City in good shape with strong Parliament Hill entry

Emma Jolley has been running very well this winter. Picture: Paul Smith
Emma Jolley has been running very well this winter. Picture: Paul Smith
Serena Vincent. Picture: Paul Smith

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THE City of Portsmouth charge is going to be a strong one at the iconic Parliament Hill venue on Saturday.

With 63 entrants and two coaches heading up to London from Portsmouth it will be a great day.

After picking up medals in the southern championship the quest for silverware will be stepped up in the National Cross Country championships.

City coach Vince Stamp is looking forward to some great racing as runners take on the imposing course.

He said: ‘Parliament Hill is a great course and it is going to be heavy conditions.

‘Seeing the charge up the first hill is an amazing sight and if you don’t get in the right place by the top you can lose up to 100m which you then have to make up through the mud.

‘To get 63 entrants from the club is really good.’

One of the top races is set to be the under-17 men’s 6k with City’s Great Britain international Lachlan Wellington, 16, among the favourites in a star-studded field.

South East Schools’ bronze medallist Jacob O’Hara is having a brilliant winter as well and City have a strong under-17 team.

Ellie Farrow is also having a golden winter with wins in the Hampshire Championships, Hampshire Schools’ Championships and the South East Schools’ Championships.

She will lead a talented City squad in the under-17 girls’ race first up at 11am.

Stamp added: ‘The under-17 men’s race should be a real cracker. We have a very good, solid team.

‘It could be a good day for the under-15 girls if they can all race. It has been a breakthrough season for Holly Wilkinson while Nicole Ainsworth is getting better with every race.

‘Our under-17 women should be one of our strong suits but we won’t put any pressure on them.

‘We also have full teams for the under-13 girls and under-13 boys’ races which is great, at their age it is about going out learning, having fun and enjoying it.

‘In the under-15 boys’ race we have Jensen Howard and Seamus Morrison both entered.’

City’s senior ladies have been picking up some superb results with a team mainly of vets led by Emma Jolley and Emma Montiel and they should do well again.

The club have 11 senior men lined up to take on the 12k course (3pm), while Toby Roe goes in the junior men’s race.