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South of England Inter-Counties XC Championships

Six members of Chichester Runners & AC travelled to Oxford on Saturday 8th December 2018 for the first representative match of the cross-country season, the South of England Inter-Counties.

 

Although the event is only one of regional events from around the UK, the South East is generally recognized as the strongest overall with many of the front runners of next year’s National event in action at Oxford among the 14 counties on show. Chichester’s contingent all performed with credit and put in performances which will stand them in good stead for the rest of the season.

 

The highest placed finisher was Liam Dunne in a fine 38th place in his first year in the U17 age group and second Sussex man to finish. An unlucky accident on the evening before the race meant that Ned Potter could not take his place on the starting line and could not show his good form of late in league fixtures in the same age group. Maggie King was delighted to be another member of the Sussex scoring quartet in the U17 women’s race in 45th position, a race which saw Seaford College pupil Olivia Macdonald finish in 8th place for her Surrey team.

 

Two of Chichester’s U13 boys made the Sussex team and but for a clerical mishap, a third should have joined them. Harvey McGuiness was the unlucky athlete to miss out, but he will have a chance to gain selection for the Sussex team in the National inter-counties at the county championships in early January. The two in action opted for different race strategies with Hal Edgar ploughing his way through the field after a steady start to finish 49th in a quality field in his first race at this level. Fionn O’Murchu was a few seconds adrift in 55th and such was the closeness of the field that both Chichester boys finished less than a minute behind the winner.

 

Finally, both Isobel and Eva Buckler were in the U15 girls’ squad in a race won by Beth Cook from the Eastbourne based Bodyworks club. They finished 61st and 69th respectively, a good result for the pair who will have another year in the age group. Another unlucky Chichester athlete was sidelined by injury with Olivia Toms unable to take her place in the Sussex team. But with a full month before the next competitive fixture, it is hoped that Olivia, like others who missed the fixture, will have time to recuperate before the Sussex Championships on January 5th at Bexhill.

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