KELLY Hamilton has become the second St Helens Strider selected to represent Merseyside at the inter-counties cross country championships following superb runs at County and Northern level.

Her training companion, Rachael Fairclough, who earned the honour two years ago, was selected as a reserve for the event which takes place at Loughborough next month but has withdrawn for personal reasons.

Both ladies are coached by Dr Phil Thomas of St Helens-Sutton A C who trains athletes from four different clubs.

Dr Thomas said: "Kelly and Rachael worked hard to claim their county vests while earning a living and acquiring their own athletics' qualifications as a run leader and coach."

Dr Thomas added. "I am privileged to coach athletes who have shown such dedication to their sport and their clubs."