It’s a real shame for Shaun as illness ruins his run at the England team

Shaun Dixon’s chances of winning a spot in the England team for the World Cross Country Championships were ruined by illness as he was forced to drop out of Saturday’s trials.

The race in Birmingham doubled as the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships, and Dixon was representing Middlesex while hoping to add to his recent England call-ups by securing a place on the national team for the World Championships in Poland on March 24.

However, Dixon was struck down by the flu and, although he bravely travelled to the Midlands to compete, he faded on the second of the four laps and eventually conceded defeat and pulled out.

Highgate’s Ryan McKinlay was also in action at the event, and he was the third of Middlesex’s six scorers, coming 92nd overall in 37 minutes 30 seconds, as the county team came ninth out of 34.

The Harriers’ David Bruce was also present, representing Oxfordshire, and he was 34th in 35:56.

Katie Meredith was 81st out of 291 in the women’s senior race, crossing the line in 30:26 to register as the fifth scorer for Middlesex, who were sixth out of 33 counties.

Hannah Viner was the first Middlesex runner in the Under-17 women’s race, and Terry Fawden emulated that feat in the Under-15 boys’ race.

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Dempster Fawden and Marjolaine Briscoe also competed for the county at the event.