Bulk of the team for European Cross Country Championships selected via first round of British Athletics Cross Challenge in Sefton Park

Callum Hawkins and Gemma Steel took the senior victories at the trials for the European Cross Country Championships held at Sefton Park, Liverpool on Saturday.

Steel’s win as pre-race favourite was fairly comfortable, while Hawkins prevailed in a tight two-way battle for the line in the finishing straight.

Steel, who will go to the European Cross in Samokov, Bulgaria, in two weeks’ time as a strong contender to upgrade from her silver of last year, pulled away in the second half to finish 11 seconds ahead of Emelia Gorecka, who was in her first championships as an under-23, having moved up from the junior ranks. Rhona Auckland, another under-23, excelled to place third.

Hawkins, an under-23, led a Scottish one-two as he pulled two seconds clear of long-time challenger Andrew Butchart, while Ross Millington was third.

Abel Tsegay easily won the under-20 men’s race although, as an Eritrean, the Kent-based athlete will not be heading to Samokov. The first eligible athlete was Peter Chambers, who was four seconds behind.

Commonwealth 800m finalist Jessica Judd returned to the surface on which she had most of her success in her early days and crossed the line 11 seconds clear of surprise runner-up Phoebe Law in the under-20/under-17 race. Lydia Turner was third, while first-year under-17 Sabrina Sinha was first in her age group in eighth overall.

Among the other winners were James Gormley (under-17 men), Matthew Willis (under-15 boys), Erin Wallace (under-15 girls), Tommy Dawson (under-13 boys) and Emma Frew (under-13 girls).

Discounting ineligible athletes, the first four seniors, first four under-23s and first five in the junior races are automatically selected for the Euro Cross, while the remainder of the six-strong teams will be picked on form.

Leading positions (see UKA website for full results)

Senior men (held with under-23): 1 Andrew Butchart 29:26; 2 Ross Millington 29:31; 3 Luke Caldwell 29:38; 4 Tom Lancashire 29:38; 5 Tom Wade 29:40; 6 Adam Hickey 29:44

Under-23: 1 Callum Hawkins 29:26; 2 Jonny Hay 29:43; 3 Marc Scott 29:44; 4 Charlie Hulson 30:00; 5 Will Gray 30:11; 6 Jonathan Davies 30:14

Under-20: 1 Abel Tsegay (ERI) 20:31; 2 P Chambers 20:35; 3 K Mulcaire (IRL) 20:36; 4 M Vennard 20:40; 5 Elliott Bowker 20:45; 6 Kieran Wood 20:51; 7 Jack Hopkins 20:56; 8 J Glen 20:57

Under-17: 1 James Gormley 17:06; 2 Emile Cairess 17:12; 3 William Richardson 17:16

Under-15: 1 Matthew Willis 9:44; 2 Reece Curtis 9:46; 3 Joshua Cowperthwaite 9:48

Under-13: 1 Tommy Dawson 10:11; 2 Joshua Dickinson 10:21; 3 Hamish Armitt 10:30

Under-11: 1 To be confirmed 6:59; 2 Zane Seddon 7:10; 3 Coel Mellor 7:12

Senior women (held with under-23): 1 Gemma Steel 26:58; 2 Lily Partridge 27:20; 3 Elle Vernon 27:20; 4 Sonia Samuels 27:21; 5 Steph Twell 27:25; 6 Emma Clayton 27:27

Under-23: 1 Emelia Gorecka 27:09; 2 Rhona Auckland 27:12; 3 Maryse Haynes 28:07; 4 Rebecca Murray 28:17; 5 Kate Holt 28:24; 6 Jasmine Finney 28:40

Under-20/under-17: 1 Jessica Judd 14:45; 2 Phoebe Law 14:56; 3 Lydia Turner 14:57; 4 Amy Griffiths 15:00; 5 Becky Straw 15:01; 6 Georgina Outten 15:04; … 8 Sabrina Sinha (U17) 15:10; … 10 Harriet Knowles-Jones (U17) 15:14; … `7 Georgia Rafferty 15:33

Under-15: 1 Erin Wallace 10:42; 2 Grace Copeland 10:43; 3 Jasmine Cooper 10:58

Under-13: 1 Emma Frew 10:56; 2 Olivia Mason 11:09; 3 Heather Barnes 11:18

Under-11: 1 Daisy Thompson 7:35; 2 Isla Ward 7:40; 3 Anna Mason 7:42

» See the December 4 edition of AW magazine for much more in-depth reports, pictures and results