AFD Triumphant at National Cross Country
Anna Moller led a quartet of runners from Aldershot Farnham & District to the senior women’s title as should took individual gold in the National Cross Country Championships at Nottingham’s Wollaton Park on Saturday. The Dane, who successfully defended her European under-23 crown in December, was soon at the head of the field where she joined Jess Judd of Blackburn Harriers, winner in 2017 when the championships were last held at this venue.
Moller proceeded to open a small gap which Judd closed by taking a wider but firmer line on a muddy part of the course. The response from the AFD athlete was immediate and emphatic as she surged away to an eventual winning margin of 21 seconds over the Northern champion. Next for the club was Lauren Hall who had recently retained her Inter Services title. She was thirteenth while Niamh Brown, fifteenth, and Nancy Scott, nineteenth, also ensured that AFD dethroned Leeds City who were led home by individual bronze medallist Bronwen Owen.
AFD had taken gold medals at the beginning of the meeting when Pippa Roessler, seventh, Rachel Gillett, 36th, Niamh McLoughlin, 37th, and Alice Garner, 39th, took the u17 women’s race on countback from Blackheath & Bromley Harriers whose last counter finished 51st. In the junior women’s event Bracknell had one point to spare over AFD’s trio of Maisie Grice, eleventh, Katie Hughes, seventeenth, and Katriona Brown, 28th, which was just as well for the Berkshire side because their last counter was 41st.
The junior men (Max Heyden, Joe Blacknell, Jack Johnson and Theo Doran) claimed bronze medals as did the u17 men’s team of Woody Jerome, Harry Hyde, Alastair Rushforth and Max Duckworth. Dan Shattock, with his sixth place, led the u15 boys to seventh in their team competition. The other AFD athlete with an individual top ten placing was Owen Smith, seventh in the u13 boys’ race. The other AFD team to gain a top ten placing was the senior men’s with sixth.