UK Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships
Cofton Park, Birmingham - 10 March 2012
The UK Inter-Counties Championships were held at Cofton Park, Birmingham with perfect conditions for cross country running.
Senior Women - 8000m
In the Senior Women's race, with the withdrawal of last year's champion Hampshire's Charlotte Purdue, plus several other top Hampshire Women, it was great to have Stephanie Twell return to the Hampshire team again, after her broken ankle injury in Belgium last year. Stephanie has made an amazing recovery with her cross country running, and is now enjoying her running and racing again with good results and competitions. Stephanie was a past individual winner for Hampshire in the Senior Women's Inter-Counties event as a 19 year old in 2009, and was runner up in 2nd place in 2010.
Stephanie Twell set off with the leading women, at a fast pace with 2012 English National Cross Country Champion Gemma Steel and Hannah Doran both competing for Leicestershire. Not far behind was Hampshire's Louise Small in 5th position in her first race as a senior woman after finishing 4th in 2011 Under 20 Women's race. The second part of the race with Gemma Steel pushing the pace Stephanie Twell and Gemma Steel, were locked together stride for stride, then Gemma really put the pressure on coming off the 800m loop into the last kilometre, and began to pull away from Stephanie, and go on and win the race for Leicestershire in a time of 26min 48sec. Stephanie Twell took the silver medal for Hampshire in 27min 03sec. Hannah Doran Leicestershire won the battle for the bronze medal in a time of 27min 25sec. Hampshire's Louise Small who went on to finish 5th in a time of 27min 47sec in her first senior race with a very confident run.
The next two Hampshire women to finish ran extremely well with Amy Campbell 15th & Louise Perrio 16th really strengthened our team results. Jess Andrews also her debut in the senior race, ran well to finish 80th, with Laura Brenton finished 90th to complete the 6 to score places, and regain the title for Hampshire Senior Women winning the 2012 team event. Nicola Blandford was the next to finish in 109th position with Erica Fogg 113th who rounded off the team of 8 Hampshire Women.
248 runners finished the course. 25 counties competed.
1st Hampshire 208pts; 2nd Scotland East 215pts; 3rd Yorkshire 248pts.
Under 20 Women - 6000m
Emelia Gorecka won her sixth consecutive title over the age groups, in the U.K. Inter-Counties for Surrey retaining her Under 20 Championship title.
Emelia and Annabel Gummow of Cornwall ran together for most of the race, with Rhona Auchland of Scotland East and Hampshire's Jess Chen in the chasing pack.
Coming off the hill on the second lap Emelia Gorecka made her move and increasing her pace, went on to win the Under 20 Women's race in 20min 11sec. Annabel Gummow finished in 2nd place, with a time of 20min 28sec. Rhona Auchland took the bronze medal in a time of 21min 11sec. Hampshire athlete Jess Chen had a incredible run to finish 4th in 21min 17sec, followed by Emma Gilmore in 36th position and Amy Bream finished 89th. Grace Crumplin finished 116th completing the 4 to score places.
144 athletes finished the course. 22 counties competed, Hampshire team finished 11th with 245pts
1st Surrey 55pts; 2nd Scotland East 79pts; 3rd Buckinghamshire 97pts.
Under 17 Women - 5000m
Hampshire's Under 17 Women's team finished 10th led home by Carla Plowden-Roberts from the Isle of Wight with a particularly strong run finishing 45th ahead of her Aldershot team mates Rebecca Howard 48th and Rosanna Stewart 51st. Joanne Dean (New Forest Juniors) completed the scoring team in 97th place. Francis Arnott 136th (Southampton), Daena Bennett 149th (Southampton), Tamsin Moran 166th (Winchester) and Jess Gill 249th (New Forest Runners) were the other athletes representing Hampshire.
Under 15 Girls - 4000m
Katie Rowe from Guernsey continued her fine season finishing 8th with Winchester athletes Hannah Knapton (29th) and Emily Stoodley (76th) also running well. Alana Spiers from Southampton completed the team in 110th with Hampshire finishing 10th team. Gemma Gothard (Jersey), Abbie Fisher (Southampton), Gemma Wildash (Basingstoke & Mid Hants) and Caitlin Stewart (Southampton) were the other Hampshire athletes.
Under 13 Girls - 3000m
Lizzie Payne from Southampton finished 25th in the Under 13 Girls, closely followed by Basingstoke's Lucy Wildash in 26th with Josie Czura (City of Portsmouth) 69th and Hannah Froud (New Forest Runners) 83rd completing the team . Hampshire other competitors were Aldershot's Tilly Horton 99th and Stacey Burrows 109th, Yasmin Lookes from Jersey finished 153rd and Hannah Jacobs also from Aldershot 232nd.
Senior Men - 12000m
Hampshire's Senior men excelled in the 9-to-score race claiming a second team in a very competitive event narrowly being beaten by Lancashire. City of Portsmouth Harry Carter having the strongest run in 63rd place with all 9 Hampshire athletes finishing within the top 150.
Under 20 Men - 8000m and Under 17 Men - 6000m
Harvey Dixon (Aldershot) in the Under 20 Men's race continued his fine form finishing 4th leading the team to a 6th place overall. There were also strong runs by Tom Bennett (Andover) 50th, Matthew Gordon (Havant) 62nd, and Christopher Spinks (Havant) 64th. In the Under 17 age group Aldershot's Toby Smith and Harrison Curling had excellent runs in 6th and 7th with Jersey's Daniel Robinson 31st and Brendon O'Connor 73rd from Basingstoke helping the team to 6th place. Stephen Simpson 79th (New Forest Juniors) and Rory Bevis 164th (City of Portsmouth) completed the Hampshire team's runners.
Under 15 Boys - 4500m
Hampshire's Under 15 Boys narrowly missed out on retaining last year's team trophy being beaten by a strong Middlesex team. Last year's Under 13 winner Southampton's George Butler again excelled at this venue moving through to 10th place, supported by Basingstoke's Oliver Butler 15th and Tom Newnham 26th (Isle of Wight) with Peter Ellis 46th (Southampton) completing the team. Good runs also came from Matt Smith 51st (City of Portsmouth), Finlay Wright 58th (Jersey Spartan), Calum Upton 99th (Winchester & District) and Tom Cully 134th (New Forest Juniors)
Under 13 Boys - 3000m
Aldershot's Jack Boswell ran an excellent race for an individual bronze medal supported by Alex Rowe (33rd) from Guernsey. Ben Reed in 74th (Andover) and Edward Mason 76th (Guernsey) completed the scoring team with Hampshire finishing 8th. Sam Costley also had a good run standing in at the last minute as a reserve to finish 113th.
Sheena Fitzmaurice, Hampshire Ladies' Team Manager (Senior and Under 20 Women)
David Vosser, Junior Hampshire Team Manager (Under 13 Boys & Girls, Under 15 Boys & Under 17 Men)