Lewes athletes on a cross-country gold rush

Lewes AC claimed two team golds in the Sussex cross country championships.

Lewes AC men at muddy Bexhill
Lewes AC men at muddy Bexhill

The annual races are perhaps the most prestigious and competitive all-Sussex cross country running event.

Wendy Holden was Lewes AC’s first senior women’s champion in 1999, and Lewes AC had to wait to 2018 and 2019 for Tom Evans to win the senior men’s championship.

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This year Lewes AC collected two golds and two bronzes for individual performances and two gold team successes, including the fiercely contended senior women’s 8km race.

Darcy in the U15 girls' race

Lewes struck gold for the first time on the day with the outstanding Grace Tuesday winning the 4k U15 girls race in 15:50 minutes. Esme Stephenson was 5th in 16:23, Ava James 6th in 16:35, and 17th Darcy Pring 17:22. They won the team gold.

The U15 Boys had Harvey Perry 21st, Theo Tarafder 31st, George Brooks 33rd, Isaac Tarafder 36th and Jack Cooley 43rd.

In the U17 Women 5k, Lewes AC’s Isabel Guirdham’s 5th place was commendable.

Lewes won team gold in the U17 men’s 5k with Charlie Wright (18:59) scoring individual bronze, backed up by 8th-placed Stan Pendered (19:44), 16th Archie Guppy (20:51), 24th Luke Brooks (24:41).

Grace and Esme, centre and left, in the U15 girls' race

In the senior men’s 10k, Fred Tasker came in 29th in 40:03 minutes. followed by 30th Toby Meanwell (40:05), 32nd Ben Pepler (40:21), 37th Chris Gilbert (41:01), 41st Charles Taylor (41:30), 42nd Chris Coffey (41:32). Lewes AC ended up an honourable 4th in the team competition. Many of these runners are vets, so this bodes well for the upcoming Masters Cross Country Championship.

There was gold for Harriet Bloor in the U20 8k in 32:48.

Lewes AC senior women won team gold, repeating their victories of 2017 and 2018. The winning team was: 2nd Harriet Bloor (32:48), 3rd Darja Knotkova-Hanley (34:18), 7th Lizzie Keep (34:49) and 10th Megan Taylor (35:21). Darja received an individual bronze.

Lewes' Charlie Wright
Archie Guppy battles on
Ava in the U15 girls' event
Stan Pendred ploughs on