Lily “No 1 Womens CC runner in UK”
A fortnight after claiming the English cross country crown, Lily Partridge retained her British inter counties title in Birmingham on Saturday. The Aldershot, Farnham & District runner proved the stronger in a duel with Winchester & District’s Louise Damen, her immediate predecessor as champion, finishing three seconds clear. Third-placed Sarah Astin of Lancashire was almost a minute behind. Damen and AFD’s Louise Small, who was sixth, led a Hampshire sextet to the silver medals. Georgie Bruinvels of AFD was seventh in the colours of Surrey.
The under-20 women’s race was a trial for the World championships later this month. Grace Baker (Sussex) put her case for selection by crossing the line in fourth. Two of her AFD club colleagues were in the Hampshire side that took the bronze medals: Rebecca Howard was 23rd and Carla Plowden-Roberts 32nd. Jack Rowe also put himself into contention for Great Britain’s team in China when placing sixth in the u20 men’s event. He led a Surrey team that included fellow AFD athletes Gus Cockle (14th) and George Gathercole (21st) to bronze medals.
Surrey won the u17 women’s competition, led by the individual silver medallist Niamh Brown. Her AFD colleague Katie Shiel-Rankin was next for the county with 15th. Luke van Oudtshoorn was fourth in the u13 boys’ race but did gain a medal by leading Surrey to second. Jonny Hay was also fourth. Ahead of him in the senior men’s contest were three national champions: Andrew Butchart (Scotland), Dewi Griffiths (Wales) and Charlie Hulson (England).
AFD members contributed to medal-winning performances from Hampshire in both u15 events. Tilly Horton was 21st for the girls who took silver and Robbie Coupland 22nd in the boys’ team that took bronze.