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Another national title for St Edmunds Pacers’ Lewis Sullivan with UK CAU Inter Counties Cross Country Championships

Lewis Sullivan has his eyes fixed on earning a second run for England this month after claiming his second individual national cross country title in three weeks.

The St Edmund Pacers star powered to victory for the first ever time at the UK CAU Inter Counties Cross Country Championships at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough on Saturday, in his last outing in in it in the Under-15 Boys category.

It added to his National Cross Country Championships title in the same age group at Wollaton Park in Nottingham last month.

Lewis Sullivan with his trophy and medal for winning the National Cross Country Championships in Nottinghamshire at the weekend. Picture by Mark Westley. (30247907)
Lewis Sullivan with his trophy and medal for winning the National Cross Country Championships in Nottinghamshire at the weekend. Picture by Mark Westley. (30247907)

“It was amazing as it was the only title I had never won so it was one to tick off the bucket list.” said the Sybil Andrews Academy pupil of his run in the East Midlands.

Having already won the two qualifying events for it this season – one in Cardiff and one in Liverpool – the weekend’s victory also saw him receive the trophy for winning the British Athletics Cross Challenge Series, of which Loughborough was the double points earning final.

He had broke off with the North East’s Christopher Perkins early on with the pair running side-by-side in the muddy conditions for much of the race until Sullivan had the legs to shake him off and end eight seconds ahead. His winning time over the 4.5km course was 14 minutes and 30 seconds.

To make it an even more special weekend, he helped Suffolk win a team award at the Inter Counties Cross Country for only the second time in 20 years, following on from the Girls Under-17s title.

Thetford AC members and Mildenhall College Academy pupils Ben Peck (5th) and brother James (17th) were also part of the U15 Boys’ winning team with Ipswich Harrier Oliver Hitchcock (11th).

“That was pretty incredible as it was only the second time Suffolk have won in 20 years,” he said.

Asked where his individual title ranked, the Moreton Hall-based runner replied: “I would definitely say it is one of the biggest, if not the biggest.”

Despite the recent successes, there is no chance for Sullivan to take a break with another huge event tomorrow when he is due to take to the start line at the New Balance English Schools’ Cross Country Championship in Sefton Park, south of Liverpool.

Having to run in the Under-17 Boys category, he goes into the race looking for his season target of a top eight finish to land a run for England at the SIAB Schools International Cross-Country in Falkirk, Scotland the following weekend.

But the runner who picked up both the Iliffe Media People’s Youth Champion and Newmarket Racecourse Young Sports Personality at the West Suffolk Sports Awards in October, feels the top five is not beyond his reach.

“The top eight would be amazing but with the form I am in at the minute and the way my training has gone I think the top five is definitely achievable.”

The distance is up to 5.5km for the U17 Boys event, but Sullivan said: “It is quite a big step up but for me the longer the better.”

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