Estbourne Rovers' men's team at the Sussex cross country championshipsEstbourne Rovers' men's team at the Sussex cross country championships
Estbourne Rovers' men's team at the Sussex cross country championships

Picture special: Eastbourne Rovers relish Sussex cross-country championships

Top performances mixed with a lot of mud – what more could anyone want from the Sussex Cross Country Championships?

Around 500 competitors turned out for the fixture at the usual tough Bexhill course – with plenty of Eastbourne Rovers athletes among them.

In icy conditions and lots of mud but no rain, it was the perfect setting for a great day of running.

Ih the under-11s, Eastbourne had six new hardy athletes. Coach Hannah Messer said: ‘I’m delighted to have so many racing for the first time for the club – they gave their all.”

Rovers have dominated the U15 girls contests all season and this was no different, scoring as a team a phenomenally low eight points to claim gold. Freda Pearce won gold by 13 seconds, with Daisy Connor 3rd and Raya Petrova 4th. Lexie Mclean ran well in 16th with Katherine Brown with her best run at the championships in 19th.

In the team U15 boys’ contest Rovers won by a point on 16 points from Brighton & Hove. Lewes were led home by overall winner Jacob Trotman, closely followed by Eastbourne’s Fin Lumber Fry in 3rd. Eastbourne’s Jonah Messer placed fifth and George Armstrong-Smith eighth to secure gold. And all the athletes in the winning team have another year in the age category.

Joshua Webster timed his race to perfection, crossing the line in 5th, first for the Eastbourne U13 boys’ team. Byron Roberts was a strong 7th with Adam Meyer 9th to secure silver medals. Archie Franklin was close behind his team-mates in 10th. Fintan Pearce had a superb run, despite falling, placing 5th. Ilya Korchev was 2nd home for Eastbourne in 9th, Kaleb Berhane 29th & Dermot O’Rourke 31st. They were 4th. Maeve Jennings, placed 9th in the U13 race, a brilliant achievement for her first Sussex championships.

Ellie Mclean, after a long spell out through injury, exceeded expectations placing 4th in the U20 women’s race. The Eastbourne senior men’s team were out in force with eight taking part in the biggest race of the day. Talented Richard Jones placing well up the quality field in 27th with Stuart Pelling 39th, Richard Davis 42nd, Ant Anderson 47th, Matt Southam 49th, Phil Wood 51st, Liam Gunner 58th, Luke Regan 71st.

Jennifer Brown is going from strength to strength, finishing 13th in the senior ladies’ race. Eastbourne were just outside the medals in 4th, with strong runs from Alison Moore (in her first Sussex championships for Eastbourne) 15th, Katie Arnold 27th and Nicky Bignell 32nd.

Results: U11 Girls – Ava Simmonds 19th, Orla San Emeterio 20th, Poppy Charlwood 21st, Harriet Whiting 22nd, Ada Messer 25th, Milli Jayne Phillips 27th. U13 Girls – Maeve Jennings 9th, Chyna Wai 15th, Grace Luford – Brown 29th. U13 Boys – (Silver team) - Joshua Webster 5th, Byron Roberts 7th, Adam Meyer 9th, Archie Franklin 10th, Aiden Pringle 23rd, Xavier Bray 28th, Jackson Walker 32. U15 Boys (Gold Team) – Fin Lumber-Fry 3rd, Jonah Messer 5th, George Armstrong-Smith 8th. U15 Girls (Gold Team) – Freda Pearce 1st, Daisy Connor 3rd, Raya Petrova 4th, Lexie Mclean 16th, Katherine Brown 19th.

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