Ellie runs off with under-20 title

ELLIE Sprake warmed up for an international appearance in Spain by winning the under-20 title at the annual Suffolk County Cross Country Championships, staged at Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, on Sunday.

Carl Marston

ELLIE Sprake warmed up for an international appearance in Spain by winning the under-20 title at the annual Suffolk County Cross Country Championships, staged at Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, on Sunday.

Sprake, of Ipswich Harriers, led home all the senior women on her way to the county crown. The Birmingham University student clocked 21mins 13secs for the 6K distance.

The Halesworth-based runner is now looking forward to running for Great Britain's junior women at an international meeting in Spain this weekend.


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Sprake was just one of several runners coached by Steve Benson, a Great Britain manager and coach at Ipswich Harriers, to taste success at Holbrook. These included the winners in the senior men's race, and both the under-15 events.

Chris Rooke lifted the senior county crown with a degree of comfort, finishing more than half-a-minute clear of runner-up Aaron Scott, of Woodbridge Shufflers, and the experienced Gordon Irvine, who now runs for Thames Valley Harriers.

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Kelvin Hardy, who had won the previous two years at RAF Barnham and Hadleigh, did not defend his title due to a bout of glandular fever.

Saint Edmund Pacers retained their senior men's team trophy, thanks to the efforts of leading veteran Peter Barker (fourth), Steve Robinson (fifth), David Reed (sixth and second veteran) and Chris Cooke (11th).

There was another impressive run from Greg Billington, of Newmarket Joggers. The former Inter-Counties under-17 cross country champion, who has dual British and US nationality, blasted around two laps to win Suffolk's top under-20 award.

Helen Decker, of Ipswich Jaffa, won the senior women's race to begin 2008 as she ended 2007 - in a winning mood. Decker was 22 seconds ahead of Stowmarket Striders' Tamara Jordan, who had the edge over her Ipswich rival during last summer's Friday Five Series.

Natasha Belsom was third to join Decker in the winning Jaffa team, that was closed out by veteran Val Jennings in ninth spot.

Elsewhere, Samantha Jacks led home a Waveney Valley AC one-two in the under-17 women's age group. Club-mate Alice Wicks was second, with West Suffolk AC's Zara McLoone in third.

The Ipswich Harriers double act of Charlotte Christensen and Mary Galbraith were first and second respectively in the under-15 girls' race, and the Harriers also struck gold in the under-15 boys' section, thanks to a storming run from Shaun Webb.

As usual, the under-13 races were very competitive. Brandeston Hall's Susannah Reid won the girls' title, while Tom Eames, of West Suffolk AC, triumphed in the boys' section.

West Suffolk AC enjoyed a good afternoon, scooping eight individual medals and five team awards. In addition to Eames, who pipped Jonnie Bland by just five seconds to win the under-13 title, there was a victory for Bury St Edmunds club-mate Andrew Ridley in the last race of the day, for under-17 men. Ridley won an exciting sprint for the line, finishing a mere three seconds ahead of Waveney Valley's Samuel Cheverton.

Ridley also helped his club to the team gold medals, supported by Michael Cripps (third), Charlie Fry (seventh) and Alex Dunbar (eighth).

There was a similar success for West Suffolk in the under-20 men's category, due to the trio of Ed Fry (second), Paul Mayes (fourth) and Andy Waterhouse (sixth).

West Suffolk AC's Alex Groiss and Dominic Thackery were second and third respectively in the under-15 boys' race, behind Webb, while Emily Barker was third in the under-15 section.

Suffolk County Championship results

Senior women (top 20): 1 H Decker (IJ) 21.36; 2 T Jordan (SS) 21.58; 3 N Belsom (IJ) 22.42; 4 S Bird (WGEL) 23.11; 5 A Thorrington (53-12) 23.43; 6 S Colson (WS) 23.44; 7 M Narey (SS) 23.48; 8 A Henry (SJ) 24.02; 9 V Jennings (IJ) 24.25; 10 C Anthony (SEP) 24.37.

11 N Hale (IJ) 24.40; 12 M McCarthy (SEP) 25.12; 13 P Rooney (WO) 25.16; 14 P Partridge (SEP) 25.26; 15 A Canham (SAX) 25.33; 16 H Suttle (SS) 25.36; 17 E Glover (NJ) 25.42; 18 S Vick (SAX) 26.33; 19 H Bingham (SS) 26.46; 20 J Brown (IJ) 27.01.

Teams: 1 IJ; 2 SS; 3 SEP.

Senior men (top 20): 1 C Rooke (IH) 36.22; 2 A Scott (WO) 37.09; 3 G Irvine (TV) 37.16; 4 P Barker (SEP) 38.12; 5 S Robinson (SEP) 38.50; 6 D Reed (SEP) 39.13; 7 D Laing (IJ) 40.00; 8 W Benton (SJ) 40.03; 9 C Ridley (WS) 40.16; 10 G Davies (IJ) 40.19.

