Three Suffolk athletes celebrate top-10 places at Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships
- Credit: Andy Abbott
Three Suffolk athletes posted top-10 finishes at the annual CAU Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships, held over a muddy and demanding course at Prestwood Hall, Loughborough, on Saturday.
Up against the top runners from every county in Great Britain, with fields of up to 300 or more in each race, Suffolk had an excellent day.
Leading the way was highest placed finisher Ruby Vinton, who surged to an impressive eighth place in the under-13 girls’ race.
One of the younger runners in this event, 11-year-old Vinton clocked 14mins 39secs, finishing just 19 seconds adrift of the medal positions.
A pupil at Woodbridge School, and a member of Ipswich Harriers, Vinton won the South of England Championships in Brighton at the end of January, and lifted the Anglian Schools crown just a week later.
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Meanwhile, Lewis Sullivan continued his fine season by finishing 10th in the under-13 boys’ race at Loughborough.
Sullivan led home a strong Suffolk contingent in this age group. He clocked 13:04, just 25 seconds behind the race winner, Dorset’s William Rabjohns.
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An in-form Sullivan, who is a pupil at Sybil Andrews Academy on Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds, and is a member of Saint Edmund Pacers, was fourth at the English National Championships at Parliament Hill just a fortnight earlier.
Suffolk had two other top-30 finishers in this under-13 section, with James Peck in 17th and Oliver Hitchcock 23rd. There were also strong runs from Elliot Gladwell (69th), Ryan Grady (88th), Ben Peck (116th) and Max Berry (139th).
And the quartet of Sullivan, Peck, Hitchcock and Gladwell had the distinction of securing fifth spot for Suffolk in the under-13 boys’ team event.
The third Suffolk athlete to celebrate a top-10 berth was Charlotte Christensen, who powered home in ninth slot in the senior ladies’ race.
A former member of Ipswich Harriers, Christensen now runs for Cambridge & Coleridge. She was third at the South of England event, and 11th at the recent National Championships, as well as finishing fourth at an international event in Belgium.
West Suffolk AC’s Justine Anthony also fared well in Saturday’s event, which featured 270 finishers, taking 53rd spot.
Suffolk had three top-100 results in the under-15 girls’ event, with just one second separating Holly Fisher and Tilly Aldis in 56th and 59th positions. Mimi Salsby was 96th.
In the under-17 women’s age group, Stowmarket Striders’ twin sisters Maddie Jordan-Lee (29th) and Millie Jordan-Lee (64th) had good runs.
Tom Henson led home Suffolk’s under-15 boys’ team in 72nd spot, backed up by Fred Adams (89th) and Charlie Turner (110th), while Nathan Goddard was first home for the county in the under-17 men’s section in 114th.
The Ipswich Harriers duo of Thomas Adams (53rd) and Alex Tripp (59th) both featured highly in the under-20 men’s race, and there was a cracking run from 20-year-old Jack Miller in the senior men’s event.
Fresh from his terrific fourth spot in the junior men’s race at the English National Championships at Parliament Hill, from a fortnight ago, Ipswich Harriers’ Millar was a fine 20th at Loughborough.
A steeplechase specialist on the track, Millar was also 23rd at last month’s British Universities Championships at Brunel University in Uxbridge.
A few runners from the north-east corner of the county ran for Essex at the same event, including Colchester Harriers’ Milly Presland, who was 85th in the under-15 girls’ age group.
Elsie Gray, of Colchester & Tendring AC, claimed 91st in the under-17 women’s event, while club-mate Matthew Brayshaw registered 113th among the under-15 boys.
Henry Dover, also of the CATS, ran in the under-13 boys’ race, although he was hampered by a heavy cold.
Southend-based Adam Hickey was third overall in the senior men’s race, which was won by Mahamed Mahamed (Hampshire), but there were some strong performances from the Colchester Harriers’ double act of Angus Holford (85th) and Ramadan Osman (154th).
The Essex senior men’s team, which finished 11th, also included Havering’s Grant Twist (36th), Rob Warner (112th) and Billericay Striders’ Crispian Bloomfield (133rd).