Spar European Cross-Country Championships, Tilurg, Holland
All 8 Welsh Athletes performed well and came away with team medals. Jake Heyward was the highest individual finisher, placing 4th in the U20 men’s race. There was silver lining to the disappointment of missing out an individual podium, as the team, including Matt Willis, took team Silver.
Heyward assessed afterwards: “Obviously it is really difficult missing out on an individual medal yet again, but, at the same time, I am a track runner. It was a proper cross country course this time - the European Champs in the past have been fast and suited to long distance runners.
“It was good to be able to come to the European Cross and show that I have got that strength. It wasn't quite enough today, but I dug in deep for the team and I am glad we could come away with the team silver.”
- Cari Hughes 13th, Team Gold
- Jake Heyward 4th, Team Silver
- Matt Willis 14th Team Silver
- Charlotte Arter 7th Team Silver
- Melissa Courtney 8th Team Silver
- Kris Jones 12th Team Silver
- Dewi Griffiths 13th Team Silver
- Charlie Hulson 17th Team Silver
Welsh Interregional Cross-Country Championships
Race Report courtesy of FAST RUNNING:
The Welsh Inter-Regional Cross Country Championships also witnessed some impressive displays by athletes racing on a heavily muddy course, with James Hunt and Alaw Beynon-Thomas dominant winners on Saturday (December 8). The 20th edition of the event took place at a new venue at Llandrindod Wells in Mid Wales. Heavy rain had blighted the area for several days, leading to difficult conditions on an undulating course.
Hunt began the race as the current Welsh Cross Country champion after taking that honour in February. His victory over 9,940m in 33:54 came nearly a minute ahead of his closest threat, meaning the Cardiff AAC man running for South Wales easily led his team to overall gold medals. Abed Teweldebrhan was the next man to finish, running for East Wales with Mark Hopkinson in third, also running for the East. Double Paralympian Stephen Morris was fourth, a long way over his favoured 1,500m distance.
In the senior women’s race, Alaw Beynon-Thomas was defending her title won two years ago in Brecon following cancellation in 2017 due to heavy snowfall.
‘It was a good day for me, retaining my title’ said Beynon-Thomas, ‘I might need to start saying that I enjoy the mud’.
Helen Marshall ran through the field to take second place outright and a master 35 title running for West Wales.
Other winners on the day in the age group categories were Dominic Smith, who won perhaps the closest fought battle of the day in the U20 men’s race from Elliot Lawrence, while South Wales’ Naomi Reid’s U20 women’s victory led her team to the top rung of the podium. U17 titles went to Mike Spill of North Wales and to 2017 Cross Challenge Series runner-up Mia Roberts, also running for the North. Adam Beer won a competitive U15 boys contest with Samia Jones an emphatic winner in the girls equivalent age group. Jack Organ and Madisson Griffiths were the winners at U13 level.
South Wales were able to retain their overall championship title ahead of the West Wales, East Wales and North Wales teams that finished in that order.
Jenny Nesbitt (Worcester AC) led home a string of strong performances by Welsh Women at ‘the fastest 10k in the UK’ in Telford. She came in 3rd in 33.25, just one second outside her PB from earlier in the year.
- Jenny Nesbitt, 3rd 33.25
- Clara Evans 7th 34.00
- Bronwen Owen 9th 34.44
- Jon Hopkins 19th, 30.12
- Rowan Axe 29th 30.32