National cross country glory for City of Norwich Athletic Club juniors
- Credit: Andrew Winship
National glory is being savoured at City of Norwich Athletic Club after a fantastic performance from the club's under-15 girls team.
The young athletes were on top form at the English Cross Country Championships, held at Donington Park in Derbyshire, to win team gold.
Nine young Conac members were competing in the U15 category, against over 350 runners from 32 clubs from across England, with the highest four finishers making up the team score.
Nelly Porter was the first Norwich competitor to finish, in 13th place in a time of 17 minutes and 12 seconds, closely following by Meredith Winship and Katie Goldsmith, who both finished just three seconds further back for 16th and 17th place.
Relative newcomer Emma Hunter then completed the team score by coming home in 25th place in 17.29mins – seeing Conac edge Liverpool Harriers into first place for the team title, by just one place.
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It added to their team gold at the South of England Cross Country Championships earlier in the year and the U13 national title the same group won last year.
Conac coach David Pring said: 'It was great to be there on the day and to see all their hard work come to fruition.
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'They are a really good team and gel well together. They train together and support each other, that's a really big part of their group ethos.'
Also competing for Conac at U15 level was Ellie Taylor (37th), Rachel Bruce (56th), Lucy Emmett (98th), Sophie Peach (107th) and Yen-Yen Loke (131st). With much of the group at the lower end of the age group, hopes are high for further success in the future as well.
'The girls have a good support network and I think the kids like to have their parents around, even though they may not say so,' Pring added. 'The parents certainly like to be there and are quite happy to get up and get on a bus at 6.30 in the morning to Donington or wherever – and that takes commitment.'