CAU Inter Counties Cross Country Championships, Prestwold Hall, Loughborough 11th March 2017

Jess Mitchell & Kate O'Neill were the cream of the crop of a dozen club athletes who pulled on the red vests of Essex at the Inter Counties Championships held at a muddy Prestwold Hall at Loughborough on Saturday.

Jess's fantastic winter season gets better week by week as she finished seventh in the Under 17 race - a huge improvement on her 30th place finish in last year's Under 15 girls' event.  Kate O'Neill also shone with her 13th place finish and the Essex squad also finished third, led home by Chelmsford’s bronze medallist Khai Mhlanga. Next Saturday both Jess & Kate will aiming for top eight finishes at the English Schools’ event at Norwich to earn selection for the English team for the Schools' International at Margam Park, near Port Talbot the following week. With both athletes in superb form and at the top of the age group for this events, both have a realistic chance of gaining selection, the first time in several years that club athletes have won Schools’ cross country vests.

Faye Fullerton found the going tough in the mud in the 8km Senior Women's race and was disappointed to finish 30th while Ben Davis placed 50th in the Under 20 event. Rob Warner's impressive winter saw him place 65th in the senior men's race - his first time in the top 100 - as he led home the Essex contingent. Amy Baggs placed 112th in the Under 20 race.

Sydney Foley was a fine 51st in the Under 13 Girls' race, with Inter Counties' debutant Chloe Rand 254th. In the Under 13 Boys' equivalent Alex Ford lost a shoe early on in the treacherous conditions and had to slip & slide his way to 132nd place, with Matthew Blacklock 247th in his Inter Counties debut.

Completing the dozen club athletes were Molly Sweetman (83rd) & Lily Bath (173rd) in the Under 15 Girls' event.








Under 13 Girls: 51st  Sydney Foley 13:50; 254th Chloe Rand 15:24


Under 15 Girls: 83rd Molly Sweetman 17:13; 173rd - Lily Bath 18:02


Under 17 women:  7th - Jessica Mitchell 20:31; 13th Kate O'Neill 20:56  (Essex Team 3rd);


Under 20 women:  112th - Amy Baggs 29:07;


Senior women:  30th - Faye Fullerton 31:42;


Under 13 Boys:  132nd - Alex Ford 13:14; 247th - Matthew Blacklock 13:55

Under 20 Men:  50th - Ben Davis 29:47  

Senior Men 65th - Rob Warner 41:30


Photos: Tracy O'Neill, Peter Blacklock, Charlene Foley, Peter Warner