Belgium Cross Cup at Rotzerlaar, Feb ’20

A large party of over 50 athletes, team managers and supporters travelled to Belgium for the Cross Cup event. Doubts about whether the event could go on with Storm Ciara following them across the Channel were there right up to the off. However all went on and the athletes gained experience and in some cases success. As well as England teams there was Northern Athletics teams and a Men’s team from Leeds City and a Women’s team from Aldershot, Farnham & Dist AC who had accepted the offer to go from the ECCA when the European Champion Clubs event had been cancelled due to no venue being available.

Kate Holt winning the SW race

The U20 Women’s race over 4.5K resulted in a win for Shannon Flockhart of England in 16:15, 6 secs ahead of Alexandra Millard and a 1,2,3 was completed by Phoebe Anderson a further 3 secs back. Lauren McNeill was 7th and Georgia Hayes 11th, conditions underfoot were soft and parts of the course were on sandy paths, Lakeside which made for a pleasant setting.

The U20 Men’s race was also clear cut with Matthew Stonier the master of close races winning 21:02, 2 secs ahead of Oliver Newman, then came Tomer Tarrango only 1 sec down while Charlie Brisely was 4th to complete a quartet of England runners at the front all within 6 secs of one another.

Held over a 6.5K course there were 12 English runners in Senior Women’s race. Despite the best Belgian and some Dutch runners in the race Kate Holt outpaced them all to win for England in 22:40, 8 secs ahead on Hanne Verbruggen of Belgium, with Dutch athlete Jasmijn Bakker third in 22:51. Next home for England was Izzy Fry in 4th with 22.56, Followed by Stephanie Barnes 5th, Eleanor Bolton 7th and Sarah Astin 9th. Leading AFD runner was Lauren Hall 11th and leading North Athletics runner was Caroline Lambert 14th.

England Senior Women

The English representation in the Senior men’s race totalled 15 and they didnt get things all their own way as in close hard fought race Lahsene Bouchikhi of Belgium won in 30.08, just 3 secs ahead of Adam Hickey who maintained his fine form after winning the South of England. Third was Dieter Kersten of Belgium in 30.22 before Ellis Cross led the other England representative runners in 6th. Jack Millar was next 11th, Jonathan Escalente-Phillips 12th before Daniel Haworth led the North Athletics trio in 18th while Matthew Grieve was first home for Leeds City in 24th.

All other placings can be found on The Power of 10.

So good results and with several Championship races still to come this year, athletes know where they stand with regards fitness.

Ian Byett