It’s a close call for youngsters at West Norfolk cross country event

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West Norfolk Athletic Club’s 11th annual cross country event at Houghton Hall was a big success with more than 120 athletes competing in the picturesque surroundings.

It was a battle of the youngsters in the under-9s races with Thomas Lloyd beating Archie Rowe by only one second and Finn Miller-Neville, following in third, four seconds later.

For the girls, Lola Kidman took first in 3.31 over the 800m course, only three seconds ahead of Abigail Beagles.

Daniel Clouston, Tyler Pooley and Oliver Booth ran a competitive 1500m with Tillie-Mai Flanagen and Ester Broad (WNAC) finishing first and second to round up the under-11 age group.

James Peck (Thetford AC) narrowly beat brother Ben (TAC) in the under-13s age group with Abigail Clouston winning the girls’ race and Holly Lawrence (WNAC) finishing a pleasing second.

Brooke Oram (GYDAC) was pleased with her under-15s win after completing the course a mere 14 seconds ahead of Rosie Booth (RRAC).

There was a comfortable under-20 win for Jake Stearman (Dereham AC) and, well into winter training ready for next season’s track races, James Greenhalgh (WNAC) took second.

Bure Valley Harriers’ Hannah Stone and Tara Baxter were first and third with Lauren Oram second under-20 lady.

In the main race of the day, Sam Coyne (BVH) stormed to win the senior age category just ahead of team mate Ryan Davidson.

Nicholas Bensley (Ryston) was first veteran across the line, a long way ahead of fellow Ryston compatriot Malcolm Tuff.

In a very competitive senior women’s race, Marie French won narrowly ahead of Faith Viney (BVH).

The veteran ladies’ race was equally close with Zoe Jones (Wymondham AC) piping Vicky Etheridge to the line.

Bure Valley Harriers came out in force to take the honours of club of the day from last year’s winners Ryston Runners AC.

Full results can be found at the West Norfolk AC website.

A special thanks for the Houghton Hall Estate for their continued support.

Meanwhile, two West Norfolk AC athletes ventured out to Suffolk for the Eastern Athletics Cross Country Championships at Nowton Park, in Bury St Edmunds, on Saturday.

On a flat but muddy course, Ben Collison continued his fine form in the senior men’s race over 12k.

In a field of more than 100 competitors, he started the three-lap course quickly getting in the top half of the race over the first lap.

On the second lap, Collison pushed on gaining places and, as he entered the last lap, he increased his pace, overtaking more athletes to finish 33rd in a time of 51.11.

After finishing third at the West Norfolk cross country last Sunday, Bex Cousins ran in the senior women’s race over 6k.

With five races having already been completed, the course was getting harder underfoot to race on.

Cousins went out fast and was in the top 15 by the end of lap one.

Pushing on, Cousins picked off more runners, getting into the top 10 and with a finishing sprint she finished seventh out of a field of more than 90 by recording a time of 26.51.