Image: British Athletics

European Cross Country Championship bronze medallist from 2017 Andrew Butchart (coach: self; club: Central) leads a 40-strong British team for the 2019 SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon, Portugal next month.

The Scot is one of 21 athletes selected that have won a medal at these championships in previous years, including 13 from last year’s edition in Tilburg, the Netherlands.

Butchart is joined by trial winner and 2016 team gold medallist Ben Connor (Derby), who also returns to the Euro Cross fold for the first time since 2017, with Adam Hickey (Eamonn Martin; Southend), Britain’s youngest ever male medallist at the championships in (in 2004 aged 16) making his first Euro Cross team since 2015.

British trail and mountain runner Tom Evans (Allison Benton; Belgrave) earns a first cross country vest, while Patrick Dever (Andy Bibby; Preston) and Kristian Jones (Swansea) complete the team.

For the women, trials winner Jess Judd (Mick Judd; Blackburn) gains a first senior individual Cross Country vest and goes in search of a seventh championship medal, flanked by team-mates Charlotte Arter (Chris Jones; Cardiff) and nine-time Euro Cross medallist Kate Avery (Shildon), both of whom took team silver last year in Tilburg.

Five-time team medallist on the continental stage Amy Griffiths (Rob Denmark; Aldershot, Farnham & District) and 2018 Under 23 team bronze medallist Abbie Donnelly (Rob Lewis; Lincoln Wellington) earn their spots, as does Jenny Nesbitt (Chris Jones; Cardiff), who secures a first senior Euro Cross appearance.

The mixed relay team of Alex Bell (Andrew Henderson; Pudsey & Bramley), Jonathan Davies (Luke Gunn; Reading AC), Sarah McDonald (David Harmer; Birchfield) and James McMurray (Deborah Steer; St Albans), will look to reclaim the mixed relay title that they last won in 2017.

The Under 23 selections are led by Mahamed Mahamed (Southampton AC) who makes an appearance in his fifth successive Euro Cross team, with Bronwen Owen (Andrew Henderson; Leeds City) earning a first British vest since the 2015 European U20 Championships for the women, both were the first U23 finishers at the trials.

Under 20 team gold medallist from last year Amelia Quirk (Mick Woods; Bracknell) steps up to the U23 ranks, Emile Cairess (Philip Townsend; Leeds City) continues his excellent season with another cap, while Euan Makepeace (Mark Roe; Charnwood), Eleanor Bolton (Ribble Valley) make their British debuts.

Trial winners Matt Willis (self; Wrexham), who was the first Brit and second European home at March’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, and Saskia Millard (Luke Gunn; Herne Hill) lead the junior men’s & women’s selections, the former winning team silver at last year’s championships.

British debuts are also handed to Charles Hicks, Hamish Armitt (Giffnock North), Matthew Stonier (Peter Mullervy; Invicta East Kent) and Will Barnicoat (Trevor Raggett; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) for the men, while Megan Keith (Ross Cairns; Inverness) and Cera Gemmell (Team East Lothian) gain a first call-up for the women.

Team leader Rob Denmark said: “Off the back of yet another extremely competitive trial event in Liverpool, we are able to name an incredibly strong team to travel to Lisbon for the European Cross Country Championships.

“The team that we are taking contains a good level of experience across all age groups at these championships and on the international stage, which will hopefully set us up to contend for individual and team medals once again.”

The British team selected for the European Cross Country Championships in Lisbon, Portugal, on Sunday, 8 December:

Senior Men
Andrew Butchart (self-coached; Central)
Ben Connor (Derby)
Patrick Dever (Andy Bibby; Preston)
Adam Hickey (Eamonn Martin; Southend)
Tom Evans (Allison Benton; Belgrave)
Kristian Jones (Swansea)

Senior Women
Charlotte Arter (Chris Jones; Cardiff)
Kate Avery (Shildon)
Abbie Donnelly (Rob Lewis; Lincoln Wellington)
Amy Griffiths (Rob Denmark; Aldershot, Farnham & District)
Jess Judd (Mick Judd; Blackburn)
Jenny Nesbitt (Chris Jones; Cardiff)

U23 Men
Emile Cairess (Philip Townsend; Leeds City AC)
Mahamed Mahamed (Peter Haynes; Southampton AC)
Euan Makepeace (Matt Roe; Charnwood)
John Millar (Stephen Hicks; Ipswich)
Sol Sweeney (Andy Young; Perth Strathtay)
Alex Yee (Kenneth Pike; Kent)

U23 Women
Eleanor Bolton (Ribble Valley)
Cari Hughes (Andy Walling; Swansea)
Hannah Nuttall (John Nuttall; Charnwood)
Bronwen Owen (Andrew Henderson; Leeds City)
Amelia Quirk (Mick Woods; Bracknell AC)
Poppy Tank (Simon Anderson; City of Plymouth)

Junior Men
Hamish Armitt (Giffnock North)
Will Barnicoat (Trevor Raggett; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow)
Charles Hicks (Ricardo Santos; Stanford)
Zakariya Mahamed (Southampton AC)
Matt Stonier (Peter Mullerby; Invicta East Kent)
Matt Willis (self; Wrexham AC)

Junior Women
Izzy Fry (Mick Woods; Newbury)
Cera Gemmell (Henry Muchamore; Team East Lothian)
Megan Keith (Ross Cairns; Inverness)
Olivia Mason (Graeme Mason; Border)
Saskia Millard (Luke Gunn; Herne Hill)
Amelia Samuels (John Abbiss; Wolverhampton & Bilston)

Mixed Relay
Alex Bell (Andrew Henderson; Pudsey & Bramley)
Jonathan Davies (Luke Gunn; Reading)
Sarah McDonald (David Harmer; Birchfield)
James McMurray (Deborah Steer; St Albans AC)