National Cross Country Championships, Harewood House, Leeds 23 February 2019

A silver medal for the Jess Mitchell - to add to her Under 17 team silver from last year - headlined a great set of day from club athletes at the National Cross Country Championships at a sunny Harewood House, Leeds course on Saturday.

It was by far the greatest result on the country for Jess, who has bounced back after falling on her England cross country international debut in Spain last autumn and was only sixth in the recent South of England Championships. She was always in contention and a strong run over the latter stages saw her overhaul Cornwall's Grace Brock in the final straight to earn silver, behind UK Number 1 Amelia Quirk (Bracknell AC). It now puts the Hornchurch 17 year old in contention for a place in the Great Britain six-strong Under 20 team at the World Cross Country Championships in Denmark, which will be selected after the trial held as part of the Inter Counties Championships on 9th March.  Behind her Kate O'Neill's fine season continued as she placed 18th of the 129 finishers.

Ben Davis led home the trio club Under 20 Men with his excellent 33rd place finish, supported well by James Stewart 77th and Tom Keevil 94th in the top half of the field of over 200. 

There were three club athletes in the Under 13 Girls' race as Tilly Canty's placed 63rd and Charlotte Evans won the family battle in 112th as twin Hannah was not far back in 129th of the 400+ finishers, all on their National debuts.  County medallist Natalie Sewell had an eventful Under 15 Girls' race as she lost a shoe soon after the start and had to run the 4km with only one shoe - a 104th place finish was respectable in the circumstances! Essex champion Alex Ford flew the flag in the Under 15 Boys' equivalent and placed 105th, to finish ahead of his county contenders.

For the first time in over twenty years the senior men put out a National scoring team outside of London. Rob Warner kept up his impressive season in 147th place being the second Essex runner home and Jamie Buckley-Stanton ran well over the hilly course to take a good 330th. With over two thousand finishers, the team of Barry Smith 594th, John Whitehead 632nd, Martin Chester 797th, and Steve Walker 1306th, came in a good 52nd team out of 144 teams and coach Russ Middleton completed the squad in 1604th.

The Senior Women's team placed a good 26th of the 114 team as Morgan Campbell was 177th on her National debut, with Ginte Bailey 192nd, Robyn Matson 251st and Clare Davies 325th of the thousand plus who completed the hilly course to bring to an end a successful season fore the ladies.



Under 13 Girls: ; 63rd Tilly Canty 11:59; 112th - Charlotte Evans 12:20; 129th - Hannah Evans 12:25


Under 15 Girls:  104th - Natalie Sewell 17:07


Under 20 women:  2nd - Jessica Mitchell 20:56; 18th - Kate O'Neill 22:32


Senior Women:  177th - Morgan Campbell 34:55; 192nd - Ginte Bailey 35:11; 251st - Robyn Matson 36:05; 325th - Clare Davies 37:22 (Team 26th)


Under 15 Boys:  105th - Alex Ford 15:06


Under 20 Men:  33rd - Ben Davis 31:52; 77th - James Stewart 31:52; 94th Tom Keevil 32:27


Senior Men:  147th Rob Warner 40:42; 330th - Jamie Buckley-Stanton 43:02; 594th - Barry Smith 45:57; 637th - John Whitehead 46:15; 397th - Martin Chester 47:41; 1306th - Steve Walker 52:46; (Team: 52nd) 1640th Russ Middleton 57:18


Photo: Kerry Mitchell & Jerry Canty

Photo: Peter Warner