Lily Partridge was crowned English cross country champion in London on Saturday. She thus joins a list of runners that includes her mother who won the title for Aldershot, Farnham & District as Ruth Smeeth. Partridge took control during the second and larger of the two laps around Parliament Hill Fields and completed the eight-kilometre race 48 seconds before AFD team mate Louise Small (under-17s champion in 2009) who had moved into a clear second. Manx Harrier Sarah Astin was the bronze medallist while AFD’s Georgie Bruinvels made it four athletes coached by Mick Woods in the top four. Lauren Hall completed AFD’s victorious team by finishing 31st.
It was an individual silver medallist who led home AFD’s winning u13 boys side. Luke van Oudtshoorn came through strongly in the closing stages of his three-kilometre event to pip Rugby & Northampton’s Midland champion, Adam Caulfield, by two seconds. The title went to Tommy Dawson of Leeds City. Charlie Kershaw finished 30th, Eoin Canning 38th and Theo Doran 59th for AFD.
An AFD trio of Grace Baker, fourth, Amy Griffiths, sixth, and Rebecca Howard, 24th, secured the gold medals in the junior women’s competition. The club’s u17 women also took gold with a team that was led by the fourth-placed runner, Niamh Brown. Daisy D’Santos was eleventh, Katie Shiel-Rankin 35th and Tabitha Bowden 42nd. The u15 girls’ quartet, also triumphant on a day when AFD took half of the team titles,, comprised Eugenie Cockle thirteenth, Stacey Burrows twentieth, Tilly Horton 23rd and Maisia Grice 37th.
AFD’s u17 men claimed the silver medals with Jack Boswell in eighteenth, Jake Cvetkovic 23rd, Nathan Gibson 34th and Dan Rickards 88th. A set of bronze medals was gained for the club by Jack Rowe, twelfth, Gus Cockle, 25th, George Gathercole, 33rd, and Toby Smith 39th in the junior men’s contest.
Written by Roland yeomans and pictures byKay Farrenden