The racing season came to an end for the 2017 season with a fine battle at the Boxing Day races in Brighton’s Preston Park on a bright and breezy Boxing Day morning.
Home from his American University for Christmas Ian Crowe-Wright (Brighton & Hove) did battle with Phoenix’s Max Dumbrell, who has had a couple of third places in the recent Sussex Cross-country League events, and Max’s club mate Ian Leitch over the first of the four laps of this 4.5-mile event.
Dumbrell held his own alongside Crowe-Wright but the Brighton runner managed to use his superior track speed to pull clear on the final lap and set a new course record in 22:48s some eight seconds clear with Leitch filling third place in 23:07s.
Filling fourth place, as she had last year, was Katy Hedgethorne (Portslade) to take the women’s race in 26:43s. This was thirteen seconds outside the course record she had set last year but still well over one minute ahead of Alyson Tomlinson who finished 11th overall in 28:23s and Paula Blackledge (Brighton & Hove) in 16th place overall to be third woman in 30:12s.
In the 5.5-mile Walking race Steyning’s Ian Richards (M65) notched up his sixth victory in 47:15s well clear of M70 walker Shaun Lightman’s (Surrey) 59:20s and it was some forty years back that Shaun first competed in this event.
Third across the finishing line and first woman was seventeen year old Lewes youngster Eva Payton-White who recorded 61:03s with Judith Carder (Brighton & Hove) the second woman to finish in 64:11. Now in the W60 age group Carder was the first W60 athlete to finish in the South of Thames Cross-country championship just before Christmas.
SEAA Indoor Combined events
Prior to Christmas the talented young Horsham All-rounder, Ruby Jerges, won the bronze medal in the South of England U15 Indoor Pentathlon championships at Lee Valley scoring 2680 points, which was comfortably clear of the four placed athlete. Jerges clocked 10.04s for the hurdles, leapt 1.41m in the high jump, putt the shot 6.83m and had a fine long jump of 5.10m before clocking 2:42.86s for the 800 metres.
In the U20 Pentathlon Jessica Lambert and April Hanslow (Crawley) finished sixth and seventh respectively scoring 2629 and 2501 points.
Brighton & Hove’s Arthur Haines was well placed in fifth position after four events in the Boys U15 Pentathlon but he failed to reach the starting line for the final event and was unplaced.