Will handed first GB vest for European Championships

willchristofiliverpool2016BRISTOL & West AC runner Will Christofi is one of three runners from the West County today named by British Athletics in the 36-strong team heading to the European Cross Country Championships in Chia, Italy.

Christofi’s third place in the trials race on Saturday guaranteed him a place in the six-strong under 23 men’s squad which will be headed by defending champion Jonny Davies.

Also joining Will in the under 23 squad is Gloucester AC’s Alex George. George (pictured below on the left in his Gloucesteshire kit alongside Ben Westhenry of Dorset Bristol & West AC) is a student at Arkansas University, in America and the selectors used one of their discretionary places to bring him into the team as his form has been exceptional this autumn.

The third west runner making the trip to Sardinia for the event on Sunday December 11th I City of Plymouth AC’s Victoria Weir, who brilliantly won the under 20 women’s race at the trials.

The senor men’s team includes Olympic 5000m sixth placer Andrew Butchart while senior women’s 2014 European gold medallist Gemma Steel is also selected.

Butchart heads up the senior men’s team following a highly impressive run at the trials in Liverpool last weekend where he powered away to victory ahead of compatriot Callum Hawkins.alexgeorgewesthenry

The Scottish pair are joined on the team by Andy Vernon, an individual bronze medallist at the 2013 edition of the championships.

Steel makes her fourth consecutive team for the championships following a fourth consecutive win at the trials, with Charlotte Arter – coached by former Westbury Harrier James Thie (pictured below left)- and Steph Twell amongst those adding medal potential to the team.

For both Christofi and Weir it will be their first GB vests.

Spencer Duval, the Team Leader, said: “Last year’s championships in Hyères were a success once again with our team topping the medal table for the 13th consecutive year, and we are hopeful that those selected for Chia can continue the strong record we have at the European Cross Country championships.

“We have seen what several of those selected for the team are capable of, and we are confident that the team has the potential to win medals across the age groups.”

Senior Men:Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton), Ben Connor (Spencer Duval), Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans), Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins), Ross Millington (Steve Vernon), Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau).

Senior Women: Charlotte Arter (James Thie),Katrina Wootton (Harvey Rose), Emily Hosker-Thornhill (Mick Woods), Gemma Steel (Rob Denmark), Steph Twell (Mick Woods), Pippa Woolven (Luke Gunn).JamesThie

U23 Men: William Christofi (Dave Bedwell),  Ellis Cross (Mick Woods), Jonathan Davies (Rob McKim), Patrick Dever (Andy Bibby), Alex George (Paul de-Camps), Alex Short (Phillip O’Dell).

U23 Women: Jessica Judd (Mick Judd), Rebecca Murray (Alex Stanton), Georgina Outten (Andrew Walling), Mari Smith (William Alan Winter), Charlotte Taylor (Helen Lehman-Winters), Alice Wright (Joe Franklin).

Junior Men William Fuller (George Gandy),  Josh Kerr (Joe Franklin),  Mahamed Mahamed (Peter Haynes),  Sam Stevens (Alan Maddocks), Paulos Surafel (Craig Winrow), Alex Yee (Kenneth Pike).

Junior Women: Gemma Holloway (Brenda Stone), Harriet Knowles-Jones (Paul Roden),  Phoebe Law (Mick Woods), Hannah Nuttall (John Nuttall), Amelia Quirk (Beverly Kitching), Victoria Weir (Simon Anderson).






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