At the top class Cross de Atapuerca event held in Northern Spain the England Teams faced tough opposition in the 1st IAAF permit Cross Country meet of the season. On a sunny afternoon in dry conditions over a 4K course the most successful team in action was the Junior Women. In this race they were led home by Niamh Bridson- Hubbard (Blackheath & Bromley H) who placed 2nd with a time of 13.33, she was followed by Claire Wilson (Cambridge & Coleridge) 4th in 13.36, Lucy Holt (City of Stoke AC) 6th in 13.42 and Georgia Malir (Leeds City AC) 9th in 13.49.
The Junior Men’s race was held over 6K and England were led home by Christopher Olley (Tonbridge AC) 4th in 17.56, Joe Steward (Cheshire Harriers & Tameside AC) placed 7th in 18.04, Stephen Ferroni (Brighton & Hove AC) 8th, 18.10 and James West (Tonbridge AC) 36th, 19.19.
The Senior Women’s 8K was another classy race with Oljira Belaynesh of Ethiopia winning in 24.52 with England’s first runner being Emma Clayton (Leeds City AC) finishing 14th in 27.24, Louise Damen (Winchester & Dist. AC) came next 16th in 27.30 while Naomi Taschimowitz (Shaftesbury Barnet H) placed 22nd in 27.41 and Kate Holt (City of Stoke AC) completed the quartet placing 31st in 28.04.
The Senior Men’s race was packed with runners of African decent and they filled the first 7 places and Imane Merga (Ethiopia) won for a 3rd consecutive year in a time of 25.02. Behind the leaders Adam Hickey (Southend AC) finished 24th in 26.48 a similar performance to last year for the 9K course while Alexander Teuten (City of Portsmouth/Southampton University) was 38th in 27.19 and Daniel Cliffe (Liverpool Harriers) 43rd in 27.30. Unfortunately Alex Tovey (Windsor, Slough Eton & Hounslow/ Birmingham University) failed to finish.
Some good results from the English athletes but all will benefit from the event with The Trials for the European Championships not far away. Full results can be found at http://www.crossatapuerca.com/nw/