Czura and Wellington earn England call-ups

Josie Czura and Lachlan Wellington, wearing their England vests, with their City club-mates
Josie Czura and Lachlan Wellington, wearing their England vests, with their City club-mates
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Lachlan Wellington and Josie Czura are in action for England Schools in Dublin today.

The City of Portsmouth duo have both performed consistently well throughout the cross country season.

They were part of a strong Hampshire squad who made a big impression in the English Schools’ Cross Country Championships last Saturday.

Wellington, 13, picked up an individual bronze medal in the junior boys’ race and helped the county to team silver.

Czura, 14, earned her second-successive English Schools’ silver medal in the junior girls’ event, having finished runner-up last year as well.

Those performances ensured they were selected for the England team who today take on Ireland, Wales and Scotland in the SIAB (Schools’ International Athletics Board) International Cross Country.

City coach Vince Stamp is thrilled to see his athletes rewarded as their dedication to training pays off.

He said: ‘Lachlan and Josie did very well at the English Schools.

‘Lachlan ran a brilliant race. This has been his target all winter.

‘He’s achieved it now and he’s come back strongly after an off day in the national championships due to illness.

‘Josie didn’t run all week before the cross country due to a slight foot problem.

‘But she has got her England vest for the second season in a row.

‘She finished second in the international last year, when she got out-dipped on the line by the Irish girl – Caoimhe Harrington. They both got the same time.

‘It’s great for us to have two England internationals in the group.

‘They have worked so hard and they deserve it.

‘It’s been an excellent effort from the whole group this winter, with so many athletes running for Hampshire and the South of England.’

Wellington will be joined by his close friend and rival Zak Mahamed, from Southampton, in the England side.

They were first and third in Blackburn last Saturday.

Mahamed completed the 3.6k course in a time of 11min 39sec – 11 seconds clear of Middlesbrough’s Josh Cowperthwaite (11.50).

Wellington clocked 12.04 to take bronze, as third to sixth were separated by just five seconds.

Jacob O’Hara (12.20), coached by Pat Butcher, also ran superbly to finish 14th.

The 14-year-old was the third Hampshire scorer – as he played a key role in the team’s silver success.

Harry Moore completed the City contingent in the Hampshire team as he finished 257th out of 341 finishers (13.41).

Kathleen Faes won the junior girls’ race as she completed their 3k course in 11.03.

Czura chased hard and her time of 11.21 was 18 seconds clear of the third-placed athlete.

City’s Elizabeth Rose, 14, and Elizabeth Hedley, running on her 15th birthday, both competed in the 3.6k inter girls’ race.

Rose was Hampshire’s sixth scorer in 112th position (14.16), ensuring the county picked up a bronze medal. Hedley finished 175th in 14.43.

Matt Smith was 66th in the senior boys’ race (26.32) and picked up a silver medal in the team event.