CITY OF PORTSMOUTH’S young guns shone as they took to the UK Inter-County Cross Country Championship stage.
A host of impressive runs were delivered – particularly in the younger age categories – at Cofton Park in Birmingham.
That was seen at under-13 level, as Josie Czura came home fifth overall in a time of 11min 41sec.
A quartet of athletes elsewhere punched above their weight and impressed coaches with their performances for Hampshire.
Among them was Lachlan Wellington, who finished 19th in the under-13 boys’ race in 11.09.
In Sussex colours was City runner Olivia Wiseman, who was the third scorer for her team as a bottom-year entry in a time of 12.33.
At under-15 level, Elizabeth Rose earned plaudits for her fast-developing displays as she finished 35th for Hampshire in 18.30.
Elizabeth Hedley came home in 50th (18.50), while Ted Yeates impressed to finish 53rd in the boys’ race (17.22).
Despite her impressive display, Czura’s coach, Gerry North, feels there is still more to come from the talent.
He said: ‘It was a good run to finish fifth for Josie.
‘But she can still do better.
‘I have to thank people at the club like Vince Stamp and many others for the support she is getting to keep improving.’
Stamp reserved praise for all of the City runners, who ran against the best cross country talent around.
He said: ‘There were some strong performances.
‘Lachlan is learning and building all the time.
‘He was chuffed with his run.
‘Elizabeth Rose was so impressive and is fulfilling her potential.
‘Ted is tiny even for a bottom year but was outstanding.
‘And what a run from Olivia to finish as third scorer for Sussex.’
Next up is the English Schools’ Cross Country Championships tomorrow at Donnington Park in Leicestershire.
Hedley, Rose, Yeates and Czura will be joined by Ellie Czura and Ethan Bevis, who finished 156th at under-17 level in Birmingham, for the event.