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Last Saturday saw the Bucks County Cross Country Championships kick off 2024 at Southill Park in Bedfordshire. With lots of rain over the first week of the year the course was muddy and proved to create a challenge for many athletes. Despite this we had a good number of athletes out to compete for our club.

Medals were awarded for the top 3 in each age group and those that finished in the top 4 for all age groups (U13 and above) and top 6 for the U17 men, U20 men and senior men were automatically selected to represent the county at the Inter County Cross Country Championships (should the event go ahead in March.)

For the U11 girls we only had 2 athletes out but both Shona Esslemont (5th) and Poppy Alder (6th) performed well. We had a lot of U11 boys out competing and these were: Chibuikem Eke (12th), Devon Powell (13th), Sollie Wells (14th) Dexter Kann (15th), Copper Paul (16th), Rohan Martin (17th), Hashim Shah (18th) and Jenson Bloxham (19th). Chibuikem, Devon and Sollie also created the team that finished 2nd overall.

The u13 girls team comprised: Gabriella Cheung (6th) who just missed out on automatic qualification for the Inter Counties, Tilly Valind (13th), Annabelle Harrison (16th) and Sophie Fawcett (17th). Gabriella, Tilly and Annabelle also made up the team and came 3rd overall. The U13 boys team had 6 athletes competing: Zachary Honour who place a brilliant 3rd and received an automatic qualifying spot for Inter Counties, Luca Dolan (6th), Peter Cheung (12th), James Clifford (16th), George Lloyd (20th) and James Rendell (22nd). The U13 boys team also finished 3rd overall.

In the U15 age group we had a duo of athletes in each gender category with two U15 girls: Eleni Brown (19th) and Anushri Josh (21st) and two U15 boys: Digby Martin (22nd) and Rufus Martin (25th).

We didn’t have any U17 women competing on the day but a special well done to Archie Lynch who was our sole U17 men competitor and finished 2nd and gained an automatic qualification for Inter Counties.

Alice Rolfe was our sole senior woman competing and she finished a brilliant 3rd place to also gain an automatic qualification for Inter Counties. There was a massive turn out from the senior men: Kieran Lindars (4th) collected an automatic qualifying spot for Inter Counties, Thomas Fell (8th), Euan Anderson (13th), Mark Baines (19th), Scott Ramsell (20th), Adam Johnson (26th), Conor Richardson (who ran through an injury) (30th), Ben Riley (31st) and Alan Roberts (40th). Well done to Kieran, Thomas, Euan, Mark, Scott and Adam who were our scorers and helped the team to 1st place overall!

Well done to everyone who ran at the county champs, we had some excellent results. Thank you to parents who brought their children and everyone who supported our athletes. We hope to have a bigger turn out at the next Chiltern League this weekend.

A special mention and many happy returns goes to Pat Card for being there on the day, sorting all of the athletes out with their numbers and cheering them all on, on her birthday no less!

-Report by Lucy Cuthbert

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