14th January 2023
MEGAN KEITH AND JAMIE CROWE SECURE SENIOR VICTORIES AT THE PERTH CROSS CHALLENGE
Megan Keith (coach: Ross Cairns, club: Inverness) and Jamie Crowe (Derek Easton, Central AC) were among the winners at the British Athletics Cross Challenge fixture in Perth on Saturday.
Scone Palace was the backdrop for the fourth leg of the five event Series, and the last before the Final in Loughborough in March.
Megan Keith, silver medallist in the U23 race at the European Cross Country Championships last month, continued her impressive Autumn / Winter season as she comfortably won the senior women’s race to capture full Cross Challenge points.
Keith finished 14 seconds ahead of Fionnuala Ross (Shettleston) who won the battle for second place ahead of Scout Adkin (Angela Mudge, Moorfoot) and Alice Goodall (Mark Nixon, Edinburgh) who were separated by a matter of seconds.
Keith, who was second in Liverpool last November, spoke afterwards, “It was a very hard race against the girls today. The hills and the mud certainly made it a tough one. I was cautious over the first lap and a half, and then I tried to put in a hard last lap, but the conditions made that harder today.”
In the senior men’s race, Jamie Crowe secured a significant victory in his career as he finished ahead of Kristian Jones (Swansea) to take the maximum Cross Challenge points.
Crowe, who competed for GB & NI at the European Cross Country Championships in Dublin 2021, returned after 10 months out with injury to take the win by over 10 seconds ahead of Jones, while James Kingston (Mark Hookway, Tonbridge) completed the podium positions in third place.
The Central AC said after his win, “I have surprised myself to be honest. I have had some consistent training recently, but I didn’t know how fit I was, so I was happy with that performance today.
“I’ve raced here three times and won three times, so it is always a good course for me.”
Cross Challenge leader, Edward Bird (Mark Pauley, Poole), secured maximum points in the U20 men’s race as he dominated the contest to win ahead of Sam Hodgson (Shireen Higgins, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow).
Bird was part of the gold-medal winning U20 team at the Euro Cross last month, so he once again continued his impressive form on the cross country terrain. Hodgson was clear in second place ahead of Joe Ponter (Dave Lee, Taunton), with Rowan Miell-Ingram (Radley) in fourth place.
Megan Harris (Hayley Hemmings, Chelmsford), Rebecca Flaherty (Bingley) and Hannah Ryding (Giffnock North) were involved in a tantalising conclusion to the U20 women’s race, and Harris came out on top, with just two seconds separating the top three.
Harris and Flaherty were both members of the GB & NI team in Turin last month, and the former grabbed the victory to secure the all important full Cross Challenge points.
The U17 races were combined with the U20 races, and Craig Shennan (Angela Carson, Giffnock North) was the first U17 across the line ahead of Alex Adams (Paul Hawkins, Stratford-upon-Avon) and Reiss Marshall (Steve Doig, Fife) in the men’s contest. As for the U17 women, Flaherty took full points in the U17 age group alongside her second place overall, while Zoe Gilbody (John Skevington, Wreake & Soar Valley) and Amy Teasdale (Kilbarchan) were second and third U17s respectively.
Tristan Robin (Giffnock North) was a convincing winner of the U15 boys race as he was well clear of Jon Pepin (Southampton) and Calum Dick (Angela Carson, Giffnock North) who rounded out the podium places. As for the U15 girls, Zara Redmond (Kilbarchan) similarly dominated the race as she crossed the line 20 seconds ahead of her nearest opponent, Katie Pye (Mick Woods, Aldershot Farnham and District). Eimear Cooney was third.
Rhuairdh Laing (Victoria Park City of Glasgow) headed the leader board in the U13 boys race with Louie Muir (Kilbarchan) and Cameron Nugent (Giffnock North) in second and third place. Meanwhile, Cerys Wright (Team East Lothian) triumphed in the U13 girls competition, finishing ahead of Penelope Boyle (Leven Valley) and Erin Burnett (Garscube).
*Photo credit: Bobby Gavin