Six Scots are chosen for the British Euro Cross team

Callum Hawkins
Callum Hawkins will run in the Under-23 event despite winning the senior trial

Six Scots have been picked to represent Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the Euro Cross in Bulgaria.

It is the best Scottish representation since seven took part in 2009.

Andrew Butchart, Luke Caldwell and Steph Twell are Scotland's representatives in the senior events.

Also included in the part of 36 are Callum Hawkins and Rhona Auckland, who will compete at Under-23 level in Samokov, and Jonny Glen, who is included among the Under-20 runners.

Percentage wise, it is Scotland's second best representation in 15 years, with the country only having previously had one athlete involved in the senior men's race - Andrew Lemoncello in 2009 - since 1996.

Looking forward to the 14 December event, Rodger Harkins, Scottish Athletics director of coaching, said: 'It is really pleasing that we have this kind of representation in Team GB and NI for the Euro Cross.

Andrew Butchart
Andrew Butchart will run in the senior race after finishing second in the trial

'I feel athletes across the country will be encouraged and it is no exaggeration to say that, when people win GB international vests, they become 'role models' at their clubs."

Kilbarchan AAC's Hawkins beat Central AC's Butchart to win last week's British Cross Challenge and Euro Trials in Liverpool, with Dorking and Mole Valley AC's Caldwell also securing his place in the British team by finishing fourth.

Auckland, of Banchory Stonehaven/Edinburgh University, finished third in the women's race, with Aldershot, Farnham and District's Twell coming in seventh, while Glen finished sixth in his race.

"I was in Liverpool and there were some very fine individual performances," said Harkins.

"For Callum Hawkins and Andrew Butchart to finish one-two in the senior men's really was excellent and Luke Caldwell made it three Scots in the top four.

"Rhona Auckland had another very good run in the women's race and will race alongside Emelia Gorecka at U23 level in Bulgaria. That looks promising for the GB team in that category.

"I believe for Steph Twell this is a seventh appearance at the Euro Cross, which shows tremendous consistency across a number of years as she has moved up from junior to senior."

The British team is hoping for more success having won nine medals, including five golds, to top the table 12 months ago in Belgrade.

Team leader Martin Rush said: 'There were a number of promising performances in last weekend's Liverpool Cross Challenge and I'm sure, with the right preparation over the course of the next two weeks, we'll see a strong showing in Samokov.

"Belgrade was a very successful championships for the team last year and we will be looking to continue GB and NI's recent success."

GB and NI team for the European Cross Country Championships in Samokov, Bulgaria

Senior Men: Andrew Butchart, Luke Caldwell, Adam Hickey, Tom Lancashire, Ross Millington, Tom Wade.

Senior Women: Kate Avery, Lily Partridge, Sonia Samuels, Gemma Steel, Stephanie Twell, Elle Vernon

U23 Men: Jonathan Davies, William Gray, Callum Hawkins, Jonathan Hay, Charlie Hulson, Marc Scott

U23 Women: Rhona Auckland, Emelia Gorecka, Maryse Haynes, Kate Holt, Rebecca Murray, Alice Wright

U20 Men: Elliot Bowker, Peter Chambers, Jonathan Glen, Jac Hopkins, Michael Vennard, Kieran Wood

U20 Women: Amy Griffiths, Jessica Judd, Phoebe Law, Georgina Outten, Becky Straw, Lydia Turner

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