11 C Cooke (SEP) 40.36; 12 R Weston (IJ) 40.36; 13 I Day (Ely) 41.32; 14 M Ball (NJ) 41.49; 15 N Stephens (SS) 41.49; 16 A Dawson (SEP) 41.56; 17 D Palmer (IH) 42.05; 18 T Jarrett (IJ) 42.28; 19 M Clarke (SJ) 42.35; 20 J Long (SEP) 42.45.

Teams: 1 SEP; 2 IJ; 3 SJ; 4 SS.

Under-20 women: 1 E Sprake (IH) 21.13.

Under-20 men: 1 G Billington (NJ) 23.48; 2 E Fry (WS) 26.44; 3 J Entwistle (IH) 27.09; 4 P Mayes (WS) 27.10; 5 J Palmer (IH) 28.48; 6 A Waterhouse (WS) 30.19; 7 T Taylor (IH) 30.24. Teams: 1 WS; 2 IH.

Under-17 women (top 10): 1 S Jacks (WV) 23.34; 2 A Wicks (WV) 25.04; 3 Z McLoone (WS) 25.12; 4 M Burt (WV) 25.19; 5 A Marriott (WS) 25.21; 6 A Simpson (IH) 25.41; 7 E Mortimer (IJ) 26.03; 8 H Waters (WS) 26.12; 9 A Beales (WV) 26.20; 10 F Waterhouse (WS) 26.40. Teams: 1 WV; 2 WS; 3 SEP.

Under-17 men (top 10): 1 A Ridley (WS) 19.29; 2 S Cheverton (WV) 19.32; 3 M Cripps (WS) 19.36; 4 C Dunbar (WV) 19.47; 5 E Palmer (IH) 19.56; 6 C Fry (WS) 20.06; 7 A Dunbar (WS) 20.25; 8 J Bird (IH) 21.08; 9 J Ling (IH) 21.40; 10 J Maycock (WV) 22.48. Teams: 1 WS; 2 WV; 3 IH.

Under-15 girls (top 10): 1 C Christensen (IH) 15.53; 2 M Galbraith (IH) 16.33; 3 E Barker (WS) 16.41; 4 K Barnard (WS) 17.00; 5 S Nicklin (IH) 17.04; 6 H Petterson (IH) 17.21; 7 R Ademdkun (IH) 17.30; 8 E Burroughs (IH) 18.16; 9 K Hamilton (IH) 18.39; 10 S Driver (NJ) 18.45. Teams: 1 IH; 2 WV.

Under-15 boys (top 10): 1 S Webb (IH) 13.02; 2 A Groiss (WS) 13.34; 3 D Thackery (WS) 14.15; 4 A Burnett (SHS) 14.35; 5 J Garvin (IH) 14.44; 6 A Tanner (IH) 14.55; 7 B Magnall (IH) 15.10; 8 A Jordan (CHS) 15.19; 9 R Hinton-Smith (FRR) 15.30; 10 J Powley (IJ) 15.57. Teams: 1 IH; 2 WS.

Under-13 girls (top 10): 1 S Reid (BHS) 12.13; 2 M Soanes (WV) 12.24; 3 K McWhirter (IHS) 12.26; 4 J Seller (IH) 12.37; 5 S Carson (WS) 12.58; 6 J Ramsey (IH) 13.12; 7 R Laidlaw (SEP) 13.27; 8 A Maguire (SEP) 13.39; 9 J Gooderham (SEP) 13.43; 10 C Hicks (SF) 13.48. Teams: 1 SEP; 2 BHS; 3 IH.

Under-13 boys (top 10): 1 T Eames (WS) 11.04; 2 J Bland (OPS) 11.09; 3 O Jones (IH) 11.27; 4 C McKie (DI) 11.31; 5 A Revell (IH) 11.34; 6 G Byrne-Hill (OPS) 11.38; 7 S Harrison (SEP) 11.44; 8 R Tennant (IH) 11.47; 9 A Cripps (WS) 11.50; 10 J Finney (BHS) 11.56. Teams: 1 IH; 2 WS; 3 OPS.

KEY: IH - Ipswich Harriers; WS - West Suffolk AC; SEP - Saint Edmund Pacers; WV - Waveney Valley AC; IJ - Ipswich Jaffa; SS - Stowmarket Striders; NJ - Newmarket Joggers; BHS - Brandeston Hall School; HIS - Ipswich High School; SF - St Felix Middle School; OPS - Orwell Park School; DI - Diss AC; SHS - Stowmarket High School; FRR - Felixstowe Road Runners; CHS - Claydon High School; WO - Woodbridge Shufflers; TV - Thames Valley Harriers; SJ - Sudbury Joggers; WGEL - Woodford Green & Essex Ladies.

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