Ben speeds to his first county title

CROSS-COUNTRY: The Colney Lane playing fields of the University of East Anglia proved to be a good venue for the Norfolk Cross Country Championships.

The undulating grassland course proved to be excellent for spectators too as a new name appeared on the trophy for the senior men's championship.

Ben Russell of Norwich Road Runners sped around the 9.2km course in 31mins 8 seconds to finish over half a minute ahead of newcomer Simon Millett of the Windsor, Slough and Eton club.

Simon finished narrowly ahead of Stephen Auger in third. Surprisingly there was no team prize.

Dani Nimmock won the senior women's 6km race in 20mins 36 secs, building up a minute's lead over Rachel Stringer who was recovering from injury.

Andrew Manning of Yarmouth Road Runners was a clear winner of the veterans' 9.2 km event ahead of Rini Hoogkamer while England international Jane Clark was also a class apart in the masters women's championship.

In the under-20 age group Iona Lake won the women's race and Damian Rogers claimed his first county title in fine style in the men's event.

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In the under-17 men's race Martainn Ramsay of City of Norwich led from the front for a clear lead over his clubmate Tom Hook in the 6km race and had built up a big lead by the finish.

Esme Salmon of City of Norwich was a decisive winner of the under-17 women's race and Scott Greeves took the under-15 boys race.

Emily Hoogkamer ran a very good race, running from the front the whole way to finish ahead of Catherine Lee of Great Yarmouth in the under-15 girls race.

The Under-13 winners were Ashley Waterson (City of Norwich) and Ellie Drake (Diss) while Tom Greenacre and Sophie Bishop, both from City of Norwich, took the under-11 titles.

There was a good spread of titles around the county and teams will be picked for the Inter Counties championship in Birmingham on March 5 as a result of the Norfolk Championships.