While last weekend was county Champs weekend there was also the televised Edinburgh international cross country great to see the AFD three of Steff Twell, Niamh Brown and Gus Cockle in action.
Louise Small won the senior women’s race at the Hampshire cross country championships by nearly one and a half minutes from Guernsey Island’s Sarah Mercier, the athlete who had taken the title from her last year. The Aldershot, Farnham & District runner was continuing her form of last month when she finished ahead of the whole England squad in Brussels.
Daisy D’Santos won the under-20 women’s race by a minute and a second, acquiring another gold medal when Lucy Rochford, sixth, Evie Grice, seventh, and Rebekah Pantony, ninth, joined her in compiling the event’s only complete team. Harry Hyde also picked up two gold medals as he led Oliver Harris, fifth, Ryan Martin, sixth, and Bailey Roberts, thirteenth, to AFD’s victory in the u13 boys’ event.
Jack Boswell triumphed in the u17 men’s competition by nearly half a minute from Jersey Spartan’s Sam Maher who was sixth over 1500 metres at the Commonwealth Youth Games in September. AFD’s other individual gold medallist at Botley was Austin Soane in the over-60 men’s category.
Other team gold medals for the club came from the u17 women (Lucy Pygott, second, Stacey Burrows, third, Maisie Grice, fourth, and Tilly Horton, seventh) and the u13 girls (Charlie Parsons, third, Emily Squibbs, fourth, Alice Garner, fifth, and Emma Boswell, fourteenth). Bryn Smith took an individual bronze in the u20 men’s event.
All four of AFD’s individual winners at the Surrey championships in Dorking led their teams to gold. Georgie Bruinvels successfully defended her senior women’s crown. She was supported by Katie Bingle, fourth, Laura Gent, fifth, and Hannah-Rose Thomas, seventh. The club won the combined u20 and u17 women’s competition. Overall winner Katie Shiel-Rankin was backed by Nancy Scott, third, and Gabi Eglen, fifth.
George Gathercole was victorious in the u20 men’s event where MacGregor Cox was fourth and Nathan Gibson fifth. Max Heyden claimed the u15 boys’ title while AFD’s other counters were Marcus Shantry, fifth, Joseph Jakubait, seventh, and Eoin Canning, tenth. The club also provided the winning team in the u15 boys’ race with Alfie Spear fifth, Sam Bodoano sixth, Ed Henderson seventh and Theo Cheshire 23rd. Ollie Percival took silver in the u17 men’s event and Jack Rowe was the senior men’s bronze medallist.