Freya MURRAY not only showed a welcome return to her best form in finishing third in the McCain Cross Challenge UK Trials at Liverpool on Saturday, but she also led Edinburgh to victory in the Home Nations contest to decide who will represent the UK in the European Clubs Championship next February.
By finishing in the first three, behind English rivals Hatti Dean and Gemma Steel, Murray gained an automatic place in the UK senior team for the European (individual) Championships in Slovenia a week on Sunday. Fellow Scot Steph Twell also guaranteed a place, although whether she will be asked to run as a senior (she was fifth overall in what was a combined race) or under-23 (she was second in that category) remains to be seen.
In the 8.1k race, Murray was up with the leading group for the first half, but then dropped back. She fought back well to outdip leading under-23 runner Hannah Walker on the line.
“I’m really pleased – it was hard work and I went through a couple of bad patches but I think I held it together well and even managed a sprint finish,” said Murray, who was having her first cross country race since winning the Scottish last February.
The teams are due to be announced tomorrow and several other Scots, such as Emily Stewart and Laura Dunn, are in the frame for possible selection.