Brighton youngsters dominate Sussex XC League

February 24, 2023

A fantastic season of Sussex league cross country came to a close at Stanmer Park.

Nearly 500 runners turned out to compete in the final fixture across the Brighton course, where both individual and team league positions were decided.

Brighton and Hove AC youngsters had a lot to celebrate winning all but one team gold from Under 13s to Under 17s.

The Sussex Cross Country League is contested across 4 fixtures, starting at Goodwood in early October. Individual medals are decided by the best 3 scores across the 4 races, whilst the teams are a collective count up of points in each fixture. There are no team medals for the under 11s.

Each fixture kicked off with the Under 11s race, where across the season one of our youngsters  stood out. Skye Widdows won all 3 of the races she competed in to take the gold, whilst there were joint silver medal winners in the boys with Jem Marshall (Brighton & Hove) and Xander Wagjiami (Crawley).

Interestingly there were joint winners in both the Under 13 girls and boys categories.

HY’s Isabella Buchanan,  and Brighton & Hove AC’s Katherine Haslip both scored 4 points for the win in the girls’ race, whilst Fin Lumber Fry (Eastbourne) and George Gilbert (Brighton & Hove) also scored 4 in the boys’.


Brighton and Hove AC won the team gold in both genders with 81 points in the girls and 54 in the boys, just 1 point ahead of Eastbourne Rovers in 2nd.

In the under 15 boys, competing and winning all 4 fixtures, was Finlay Goodman (Brighton & Hove). Team Bodyworks’ Lucas Gorrill scored 7 for silver closely followed by Thomas Matthews (Brighton & Hove) on 8.

Brighton & Hove AC showed real depth in this age group taking team gold (36) and silver (147), with Bodyworks 3rd (171).

Alexander Riley (Brighton & Hove) crossed the line first at Stanmer and took overall gold (4). Crawley’s Luke Newton was 2nd (10) and Brighton Phoenix’s Owen Wallek (11) 3rd.

It followed the same pattern with the team results with Brighton & Hove 1st, Crawley 2nd and Brighton Phoenix 3rd.

The Under 17 women compete within the senior women’s race, scoring in both their own age category and as part of senior teams.

There has been a lot of strong performances with Stephanie Shaw (Crawley) winning overall on 4 points, followed by Hastings’ Rae Le Fay (7) and Brighton & Hove’s Rosie Gasson in 3rd (10).

Brighton & Hove AC were team winners on 88, Crawley 2nd (106) and Lewes in 3rd (157).

Only two senior women competed in enough of the races to be eligible for medals – Amy Harris (Brighton Phoenix) taking gold winning the 3 she contested and Darja Knotkova Hanley (Lewes) scoring 8 points for silver.

Crawley AC talent, Amelia Cox, took top spot in the Under 20s with joint placed silver medallists – Emily Muzio (Brighton & Hove AC) and Grace Ingles (Brighton Phoenix).

In the V45 Julie Briggs (Arena 80) clocked 4 points to Brighton Phoenix’s Suzy Rushforth on 5 and Dani Tarleton (Arena 80) on 7.

Lewes won all three (Division 1, 2 and Vets) women’s categoies with Brighton Phoenix 2nd in Division 1 and Brighton & Hove 3rd.

Brighton & Hove team-mates Matthew Grindrod and Henry Yelling were 1st and 2nd Under 20 with HY’s David Ervine 3rd.

Brighton and Hove AC were 286 points clear of 2nd place Lewes in the senior men’s team category. Brighton Phoenix were 3rd.

Lewes AC were Division 2 winners, Brighton & Hove B 2nd and Worthing 3rd.

Craig Halsey (Brighton & Hove) hit the best possible point score of 3 to be named M40 winner.

The Vet Men league team title went to Brighton & Hove with Lewes 2nd and Brighton Phoenix 3rd.

Well done to all athletes who took part in this year’s races. Sussex AA would also like to say a huge thank you all the volunteers and officials who made the races possible. It has been great to be part of another successful cross-country season.

by Kate Matthews