JOSIE Czura shone with an outstanding performance on her international bow.
City of Portsmouth’s distance ace emphatically delivered on her England debut at the SIAB Cross Country Championships in Bolton.
And it proved to be a dramatic finale as the 13-year-old dead-heated with Ireland’s Caoimhe Harrington.
Harrington was given the win in a dip finish, though, as both runners clocked a time of 13min 22sec.
Czura’s achievement was underlined by the fact she delivered that display as a bottom-year entry in her junior girls’ category.
The Gerry North-trained talent drew huge praise from City coach Vince Stamp for her brave performance.
He was delighted with Czura who took the occasion in her stride and delivered.
Stamp said: ‘It was an amazing performance from Josie.
‘To be given second on the dip in her first international is some going.
‘She got the same time as the Irish girl and the girl who beat her for the English title was seventh.
‘Obviously to dead heat in a cross country race is highly unusual.
‘You cannot ask for any more than that as a bottom year.
‘She is eligible for the same age next winter. So Josie will be looking to get back and maybe go one better then.’
Meanwhile, there was further success for City’s youngsters at the final round of the Chichester Runners’ Corporate Challenge.
Elizabeth Hedley completed a hat-trick of wins at the competition as she edged out training partner Elizabeth Rose over the final 150m.
Ted Yeates was a winner overall at year nine level, with Harry Blay taking the year 10 overall title.
Olivia Wiseman finished fifth overall in her race but won all three year seven races. Cheyanne James, Bo Sansom, Mia Billins, Lacey Squibb – all year sevens – finished in close proximity.
Lachlan Wellington came second in his year seven and eight race, with Harry Moore fourth and Adam Kimber close behind.
Stamp said: ‘We’ve had good performances from everyone once again.
‘They are going great guns and we’re looking forward to the track season.’