20th November 2017
NCAA DI Championships, Louisville, USA, 18 November
No athlete has shown such a positive upward curve this autumn than Amy-Eloise Neale, the track specialist improving week by week in the NCAA cross country system. The University of Washington runner wasn’t fazed by the biggest competition of them all, the NCAA Championships, running an intelligent race that eventually saw her climb onto the second step of the podium.
With Kenyan Ednah Kurgat setting a hard pace from the gun, a chase group pursued her until she broke clear with 2km of the 6km race remaining. Neale’s fellow Brit Charlotte Taylor, one of the pre-race favourites, was nestled in that group. As she has done all season long the GB age group international started to pick up the pace when those around her were starting to struggle, and she was soon inside the top 10 and reeling in the remnants of the chase group that Kurgat had blown apart.
Entering the deceptively long home straight Neale still had work to do, but kicked hard to chase down those ahead of her and bag a sensational silver, whilst Taylor dug deep and was rewarded with a brilliant bronze. Prior to this weekend Kate Avery was the only British female to have stepped onto on NCAA Cross Country podium. Notable mentions must also go to Alice Wright (Joe Franklin) and Bethan Knights (Shayla Houlihan) who finished 14th and 23rd respectively.
The highest finisher amongst the British men was Alex George (Paul de-Camps) in 51st.
Podium 5k, Barrowford, 18 November
Middle distance man John Ashcroft (Andrew Henderson) produced a good showing on the roads over 5km up in Lancashire, winning the Podium 5k in 14.27, a new personal best. In third, just four seconds back, was T12 athlete David Devine (Anthony Clarke), who continues his comeback from injury with a fine personal best.
GB mountain running international Rebecca Robinson was an impressive winner of the women’s race, the V35 stopping the clock at 16.39, just one second ahead of Hannah England (Bud Baldaro), with Jacqueline Fairchild (Helen Clitheroe) third.
Brooks Brighton 10k, 19 November
Down on the south coast Welshman Jonathan Hopkins set a new lifetime best, taking victory by well over a minute in 29.40.