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Aldershot, Farnham and District AC

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Double National wins

Mike Neighbour

Two senior women runners from Aldershot Farnham & District took national cross country titles on Saturday. Steph Twell became Scottish champion nine years after her English victory while the new English champion is Emily Hosker Thornhill. Twell was competing in the colours of Kilbarchan, the club nearest to where her mother has lived, and gained control during the latter half of the ten-kilometre race at Falkirk. She won by thirteen seconds from Moira Stewart, a Czech international competing for Cambuslang, as 2017 champion Morag Millar (Central) claimed third ahead of last year’s champion Mhairi Maclennan (Edinburgh University Hare & Hounds).

Meanwhile in Leeds, Hosker Thornhill triumphed in a duel with Pippa Woolven, who was ninth in December’s European championships, after the pair had broken away from the rest of the field. The AFD athlete went clear of her rival during the last of eight kilometres and crossed the line eleven seconds before the Wycombe Phoenix Harrier. Another 24 seconds later, Jess Judd (Blackburn Harriers), the 2017 champion, claimed the bronze medal. Louise Small finished fifth but, despite AFD also having Lauren Hall sixteenth and Laura Gent 28th, the club was beaten in the team competition by Leeds City whose quartet totalled three points less.

AFD did win the under-15 boys’ team competition. Woody Jerome was ninth, Charlie Wagstaff twelfth, Ethan Scott fifteenth and Max Duckworth twentieth. In the u17 men’s event, where the club was fourth, Will Barnicoat was the individual runner-up a year after taking silver in the u15s’ age group. There was a set of silver medals for the junior women’s team when Nancy Scott, ninth, Lizzie Squibbs, 37th, and Niamh Reid-Smith, 56th, scored a total two points more than gold medallists Herne Hill Harriers. AFD’s senior men were sixth, u15 girls seventh and junior men ninth.