9 wins in 10 years for AFD
Aldershot, Farnham & District’s runners regained the senior women’s national four-stage road relay title and retained the under-17 women’s at Sutton Coldfield on Saturday.
Louise Small, the only survivor (and non-teenager) from last year’s quartet that surrendered the senior crown after eight consecutive victories, again had the anchor leg but this time set off in second place, five seconds behind the leader.
Emily Hosker-Thornhill had put the club into that second place, following legs by Philippa Bowden and Laura Gent, by clocking the event’s equal fifth fastest time. Small was fourth fastest when overhauling Birchfield’s Louise Webb who, like the AFD athlete, took a bronze medal in the 2009 European junior track and field championships. The winning margin was 22 seconds.
AFD’s u17 women also commenced the last of their three legs in second place. After stints by Maisie Grice (equal ninth fastest) and Eugenie Cockle, Lucy Pygott found herself chasing Faye Ireland of Liverpool Harriers, the English Schools intermediate champion at 3000 metres, the distance of the circuit in Sutton Park.
It is also the distance at which Pygott gained her bronze medal at the European Youth championships during the summer and she recorded the second quickest lap to turn a deficit of 22 seconds into an advantage of eighteen at the finish.
Harry Hyde in the u13 boys’ competition was also second quickest.
Following legs by Ryan Martin (fifth fastest) and Theo Cheshire, he went from sixth to second but could not catch Herne Hill’s Jacob Harrison, who had started nearly a minute before him, and AFD had to settle for the silver medals. Other top-ten placings for the club were achieved by the senior men (with Josh Grace, who led the opener, sixth fastest overall), the u17 men and the senior women’s B team..