A long trip up to Liverpool for the UK Cross Challenge, but a great experience, watching some great runners compete. Steph Twell coming 3rd (behind Gemma Steel and Kate Avery) in the Senior Womens and guaranteeing a place in the GB XC squad, with AFD pushing 2 runners in to the GB squad at the Junior Women level, Amy Griffiths finishing 3rd and Grace Baker finishing 5th. The men having a little success too, with Johnny Hay qualifying for selection in 4th place in the senior men, but unfortunately, despite some good prospects, nobody qualifying in the Junior Men category which was won, amazingly, by U17’s Ben Dijkstra, with Hampshire favorite Mahamed Mahamed performing well and coming 3rd in his first season in the Junior Mens race. AFD continued with good results in the older categories, seeing Niamh Brown (2nd) and Lucy Pygott (5th) finishing high up in the U17 Women and Jack Boswell (5th) doing the same in the U17 Men. Unfortunately the younger categories were very scarcely populated as far as AFD were concerned, with no runners in the U15 girls and the U15 boys, but at least a little flag flying from Emma Boswell (U13G) and Patrick Brown (U13B) who both had a great first outing at such a massive and major event. What an experience for all who ran.
Robbie looked strong, relaxed and fresh throughout the U17 men’s race, perhaps a little too relaxed finishing 37th overall. The field was very strong, and for the first time in an age I witnessed Robbie do a sprint finish to complete the race, another sign perhaps that he over relaxed in the race. Still a confident run, against strong opposition, in hard conditions so there are plenty of positives to take away. A special congratulations to Matt Willis, bottom year U17’s, in his 3rd place finish and of course to Jack Boswell (AFD) for his 5th place.
1. Tom Mortimer 17:28 (Stroud)
2. Scott Beattie 17:35 (Morpeth Harriers)
3. Matt Willis 17:38 (Wrexham)
4. Sol Sweeney 17:45 (Perth)
5. Jack Boswell 17:47 (AFD)
37. Robbie Coupland 18:49 (AFD)