Czura continues winning run at English Schools’ Championships

City of Portsmouth athletes representing Hampshire at the English Schools' Championships
City of Portsmouth athletes representing Hampshire at the English Schools' Championships
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Josie Czura continued her sensational run of form with another big win at the English Schools’ Cross-Country Championships in Nottingham.

The City of Portsmouth ace added another big trophy to her cabinet this winter as she won the 3.9k race with a time of 12min 56sec.

Going into the race she had already won the Hampshire title, the Hampshire Schools’ title, the South of England title, the Southern Inter-Counties title and the national title this season.

It was another great day overall for City of Portsmouth athletes.

Lachlan Wellington, who picked up the individual silver medal, and Jacob O’Hara helped the Hampshire to team gold in the inter boys’ race.

Both Czura and Wellington have earned call-ups to represent England after their excellent displays.

City coach Vince Stamp was pleased to have two individual medal winners.

He said: ‘Josie has been flying this winter and it was another excellent win for her.

‘Lachlan showed his strength after the problems with the starting positions at the nationals.

‘He ran very well after a good week of training.’

Czura’s latest triumph was all the more impressive because she is one of the youngest in the schools’ age group races, up against girls from the year above.

However, she took charge of the race and recorded another excellent win, with Kathleen Faes, from Tonbridge, edging under-17 athlete Amelia Quirk in the battle for second (12.59) in a field of 343 runners.

Cams Hill School pupil Czura led Hampshire to team silver, along with Maisie Grice, from Fareham, who finished 60th (14.12).

City’s Elizabeth Hedley crossed the line in 135th place with a time of 14.46.

Wellington, after his bronze medal in the nationals, ran strongly as one of the youngest under-15 boys in the race, finishing the 5.7k course in 18.01.

He was only beaten by under-17 athlete Matthew Willis (17.58).

Behind Wellington was last weekend’s national champion Joshua Cowperthwaite who took the bronze in 18.04 and national runner-up Zak Mahamed, who was eighth in 18.24.

O’Hara’s performance was excellent as he was sixth under-15, third for Hampshire, and 31st overall (19.00).

In the junior boys’ race over 4.2k, Callum Crook finished 198th in 17.22 and Josh Goldfinch was 227th in 17.31.

In the junior girls’ race over 3.5k, Nicole Ainsworth finished 27th as a bottom year in the age group, completing the course in 13.21.

Saffron Moore crossed the line 119th in 13.51 as she continued her recovery from illness and Charlotte Bullard ran well for Sussex to finish 206th in 14.27.

Havant’s Ellie Farrow finished 14th in 13.10 as she was first scorer to help the team to fifth place.