LACHLAN WELLINGTON continued his excellent winter form with a silver medal in the English National Cross Country Championships at Wollaton Park, Nottingham.
His effort was all the more impressive given he is still only 15 and was one of the youngest runners in the under-17 men’s race.
Wellington completed the gruelling 6k course in a time of 20min 31sec and beat the 2016 under-17 steeplechase champion George Groom, of Shaftesbury Barnet, into third place by one second in a thrilling sprint finish.
Tonbridge’s James Puxty, who is a top year, took the gold medal in 20.28, while Wellington’s big rivals, 2016 under-15 national champion Josh Cowperthwaite, and reigning South of England champion Zak Mahamed, finished fourth and fifth respectively with times of 20.46 and 20.55.
City coach Vince Stamp revealed hard work on downhill finishing speed really paid off.
He said: ‘Lachie ran fantastically well.
‘George Groom went in front of Lachie at the top of the final hill but Lachie kicked back past him in the finishing straight.
‘In training we work on sprints at the end of the session.
‘Lachie has been doing a lot of work on it.’
City’s Jacob O’Hara, also a bottom year athlete, had another excellent run as he finished in 36th position with a time of 21.48.
The under-17 men’s team finished ninth with Steven Cross, 143rd in 23.29, and Adam Kimber, 153rd in 23.34.
Saffron Moore, who is a bottom year in the under-15 girls’ age group, finished 21st, while Ellie Farrow secured 31st position.
Nicole Ainsworth was 72nd, and Matilda Atkins finished 177th, as the team were sixth out of 39.
The under-13 girls finished 18th team out of 52, led by Isabelle Brydon in 104th, then Eloise O’Neill 128th, Holly Wilkinson 130th and Hattie Locke 209th.
In the other junior races City did not have full teams but saw strong performances from the likes of Callum Crook, Josh Fawcett and Anya Pigden to lead the way for the club in their respective age groups.
City of Portsmouth senior ladies all ran well.
Recent recruit Emma Jolley led the way for City, finishing 139th out of 788 runners with a time of 34.48 for the tough 8k course.
Next was Emma Montiel in 171st with a time of 35.36, then Sian Hawkes who crossed the line 238th in 37.10.
Katie Carew-Robinson was 377th in 39.58 with Joanne Kitching 385th (40.11) and Helen Lockyer in 449th (41.28) as City finished 31st out of 93 teams – an impressive result with all the athletes in the team qualifying as vets.
The six scorers for the senior men were Damon Howard who finished 477th, Shaun Newton in 698th, Adam O’Hara in 754th, Paul Bleach in 766th, Christopher Scott in 1,017th and John Brimecome 1,024th.
They finished 75th out of 131 teams.