The culmination of most youngsters’ winter racing programme takes place at Witton Country Park in Blackburn on Saturday

More than 2000 schoolchildren will take part in what for many will be the highlight of their winter seasons at the ESAA National Cross Country Championships in Blackburn on Saturday.

The top eight from each of the junior and intermediate races will be selected for England for the Schools International in Dublin on March 21.

A total of 45 county teams will take part over the undulating course.

Many of the top runners were also in action at the Inter-Counties Championships last weekend, but the different age groups to normal may allow for different champions.


Humberside’s Phoebe Law is set to return to the mud after her Inter-Counties under-20 win and overall Cross Challenge victory at Cofton Park last weekend. National under-17 champion Harriet Knowles-Jones and Inter-Counties under-20 bronze medallist Bronwen Owen were named along with Law for the GB junior women’s World Cross team for Guiyang later this month and also compete in Blackburn for Greater Manchester and North Yorkshire respectively.

Inter-Counties under-17 champion Mahamed Mahamed of Hampshire and Inter-Counties under-20 bronze medallist Elliot Bowker of Cheshire – part of the GB junior men’s team for China – are among those to contest the 6.7km senior boys race.



Inter-Counties under-17 silver medallist Daniel Slater and National under-17 fifth-placer Hugo Milner compete for Merseyside and Derbyshire respectively, while Kent’s Inter-Counties under-17 champion Sabrina Sinha and Berkshire’s National under-17 silver medallist Morven Goodrum contest the intermediate girls event.


Zakariya Mahamed, who won the Inter-Counties under-15 title, joins his brother Mahamed in competing in Blackburn. Kent’s Inter-Counties under-15 champion Kathleen Faes and Olivia Mason of Cumbria, who won Inter-Counties under-13 gold, are also among those entered for the junior races.


12.30pm Intermediate girls
1.00pm Junior boys
1.30pm Junior girls
2.00pm Intermediate boys
2.35pm Senior girls
3.05pm Senior boys

» See the latest Athletics Weekly magazine, which is available to read digitally here, for the names of other top contenders in each age group