Kelly Rushton and Ben Russell are top Norfolk Cross Country seniors

In-form Kelly Rushton of City of Norwich AC out-paced last year's Norfolk Cross Country champion Marie French of Ryston Runners to win the senior women's four-mile race over a fairly flat and fast course at Barnham Common.

In the senior men's race Liverpool Harrier Ben Russell retained his title.

Setting the pace from the start Russell built up a lead of more than a minute with a time of 30 minutes 6 seconds. In second place in the six-mile race was Robert Simmonds of Ryston Runners.

City of Norwich AC's Iona Lake was a classy winner of the under-20 women's race and will surely be looking for bigger successes later in the season.

Tom Hook, returning from injury, had no trouble stepping up to the U20 age group with a clear win in the five mile race.

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There were good wins for Scott Greeves in the U17 race and also for Ashley Waterson in the U15 boys' event.

There were over 170 competitors in the championships and the gloomy, foggy conditions did little to inhibit the competitors.

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As usual the veterans' races had the largest fields. Evan Riley of the host club Thetford had a convincing win in the men's six-mile race. To ensure that there was a spread of titles in the championships, Norfolk Gazelles won the team title.

Lynn Emmett (Bungay Black Dog) did enough to hold off Catherine Ricketts (Norwich Road Runners) in the closely- fought ladies veterans' race.

There were disappointing entries in the U17 and U20 age groups, but while there may have been a lack of numbers there was no lack of quality. As a result of the championships athletes will be selected to represent Norfolk in the National Inter Counties event at Cofton Park, Birmingham in March.

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