UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships

A total of 10 local athletes were in action on the national stage at Loughborough on Saturday 9th March 2019 for the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships with all 10 acquitting themselves with credit in what is regarded as the top-rated competition in the calendar.


This year even more were attracted to the Loughborough venue as the championships doubled as the final trials for the World Championships to be held in Denmark at the end of the month. Such is the standard of the fields in all age groups that any place in the top 100 finishers can be regarded as a major triumph and 9 out of the 10 Chichester athletes achieved this mile stone with the 10th just a few places outside. A total of 45 counties sent teams to the event including area teams from Scotland and Wales to make the competition even tougher than the English National held the previous weekend in Leeds.


U20 and U17

The top place finisher of the whole day for Chichester was Alice Cox-Rusbridge in the U20 women’s race with a fine 62nd place and second Sussex scorer behind county champion Almi Nerurkar from Brighton Phoenix in 14th. The pair enabled Sussex to finish 12th out of the 40 counties competing.


It was in the U20 men’s race where Sussex had their best team result of the day in 6th place with Leo Stallard and Ben Morton playing their part well in 84th and 94th respectively with Leo just a couple of minutes outside being considered for National selection over a tough course just short of 10K.


In the U17 races Maggie King helped her team achieving a top 10 spot with a score of 197 points in 9th place. Maggie more than justified her selection with a fine run in 80th, her best ever performance in top flight competition, and had the bonus of being 4th Sussex scorer. Ned Potter also finished 4th for Sussex in 123rd place for a team positon of 11th. The close competition can be seen in that Ned was barely a minute outside a top 20 placing over 5000 metres of arduous running.


U13 and U15

Those who witnessed the exciting finish of the secondary boys’ race in North Street, Chichester, at the end of February would have seen Harvey McGuiness and Fionn O’Murchu battling it out to the line. At Loughborough the pair were teammates rather than rivals and both had excellent runs in the U13 boys’ race. Harvey finished 84th and as 4th scorer helped Sussex to yet another top 10 team placing while Fionn was close on his heels in 96th. Such is the closeness of competition over the 3000 metres course can be seen that both Chichester boys were barely a minute outside a top 20 placing.


In the U15 girls’ race Sussex had their highest position of the day with Bethany Cook from the Eastbourne based Bodyworks club a superb runner-up in the individual race with Chichester’s Olivia Toms 3rd Sussex scorer in 94th and helping her team to just outside the top 10 in 12th place.


Senior Men and Women

Loughborough University student Harry Leleu did not have far to travel for the race and took advantage of his selection to the Sussex senior team for the first time following his club record run in the Chichester 10K last month and full justified the faith of the selectors with a  senior top 100 placing in 78th and 3rd Sussex scorer in the process helping the six man team to 13th In the women’s race. Chichester University student Alice Wright who runs second claim for Chichester was also 3rd in the Buckinghamshire team in 97th place.