor is expected to be among the leading contenders for the U17s girls race.

For both senior and junior athletes, the meeting serves as a guide to selection for the British teams to compete in the World Cross Country Championships in Uganda at the end of the month.

UK Athletics have not made a commitment to fill all six places in the senior teams but they have at junior level with the top three runners in the Inter Counties guaranteed selection.