Promising displays for West Suffolk athletes at schools championships

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West Suffolk Athletics Club members represented Suffolk at the English Schools Cross Country Championships, with all competing strongly.

Taking place at Whitton Park, Blackburn, Lancashire, teams of eight runners from every county contested six races across the age groups giving around 350 competitors in each race.

First away were the intermediate girls with Megan Newton competing well to finish 46th in a time of 13 minutes and 34 seconds, with club mate Holly Davies running her best race of the winter to finish in 190th in 14:49.

In the junior boys race Thomas McCarthy finished a respectable 138th in a time of 13:12, while there were a host of strong performances in the juniors girls’ race.

Rebecca Daniel bounced back from a below par performance at the Intercounties to a very encouraging 45th in 12:17 while Olivia Allum started far more aggressively than usual and was rewarded with 52nd, just two seconds behind her club mate.

Claudia Spencer-Hall finished 197th in 13:08 while bottom year Libby Walshe finished in 284th in 13:35.

In the intermediate boys race, Adam Crawford clinched a 255th-place finish, while in the senior girls’ race Bronwyn Jacobs worked very hard for 256th (20:31) and Emily Moyes struggled with the underfoot conditions and pulled out at the end of the first lap.

The senior boys’ race proved the most dramatic from the club’s perspective with fallers at the start including Cameron McKie, who picked himself up to chase the disappearing field, eventually finishing in 143rd.

Unaware of the drama behind them, Michael Bartram and Seb Anthony were well placed early on with Bartram in contention for a medal until the last lap where he faded to finish 10th.

Anthony came home in a solid 22nd as Suffolk finished fifth overall.

Meanwhile West Suffolk Athletic club members Lauren Murphy, Cameron Ackroyd, Niall Ackroyd, Charlotte Murphy and Ben Eames were also competing as they represented Cambridgeshire.

n In Wales, Celia Duncan competed in the British Masters Cross Country Championships and finished just outside the medals with an excellent fifth in her age group.

n Elsewhere, Katrina Kemp returned home with a bronze medal from her first major track and field competition of the year; the England Athletics Indoor Pentathlon Championships in Sheffield.