Johanna Spannagl made a most successful return to competitive athletics at the Sussex Cross-country Relays championships last Saturday.
A decade ago the Horsham Blue Star Harrier was one of the most promising middle distance runners on the Sussex scene and she still holds the Under 15 course record at Goodwood but studies prevented her fulfilling her promise. Now back in action she can prove a real power on the Sussex athletic scene at least.
On Saturday she set the fastest lap time in the senior women’s race clocking 14:34 and looked to have plenty in hand. Newcomer Masie Trafford (Arena 80) looked as if she can also bring a new light to the cross-country season and she was second fastest with 14:41 while her club mate Emily Proto was third fastest in 14:53s.
The were new faces in the men’s race with Lewes triathlete Tom Evans, who showed promise of more to come when he finished second in the Sussex Senior championship in January, showed that he is also more than nimble over the shorter distance by clocking 12.03s to Chichester’s Harry Leleu’s 12:13s, another athlete making a welcome return to competition.
Third fastest was Johanna’s young brother Bernie Spannagl in 12:15s who won the recent Sussex 3,000m track title.
Tom Eames (Brighton & Hove) was the fastest U17 runner in 12.34s while Neil Boniface was the fastest M40 in 12:26.
Kat Owens (Crawley) was the fastest W35 runner in 15:31s.
Further results are available on the Results page though they may still be subject to amendment.
National Road Relays
The accent is still on relays again this weekend but both Brighton Phoenix and Brighton & Hove will be missing a couple of their star runners when they travel to Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield, on Saturday for the National Road Relay championship.
Phoenix had been hoping to strengthen their team that finished seventh in the Southern Championships two weeks back but unfortunately neither Charlie Grice of Finn McNally are race ready after their summer break while Will Gray has a niggle and Ian Crowe-Wright is currently in America and not able to bolster the Brighton & Hove squad.
The Women and Young Athletes races will also be held at Sutton Park on Saturday. The Crawley U13 team, who were the highest placed Sussex club, with Phoenix, when they placed seventh in the Southern and although they only finished third in the Sussex race last weekend, which was only three and not four runners as demanded at Nationals, they will be eager to establish their Sussex credentials again.