Sussex athletes made history at the weekend taking the first ever senior men’s team medal at the National Inter-counties Cross Country Champs and Brighton and Hove’s Kevin Moore, Jamie Knapp and Will Cork were key to this success.
The Sussex team won a fantastic bronze at the prestigious annual event, which was held at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough, on Saturday. They were led home by Lewes Tom Evans who took the individual bronze medal in 38.15 improving on last year’s 9th place. Few senior runners have previously won medals at these championships but both Eric Weir, before the war, and Steve Ovett, when still with Brighton and Hove AC, did win the title. The scoring men’s team on Saturday was Jack Leitch (WDH) in 14th (39.53), Kevin Moore (B&H) 25th (40.24), Jamie Knapp (B&H) 33rd (40.45), Simon Heath (Phx) 78th (42.12) and Will Cork (B&H) 103rd (42.38).
The senior men’s race was the last of the day, but there had been no shortage of high standard racing to enjoy beforehand. Kicking off the races were the under 20 men, where Sussex had seven top 100 finishers, with our own Tomer Tarragano near the winning pack in 5th place (31.59). Joe Clayson was 86th in 36:02. The team came 8th overall.
This race was followed by the under 13 girls, which with 306 competitors saw the biggest field of the day. Dulcie Yelling (B&H) topped the Sussex runners over the line in 58th, Rosie Gasson was 108th and Macy Brooking 197th.
In the Senior Women’s race Jade Elphick was 126th in 51:52 and Lydia Growns (main photo) was 137th in 52.20.
Next to set off were the Under 15 boys, where Henry Yelling finished in 83rd (16.03).
Although the weather on the day was pleasant, as a result of weeks of heavy rainfall, conditions underfoot were extremely heavy for all runners. By the time the Under 17 women set off the ground had got even more churned making it a gruelling 5k. Several athletes succumbed to this and many collapsed as the race progressed.
This didn’t stop Bodyworks’ Bethany Cook who dug in to take the silver medal (matching last year’s achievement) in 21.10. Brighton’s Lois Dooley was part of the scoring U17 team finishing 78th in 24.02 for a fifth place team finish overall. Ella Matthews had a strong run for 196th and unfortunately club mate Emily Muzio’s race ended 100m from the finish line when she unexpectedly stopped.
In the Under 13 boys coming the second Sussex athlete home was our own Tom Matthews in 80th, followed by Jude Clayton in 160th and Thomas Barnett 216th.
In the Under 15 girls race Eadie Yelling ran well for 86th in 18.56 and Maddie Badruzaman finished 249th.
A total of 2576 athletes finished the races on Saturday. Well done to all Brighton and Hove athletes who competed with honours, representing Sussex.
View the full results HERE
All Photos by Andy Cox
Words Kate Matthews & Mel Anning