Fourteen West Suffolk athletes take part in English Championships

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West Suffolk Athletics Club (WSAC) supplied 14 runners for the 2013 English Schools Cross Country Championships in Derbyshire.

The races at Catton Parkconsist of teams of eight runners from each of the English counties, giving around 330 competitors per race.

West Suffolk had 11 competing for Suffolk and three for Cambridgeshire.

First to run were the inter girls and Charlotte Murphy, representing Cambridgeshire, had a superb race, hanging on for 24th (second Cambs) from 320 finishers, clocking 14 minutes six seconds.

Emily Moyes enjoyed an excellent run to 138th (second Suffolk) in 15.21.

Next were the junior boys, racing over 4,200m, and Niall Ackroyd delivered once again with a battling 35th (second Cambs, team bronze) in 15.40, passing more than 100 runners in the closing stages.

WSAC’s largest representation came in the junior girls’ race, with four running for Suffolk and one for Cambridgeshire.

Sophie Tooley finished in a blanket finish for fourth to sixth, with all three given the same time of 11.09, receiving her second England vest as a result.

Holly Davies also came good as a strong finish produced a pleasing 38th (second Suffolk) in 11.54.

Megan Newton was happy with a hard-fought 61st (third Suffolk) in 12.06 from more than 300 runners.

Lauren Murphy again lost a shoe, but finished in a respectable 130th (second Cambs) in 12.29.

Mikayela Sealby justified her late call-up from reserve by placing a solid 241st in 13.10 and fifth of eight Suffolk runners.

In the inter boys’ race, Michael Bartram failed to finish and Seb Anthony, who was suffering from illness, could do no more than jog around at the rear of the field.

Ben Eames fnished eighth and is now preparing for his England debut.

Also looking like coming into excellent form ahead of the track season, Matt Le Poidevin was pleased with 100th (third Suffolk).

Next was Katie Duncan in senior girls in an encouraging 184th (fourth Suffolk).

In the final race, for senior boys, Mac Delo bounced back from a below-par performance the previous weekend for a valiant eighth.

A student at West Suffolk College, he has qualified for the final of the British Colleges Championships, being held in Bath this weekend.

Meanwhile, further north in Sunderland, Maureen McCarthy contested the British Masters Cross Country Championships, finishing an excellent third V50.

n Saint Edmund Pacers were represented at the English Schools Cross Country Championships as well.

Emma Watts was fourth Suffolk finisher in the intermediate girls’ race in 227th, while Emily Strickland (266th) and Molly O’Donnell (301st) also competed in this age group.

In the senior girls’ section, Emily Gooderham was fifth Suffolk scorer in 194th position.

Meanwhile, the Pacers were also in action at the previous weekend’s Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships, staged at Cofton Park in Derbyshire.

Emma Watts was first Suffolk finisher in the under-17 women’s race in 22mins 44secs.

She was followed by club-mates Emily Gooderham (174th in 23.52), Emily Strickland (185th in 24.07), Alice Maguire (188th in 24.12) and Kerry Knott (202nd in 24.48).

Ciara O’Donnell was 286th in the under-15 girls’ age group, while Jo Coates was 183rd in the senior women’s race.