Czura and Ainsworth motor to national glory at Donington

Josie Czura. Picture: Mick Young
Josie Czura. Picture: Mick Young
Lachlan Wellington. Picture: Paul Smith

Exceptional Lachie earns Great Britain selection

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Josie Czura and Nicole Ainsworth led the charge as City of Portsmouth enjoyed their own Super Saturday at the English Cross-Country Championships in Leicestershire.

Vince Stamp’s group, nicknamed the InVincibles, were in outstanding form at the Donington Park venue.

Lachlan Wellington, Nicole Ainsworth and Josie Czura at the nationals

Lachlan Wellington, Nicole Ainsworth and Josie Czura at the nationals

They also got a third medal when Lachlan Wellington defied a difficult start to grab a bronze.

The racing was fast and furious with more than 7,000 athletes competing on the day.

Stamp was thrilled with the results from his coaching group on a special day for City of Portsmouth.

He said: ‘We were only a few seconds away from having three national champions.

‘We are calling it our own Super Saturday, like Team GB did in the Olympics in 2012.

‘For City of Portsmouth to have two national champions is absolutely brilliant.’

Czura won the under-15 girls’ crown with a time of 16min 05sec and was 10 seconds clear of second-placed Alex Brown in a race with 354 finishers.

Anya Pigden was the second City scorer as she had a really strong run to finish in 18.09, in 69th place.

Bo Sansom crossed the line 87th in 18.28 and Katie Simister was fourth scorer in 285th (21.00). City finished 13th team out of 33 clubs.

Ainsworth took the under-13 girls’ title, powering away to win in a race with 449 finishers.

Her time was 13.53, four seconds clear of Morgan Squibb, from Blackheath & Bromley.

Charlotte Bullard had a superb run to finish 52nd in 14.59 and Eloise O’Neill was 148th in 15.49.

Yazmin Knight completed the scorers with a time of 16.55 for 294th and City were 17th team out of 48.

Holly Wilkinson was 325th in 17.09 and Phoebe Carlile was 394th in 17.59.

Sian Heslop, from Portchester, who runs for Macclesfield Harriers, had a brilliant run to finish 15th in 14.29.

The under-15 boys’ team only just missed out on a medal as they took fourth place in the team race.

Wellington led them home in third with a time of 16.22.

He was only six seconds behind the winner after his starting position left him running up the hill and playing catch-up in a hard-fought race with 367 finishers.

Jacob O’Hara, who is coached by Pat Butcher, finished an excellent 15th in a time of 17.09.

Steven Cross was next in 103rd (18.23) and Harry Moore completed the scoring team in 124th (18.33).

Bottom years Callum Crook finished 188th in 19.10, Josh Goldfinch was 258th in 20.02, and Matthew Thomas finished 291st in 20.34.

Other results

Under-13 boys: Josh Fawcett (City) 192nd, 15.00; Louis Knight (City) 396th, 17.40. Under-17 women: Maisie Grice (Aldershot, Cams Hill School) 42nd, 22.01; Elizabeth Hedley (City) 58th (22.23); Elizabeth Rose (City) 97th, 23.10. Under-17 men: Kieron James (City) 232nd, 26.52. Senior women: Katie Carew-Robinson (City) 415th, 43.19. Senior men: Adam O’Hara (City) 800th, 57.34