Hastings ace stars at nationals

Hastings Athletic Club's contingent at the National Cross-Country Championships. Picture courtesy Terry Skelton

A talented young runner from Hastings Athletic Club achieved an outstanding result at the National Cross-Country Championships.

George Pool produced a fantastic run to finish fourth in the under-17 men’s race at the iconic Parliament Hill course in London, despite being at the bottom of his age group.

In a field of more than 350 of the country’s top runners, Pool was only three seconds behind third-placed Thomas Keen (Cambridge & Coleridge) and 11 back of winner David Stone (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers). Another Hastings AC runner, Ryan Morrissy, was 294th in the same race.

The in-form Lizzie Clarke produced another superb run to come 17th in the under-17 women’s race in her first cross-country season.

Jonas Judah was 87th and Adam Morrissy 314th in the under-13 boys’ race, while Beth Magorrian was 463rd in the under-13 girls’ event.

At under-15 level, Isaac Elam was 61st, James Crombie 70th and Oscar Tomlinson 417th in the boys’ race, while Erika Body was 198th and Evie Clements 337th in the girls’ event.

Riz Maslen produced a very good run to finish 282nd in the senior women’s race, with Lorna Watts 405th, Becky Mabon 535th, Katie Arnold 741st and the fast-improving Fiona Norman-Brown 1,011th.

Hastings AC fielded four competitors in a record senior men’s entry of around 3,800. Russ Keen was 785th, Paul Bennett 1,001st, Jason Wright 1,523rd and Andy Edmonds 1,595th.

Conditions were sunny but cold and although the course was muddy in places, it wasn’t as bad as it often has been in previous years.

Four Hastings AC members, meanwhile, competed in the Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday morning.

Ben McCallion was the first of them home in one hour and 21 minutes - a personal best by around three minutes - Paul McCleery clocked 1:23.40, and Carol and Kelvin Lowes crossed the line in 1:53.21, which was a PB for Carol.

Hastings AC was well represented at The Gunpowder Run - a brand new approximately 8km cross-country event around Battle Abbey.

Blake Mitchell won the race in 29 minutes and 13 seconds, Phil Scott was ninth in 32:43, Terry Puxty was 12th in 33:54, Jason Wright 29th in 36:47, Scott Parsons 31st in 36:53, Rosy Clements 42nd in 38:32 and Paige Wise 53rd in 39:54.

Several of the club’s leading distance runners will join the great Sir Mo Farah at The Vitality Big Half in London this coming Sunday.

Gary Foster, Rhys Boorman, Stacey Clusker and St Leonards-based Brighton Phoenix talent Ross Skelton are all in the field for the high profile event.

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