Tom's back with a bang

Peacehaven's Tom Naylor made his first cross-country appearance in Sussex for three years and notched up an impressive victory in the Sussex cross-country league race in Brighton's Stanmer Park.

A few years back Naylor was one of the brightest hopes in middle distance and road events in Sussex but business has prevented him spending as much time as he would like training and racing. Saturday working has meant that Cross-country has had to take a back seat although he has still managed the odd road race.

As recent as 2004/5 he had placed second in the Sussex senior cross country championships but that was his last appearance over the Country in Sussex.

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On Saturday, over a tough, hilly and slippery course he looked more like his old self and he almost cruised to convincing win clocking 26min. 00sec. for the 8km course nearly one hundred metres clear of his nearest rival.

In the same race Matthew Basford from Lewes finished in ninth place in 27min. 22sec. to take fourth place in the Under 20 competition, which was held in conjunction.

In the women's 5km race Uckfield's Laura Burton and Hailsham's Samantha Avarez renewed their rivalry over the Country.

Over the heavy mud at Bexhill the week before it was Burton who just got the edge by three seconds. At Stanmer Park however the long fast downhill finish gave the Hailsham runner the opportunity to use her basic speed and after running almost together throughout the race she sprinted clear to take fourth place in 19min. 21sec. to Burton's fifth spot in 19min. 29sec.

Arena 80s Caroline Hoyte in 18min. 18sec had won the race.

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Roxie Blackwell from Lewes finished in 15th place in 21min. 32sec. but this run earnt her second place in the Under 20 event.

In the Under 17 men's 5km race Lewes's Ashley Williams had probably his best race of the season to lose the runner up position by just one second.

In a desperate sprint to the finish Williams just failed to ease ahead of Brighton & Hove's James McCarthy clocking 16min. 56sec. to McCarthy's 16min. 55sec. with Adam Clarke (Hastings) a clear winner in 16min. 33sec.

Williams led the Lewes Club into second place in the team event with Josh Burgess placing fourth in 17min. 10sec. and Matt Rethy completing the scoring three in ninth place in 18min. 25sec.

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There was another fine run from Maddy Smith in the Under 13 girl's race where she placed fourth in 13min. 39sec. and with Hannah Jackson filling 11th place in 14min. 11sec. and Faith Daughtery 17th place in 15min. 03sec. the Lewes team filled third place.

In the Under 15 races the Lewes girls finished fifth with the Collins twins Danielle and Simone placing 10th and 14th respectively in 16min. 56sec. and 17min. 27sec. while Kelly Smith completed the scoring three in 16th in17min. 50sec.

The Boys finished sixth team with Sam Bennett, 12th in 16min. 01sec., Emrys Komen 25th in 18min. 04sec. and Ben Pepler 29th in 18min. 38sec.

In this race Hailsham's Aaron Capon, who did not run as well as he hoped in the County event at Bexhill looked much more like his old self finishing sixth in 15min. 33sec.

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Moving Indoors Hailsham's Sarah Moore placed fifth in the South of England Under 20 Pentathlon event at Lee Valley. Clocking 9.83sec for the 60m hurdles, clearing 1.55m in the high jump leaping a splendid personal best of 5.32m in the long jump, putting the shot 8.37m and clocking 8.41sec for the 60 metres flat Moore amassed a total of 3,313 points a pretty good effort in her first year in the Under 20 age group.

Down in Cardiff at the UWIC Grand Prix Rob Mullett from Lewes clocked his fastest ever 1,500 metres in 3min. 53.98sec. for fourth place in a good quality field.