A trio of runners from Aldershot Farnham & District regained the senior women’s title at the English Cross Country Relay Championships in Mansfield on Saturday. Fielding individual National champion Emily Hosker Thornhill on the opener, AFD led throughout. Hosker Thornhill, the only survivor from the team that won in 2017, came home nine seconds ahead of Lincoln Wellington’s Abbie Donnelly, another Great Britain international, before Niamh Brown, a former junior international new to the senior ranks, extended her club’s lead to nearly half a minute. It was 59 seconds when Lauren Hall, the Inter Services champion, crossed the finish line smiling.
AFD’s other winning performers were their under-17 women. After Rachel Gillett had completed the first leg in eighth, Ruby Horton moved up to fourth. On the anchor Pippa Roessler converted a deficit of three seconds to an advantage of fourteen. She was fastest by over half a minute of all the athletes on the second and third legs and slower than only five who ran the shorter first leg.
In the senior men’s contest, the only one comprising four legs, AFD’s team of Adam Clarke, Ben Bradley, Josh Grace and Richard Allen finished fourth, one place ahead of the club’s B team (Ricky Harvie, Ellis Cross, Gus Cockle and Luke Prior) who had headed them until the final leg. The u17 men were also fourth with Charlie Wagstaff, Harry Hyde and Ryan Martin while both junior sides (Matthew Merrick, Luke van Oudtshoorn and Max Heyden for the men and Maisie Grice, Niamh Reid-Smith and Katriona Brown for the women) came fifth.