European Cross Country Championships: Andrew Butchart makes GB return

Andrew Butchart (centre) heads for a European bronze medal
Andrew Butchart (centre) finished third in 2017 in Slovakia

Scotland's Andrew Butchart, bronze medallist from 2017, will lead a 40-strong British team for the European Cross Country Championships next month.

The six-strong men's team for Lisbon will look to improve on last season's silver medal behind Turkey.

Like Butchart, Derby's Ben Connor - a gold medallist in 2016 - returns to the team after missing out last year.

Perth Strathtay's Sol Sweeney is named in the under-23 team, while three Scots make debuts in the junior event.

Giffnock North's Hamish Armitt is part of the junior men's team, while Megan Keith from Inverness and Team East Lothian's Cera Gemmell are in the junior women's side for the event on Sunday 8 December.

Meanwhile, Butchart's senior GB team-mate, Callum Hawkins, has edged out 2018 winner Laura Muir to the Scottish Athlete of the Year award.

Hawkins this year broke the Scottish record in the men's marathon and finished fourth in Doha at the world championships.

It was double joy for the Kilbarchan AAC athlete's family, with father Robert being named as Performance Coach of the Year in the Scottish Athletics awards.

Meanwhile, Dunbar teenager Maria Lyle, who won a sprint double at the World Para-Athletics Championships in Dubai, took the Para Athlete of the Year award.

Maria Lyle (second left) and Callum Hawkins (third left) receive their awards on Saturday
Maria Lyle (second left) and Callum Hawkins (third left) received their awards on Saturday

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