Third in the recent Northern Championships, Rotherham Harriers women’s team travel to Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, for tomorrow’s National women’s road relay championship.
With strong Southern and Midlands teams expected to be prominent, it would be a big achievement if Rotherham, 13th last year, could get in the top ten.
Sam Johnson, who ran the anchor leg in the Northern, switches to take the first stage and she is followed by Natasha Hatswell and Zara Knappy.
Fiona Davies, who did not run in the Northern, comes into the team on the final stage.
Whilst Rotherham won the Yorkshire title recently, they look set to face a challenge as South Yorkshire’s dominant team from rivals Hallamshire.
Fourth in the Northern race, Hallamshire retain Charlotte Ward and Nicola Squires from that team but gain a massive boost by the inclusion of internationals Hatti Archer and Lizzie Browne. Archer demonstrated her form with a good run in the Worlds Mountain Running championships last month.
Browne (formerly Adams) is also an international on the hills as well as top class on the country and roads.
Hallamshire men were well below strength in the Northern men’s race but, in Andrew Heyes, they had one of the fastest runners of the day.
If he runs in tomorrow’s six stage race and is supported by Hallamshire’s leading men, a top ten placing would be possible.
There are also three stage relays for the younger age groups. City of Sheffield and Dearne, with Connor Henderson, Julian Slater and Alfie Manthorpe, won the recent Northern race and should be prominent at National level in the under 17 age group whilst Rotherham should be strong in both the under 17 and under 15 girls races.