England athletes in form in Belgium

England teams were in action at Rotselaar, Belgium, in the Cross Cup event which was also their national championships. Our Women’s teams had great success in their two races.

In the U20 women’s race Becky Briggs (City of Hull AC) won in a time of 16.28 from Shannon Flockhart (Cambridge & Coleridge AC, Mark Vile) who was in second place, 12 secs down. Third came Febe Triest of Belgium and then it was the other England athletes - Maya Todd-McIntyre (Rushcliffe AC, Graham Moffatt) in fourth and Kate O’Neill (Havering AC, Patrick Gahagan) completed an excellent team performance in fifth place.

The Senior Women’s team were also impressive with Kate Holt (City of Stoke AC, Alan Morris) securing another victory in 23.02 winning by 10 seconds ahead two Belgian runners, behind her Nicole Taylor (Tonbridge AC, Richard Owen) just piped Naomi Taschimovitz (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Charlotte Fisher) by one second for 6th and 7th places and Lucy Crookes (Leeds City AC, Philip Townsend) completed the scoring in 8th a further three seconds back. All these ladies are continuing their development and preparing for the end of season climax of The National, UKA CAU Inter Counties (which also serves as the World Cross Country Trial) and then, hopefully, the World Championships in Aarhus in Denmark at the end of March.

The men found the racing very tough, with Belgium’s best and other good Europeans taking part. The U20 Men were led home by another strong performance from Lachlan Wellington (City of Portsmouth AC, Vince Stamp) who again made the podium in 3rd place in a time of 19.38. The race being won by Tim Van De Velde of Belgium in 19.26. Joshua Lay (Rugby & Northampton AC, Anthony Love) was just three seconds behind Lachlan in 4th. Jack Meijer (Milton Keynes AC, Barry Hearn) came in 6th (although currently missing from official results) and Finn Birnie (Newquay & Par AC, John Knowles) was 9th.

The Senior Men found the leaders too good on the day but worked hard with John Millar (Ipswich AC, Stephen Hicks) the first home for our quartet in 6th position recording 28.29, Jack Gray (Cambridge & Coleridge AC, Nick Price) was 15 seconds behind in 9th with Alex Teuten (Southampton AC, Roderick Locke) just behind in 11th and Corey De’Ath (Tonbridge AC, Mick Woods) completing the team of four in 14th. Their race being won in 27.20 by Belgium’s Lander Tijigat from Richard Ringer of Germany in second.

This event concluded the ECCA International season and now the focus for the cross country community shifts to “The National” at Harewood House, Leeds, on 23 February.