GALLERY: Sara Bird and Aaron Scott lift Suffolk County Cross Country Championships

Chris Rooke (#2) leads eventual winner Aaron Scott (#165)

Chris Rooke (#2) leads eventual winner Aaron Scott (#165) - Credit: Archant

Sara Bird and Aaron Scott lifted the senior titles at the annual Suffolk County Cross Country Championships, staged on a muddy and undulating course at Ickworth Park, Horringer, on Sunday.

The Under 15 Boys winner Paul Wain going around the Ickworth Park course on Sunday

The Under 15 Boys winner Paul Wain going around the Ickworth Park course on Sunday - Credit: Archant

Former West Suffolk AC junior Bird, who runs for Woodford Green with Essex Ladies, retained the title she won on the same course last year. The 26-year-old was 36 seconds clear of the field.

Justine Anthony, of West Suffolk, was a fine second with Odette Robson, of Saint Edmund Pacers, the leading veteran in third.

Robson actually led the Pacers to the senior women’s team title, with support from Claire Hoblyn and Angie Joiner-Handy.

Scott was an equally emphatic winner of the senior men’s race.


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Running in the colours of Woodbridge Shufflers, Scott stormed around the multi-lap course in 43mins 19secs, finishing 29 seconds ahead of runner-up Chris Rooke, from Aldershot, Farnham & District – Rooke was also second last year, to his brother Andrew Rooke (he was fifth on Sunday).

Macauley Delo led West Suffolk’s effort in third, although it was Ipswich JAFFA who proved the most consistent club, easing to the team title with five runners in the top 10.

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Matthew Spencer was JAFFA’s leading performer in fourth – the same position as 12 months ago – backed up by fellow top 10 finishers Ryan Ostler, Brad Jones, Gavin Davies and Jonathan Ling.

Elsewhere, West Suffolk AC had probably its most successful county championships, picking up no less than 10 individual and team gold medals, eight silver and six bronze medals.

The trend was set in the under-13 girls’ race, where West Suffolk filled the top four places, and also six of the first seven spots.

Rebecca Daniel led home this clean sweep of the medals, winning in 12.33 over a 3K course. Olivia Allum put recent injury niggles behind her to take second in 12.45, and Katrina Kemp completed the medal haul in third.

Ipswich Harriers’ Matthew Snowdown finished first in the under-13 boys’ race, followed by Pacers’ Louis Joiner-Hardy and Woodbridge School’s Nathan Goddard. West Suffolk took the team award, thanks to the efforts of a fast finishing Thomas McCarthy, Jess Walters and Tommy Martin.

There was another 1-2-3-4 in the under-15 girls’ age group for the green vests of West Suffolk.

Sophie Tooley retained her individual title, finishing nearly a minute ahead of team-mates Holly Davies, Nella Walters and Megan Newton. Davies pipped Walters to the silver medal by just one second.

The under-15 boys’ race was a personal triumph for Ipswich JAFFA’s Paul Wain. A relative newcomer to the competitive scene, Wain had impressed at a few of the recent junior parkruns. He led home a strong field at Ickworth Park.

Wain clocked 15.13 over a 4K route, a comfortable 14 seconds clear of Harriers’ Henry Milldown. Fellow Harrier, Alex Baxter, who won the under-13 section last year, was third.

There was no stopping Lauren Howe, of Bungay Black Dog, in the under-17 age category. She powered home in first place with 21.06 (5K course), nearly a minute clear of Pacers’ runner-up, Kerry Knott, while West Suffolk’s Emily Moyes held on for the bronze medal.

Michael Bartram, meanwhile, retained his under-17 trophy with a strong run. West Suffolk team-mate Seb Anthony was 17 seconds adrift in second spot, followed by Bungay’s Ted Oldman in third.

Susannah Reid, of the Harriers, added the under-20 county title to the under-17 crown she won 12 months ago, from West Suffolk’s Beth Tooley, while Dominic Oliver, of City of Norwich AC, was first in the men’s equivalent.

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