THE National Cross Country Championships take place tomorrow in Sunderland, with Hallamshire’s Hatti Dean one of the favourites for the women’s title. After a spell on the injury list Dean bounced back to form with a win in the Northern Championships.
She has a good record in the National, winning in 2009 and also having silver and bronze medals. Louis Damen (Winchester), Jess Coulson (Stockport) and Southern champion Lily Partridge (Aldershot) will provide tough opposition though.
Last year Dean finished fifth and led Hallamshire to the team title when Lizzie Adams, Nicola Squires and Clair Robson were the other counters. With Adams not having raced recently, Hallamshire will not be as strong although Julia Jagger, who ran well in the Northern, will be an important team member. Rotherham, too, led by Steph Burns and and Jade Allen, should be well placed in the team race.
In the men’s race Mele Okbazghi (Sheffield RC) should be among the leaders. Winner of the Yorkshire title, he just missed out on a Northern medal, finishing fourth but should again make an impact.
Following top class performances in Sheffield and Birmingham Mukthar Mohammed (Sheffield RC) has been picked to run in the 800 metres at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg early next month. In a strong British line up, Michael Rimmer and Joe Thomas are also in the 800, one of the strongest events for Britain.
There was no such honour for Lee Emanuel (Sheffield) in the 3000 metres. He missed the qualifying mark of 7:50 by a second and a half. Such are the inconsistencies of the selectors that Lauren Howarth has been given a discretionary place in the women’s 3000 metres in circumstances virtually identical to Emanuel’s.