North Hampshire runners make light of muddy conditions at county championships

Basingstoke Gazette: The boys' under-17 race gets under way Buy this photo The boys' under-17 race gets under way

DESPITE terrible conditions, several runners from Basingstoke and Mid Hants and Overton Harriers claimed high finishes at the Hampshire Cross Country Championships.

The wet weather turned the course at Fleming Park, in Eastleigh, into a mudbath, with the start and finish area having to be moved due to flooding.

But that did not deter the north Hampshire runners, who picked up a string of top-10 finishes.

Overton runners excelled in the veteran disciplines, with Mike Bliss and Cath Wheeler both winning county titles. Basingstoke and Mid Hants athletes fared better in the younger age-groups.

The under-13 girls did particularly well, with Rebecca Poole claiming individual silver and joining forces with Rebecca Bullock (sixth), Zoe Frost (10th) and Tayla Wegg (18th) to win team gold.

Three more Basingstoke athletes won bronze medals – Charlotte Chalwin was third in the under-20 women’s event, Lucy Wildash third in the under-15 girls race and Reece Newell a bronze medallist in the under-11 boys’ race.

The under-17 boys team claimed silver, with Callum Cleary and Oliver Butler finishing seventh and eighth respectively, while Newell’s efforts helped the under-11 boys to second place in the team event.

Another top-10 finisher was Richard Fernando, who was 10th in the under-20 men’s race, while Jenny Helyar was sixth and Gemma Bigg ninth in the under-20 women’s race.

Gemma Wildash just missed out on a medal in the under-17 girls race finishing fourth, while Freya Davis was eighth. Maddie Deadman was fifth under-15 girl home, while Amber Rowan was fifth and Lucy Hempstead ninth in the under-11 girls race.

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