By Owen Morgan
Welsh Athletics has named strong men’s and women’s teams for the Bobby Rea International Cross Country event in Northern Ireland this weekend.
There is a large Cardiff Athletics contingent across the two teams with no less than seven athletes from the capital city club named for the event at Billy Neill MBE Country Park, Dundonald on Saturday.
There is also a transatlantic flavour to the team with two of the athletes taking part recently having returned from studying and competing in the United States.
The men’s team includes Mike Ward, who earns his first Welsh vest since returning from studying at Bradley University in Illinois.
Ward illustrated he is in fine cross country form by finishing third at last month’s Cardiff Cross Challenge.
Meanwhile, the women’s team, features Swansea Harrier Olivia Gwynn, who has been starring for North Carolina’s Duke University in recent years.
Gwynn helped the Swansea club to a silver medal at the Welsh Road Relay Championships at Pembrey Country Park last month and finished 15th overall at the Cardiff Cross Challenge.
Also included in the men’s team are former Welsh Cross Country Champion James Hunt, along with Ciaran Lewis, who was fifth behind Ward in Cardiff last month
The quartet is completed by World Championships and Commonwealth Games steeple chaser Ieuan Thomas, who has also been showing fine cross country form so far this autumn.
Leading the women’s team will be Cardiff’s Clara Evans, who last month helped Cardiff Athletics women’s team to victory at the ERRA Women’s National 4-Stage Relays at Sutton Park, Birmingham
Evans is joined by Cardiff team mates Laura Wright and Lucy Marland, winner of the Richard Burton 10K last weekend.
Also featuring in the women’s team will be Amman Valley Harrier Jade Williams, who picked up the bronze medal at the Welsh Cross Country Championships at Pembrey Country Park earlier this year.