City of Norwich AC athletes tackle tough cross country course in Saucony South of England Cross Country Championships
The course prepared for the Saucony South of England Cross Country Championships held in Stanmer Park, Brighton was classified as a true test of cross country running – and so it proved for the competing City of Norwich AC athletes.
Medals on this occasion were at a premium, with only the U13 boys, racing over 3,000m, and U15 girls, racing over 4,000m, mounting the podium. Luke Spear, in 17th, led the U13 boys to team bronze and was ably backed by Jacob Cotton (29th), Alfie Linstead (38th) and Cameron Lindsey (53rd).
For the U15 girls it was Megan Soanes, in 30th position, who led the team to bronze. Sophie Alden (37th), Alice Cheverton (46th) and Megan Bird (53rd) made up the scoring four.
Top individual performance on the day was from Tom Hook. Covering a torturous 6,000m, Hook was always in the pack, but with only 600m to go he found himself isolated in fifth, and after putting in a strong finish he missed out on bronze by the smallest of margins.
Sean Watson, despite suffering from the after-effects of a chest infection, hung in to finish 78th. Callum Russell (91st) and Luke Alden (114th) both acquitted themselves well.
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Juliet Broster was the club's sole representative in the Junior Ladies' 6,000m race, finishing 24th. Tasha Potgieter also posted a pleasing 24th in the U17 girls' 5,000m. Catherine Longe and Anna Bakewell, in the U13 girls' 3,000m, finished 48th and 86th respectively.
The Junior Men, competing over 8,000m, were brought home by Alex Dunbar in 17th. Ollie Maskell crossed the line in 37th, followed by Damian Rogers in 59th. Ben Stratton (64th) closed the scoring quartet. .
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Last year the senior ladies took the team title. With cry-offs due to injury and other commitments they could not repeat that, although for Ellie Matthews the 8,000m test proved to be a happy hunting ground when she ran an excellent race to finish 27th out of 340 finishers. Nicky Alford was 52nd and Louise Wilkinson 134th.
The senior men had to tackle a race over 1,5000m, which tested their resolve to the limit. Hills galore confronted the 800 competitors over their four-lap course and it was Nick Earl who led the club's quartet home in 54th position. It was a satisfying return to serious competition for Steve Cannell who came home i106th followed by Josh Entwistle in 142nd.
Long-serving club member Jonny Quint closed in for the squad, crossing the line in 207th position.