Aldershot, Farnham & District’s women came third in the European Clubs Cross Country Championships, held in Spain on Sunday. The best team performance in AFD history, and the best British club performance for many years.
They also had the third individual runner, Lily Partridge, plus Steph Twell in fourth .
Partridge crossed the line eleven seconds behind Irene Cheptai who was tenth at the last World Cross Country Championships.
Cheptai, a Kenyan representing Turkish side Uskudar Belediye, came home three seconds before team mate Ozlem Kaya who competed for Turkey in the steeplechase at the London Olympics. The Turks beat the host nation for the title.
successful day was completed by Georgie Bruinvels finishing 23rd, Louise Small 25th, Emily
Wicks 27th and Daisy D’Santos 43rd.
Emelia Gorecka and Jonny Hay both regained the British Universities cross country titles in Brighton on Saturday. Gorecka (Royal Holloway, University of London) finished eighteen seconds before Sarah Astin who was the same distance in front of another AFD athlete, Amy Griffiths as both helped St Mary’s University to second place in the team competition. AFD’s Grace Baker (Royal Holloway) was eighth. Hay beat two fellow members of the GB u23 men’s team at December’s European championships. He and Jonny Davies (Reading AC) led Birmingham to victory in Stanmer Park, ahead of Callum Hawkins (Kilbarchan AC and West Scotland), who was one place behind the AFD man when fifth in Bulgaria.
AFD had two more winners at the South East Schools inter counties meeting in Reigate on the same day. Jack Boswell led Hampshire to the silver medals with a senior boys’ team that also included club colleagues Robbie Coupland (ninth) and Jake Cvetkovic (fifteenth). The county was second and provided the individual winner, Nathan Gibson, in the intermediate boys’ event too. Hampshire did win the senior girls’ race, helped by Beth Heddle, who was seventh, and Rebekah Pantony, fourteenth. Surrey, with Gabi Eglen in eleventh, came third. Surrey took the gold medals in the junior girls’ race, aided by Katriona Brown’s thirteenth placing. The county’s junior boys (Marcus Shantry sixteenth) took bronze medals. The bronze medals in the intermediate girls’ event went to Hampshire (Lucy Pygott tenth).