Inter counties report


Cross country at Cofton Park

Banbury Harriers athletes produced excellent performances for Oxfordshire as they competed in the natonal Inter-Counties Cross-Country event staged at Cofton Park in Birmingham on Saturday 7th March. 

In the Under 15 girls race, 3 Banbury Harriers lined up for their county alongside 300 of the top cross-country runners from across Great Britain. On a demanding, hilly 4.5km course, Emily Thompson put in another strong performance to be the first of the Oxfordshire girls home and 27th nationally. Thompson's time of 19 minutes 35 seconds left her only 30 seconds short of a top-10 spot and illustrated her improvement from 12 months ago when she finished the same race in 71st position and two years ago when she came 178th. When combined with her performances earlier in the season at Liverpool and Milton Keynes, the run moved Thompson up from 4th to an excellent 2nd place in the prestigious British Athletics Cross Challenge Series, being narrowly beaten to the national title by Derbyshire's Jasmine Cooper. 

Banbury Harrier Jenny Hannah demonstrated her huge potential as an athlete with an excellent run to be the second Oxfordshire girl home in the Under 15 race. Her time of 20 minutes 26 seconds brought her home in 85th position, a real achievement given that she has another year to go in this age category. Lucy Scruton completed Banbury's impressive contribution to the Oxfordshire team's 18th position out of 41 counties, in a good time of 22minutes and 23 seconds. 

All 3 girls are coached by Ros Kelling, who provided the inspiration for her younger athletes by earlier competing in the gruelling 8K Senior Womens' race with an superb time of 31 minutes 48 seconds to finish in 212th position

In other races Angus Pollock recorded an impressive 221st in the under-13 boys and Gregor Kelling an equally strong 248th in the under-17 boys category.

Richard Thompson

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