Aldershot, Farnham & District’s runners came away from Saturday’s English National Cross Country Championships at Donington Park in Leicestershire with four golds, one silver and one bronze in both the individual and the team categories. The club’s senior women retained both titles. Lily Partridge eased away from Claire Duck of Leeds City during the second of their two four-kilometre laps for a ten-second win over the North of England champion. Georgie Bruinvels finished eighth, Louise Small twelfth and Katie Bingle 26th for a score which was almost a hundred points less than the total of the quartet from runners-up Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield.
Jonny Hay became senior men’s champion after repelling a late challenge from Southend on Sea’s Adam Hickey to a big lead that the AFD man had built in the twelve-kilometre race. Hickey, who finished ahead of Hay in December’s European championship, eventually crossed the line seven seconds down.on the 2011 and 2012 junior champion.
The 2016 junior men’s champion is Ellis Cross. He won by 29 seconds from team mate Gus Cockle who was 17 seconds up on Chris Olley of Tonbridge, a Great Britain junior representative in European championships on both track and country last year. Jack Rowe was twelfth, one ahead of Matt Arnold, as they formed the second half of the victorious AFD quartet.
The club’s victorious under-17 women’s team included the individual winner and bronze medallist. For most of the five-kilometre event, Niamh Brown and Lucy Pygott waged a battle along with Sabrina Sinha of Cambridge Harriers, a finalist in the 1500 metres at last summer’s World Youth Championships, which ended with Brown securing a five-second victory over the Kent athlete and Pygott coming home a further six seconds behind. Stacey Burrows came nineteenth, while Tilly Horton, with 26th, finished before three of Blackheath & Bromley’s silver-medal quartet.
AFD’s other set of team golds came courtesy of their u13 boys. Ryan Martin, eleventh, Harry Hyde, sixteenth, Sam Bodoano, 27th, and Theo Cheshire, 43rd, beat Tonbridge by twelve points. AFD’s silver-medal winning team was the junior women’s trio of Rebecca Howard, thirteenth, Gabi Eglen, 28th, and Megan Gildea, 57th. Max Heyden, 28th, Luke van Oudtshoorn, 52nd, Marcus Shantry, 53rd, and Eoin Canning, 60th, claimed bronze medals for the club in the u15 boys’ competition. Both the u17 men (Jack Boswell, fifteenth, Robbie Coupland, 39th, Ollie Percival, 48th, and Harry Grace, 94th) and u13 girls (Charlie Parsons, 28th, Alice Garner, 45th, Emma Boswell, 104th, and Charlotte Borgars, 113th) took sixth place.