JOSIE CZURA was in a class of her own as she recorded an excellent victory in the Hampshire Schools’ Cross-Country Championships.
The City of Portsmouth athlete won the inter girls’ race with a time of 9min 36sec.
She was 33 seconds clear of her nearest rival, Maddie Deadman, from Basingstoke (10.09).
Czura’s margin of victory was remarkable considering she is a bottom year in the schools’ age group and the course was only a short distance of 2.64k.
She had already won the Hampshire Championships in 2016 and has now completed an impressive double.
City coach Vince Stamp is hoping the 15-year-old ace can repeat her superb form in tomorrow’s South of England Cross-Country Championships at Parliament Hill, London.
He said: ‘Josie won the schools’ title by the proverbial mile.
‘It was a massive margin over that distance, she is in really good form.
‘Hopefully she can go on and take one of the big titles like the southerns or the nationals.’
Czura led a strong performance from the Fareham & Gosport School region in the event at Southampton Sports Centre on Saturday.
Maisie Grice also ran very well to finish fourth in 10.30, and she was the region’s second scorer as they finished third team.
Meanwhile, Evie Grice took seventh place in the senior girls’ race with a time of 11.17.
Stamp is hoping for another strong performance from his City under-13 girls’ team tomorrow in the South of England Championships.
Both Nicole Ainsworth and Saffron Moore have been in excellent form and they ran well again in the schools’ event.
Ainsworth finished second in the junior girls’ race on Saturday in a time of 7.59, with Moore third in 8.03.
Ellie Farrow, from Havant, continued her excellent progress to take the title in 7.57.
Stamp said: ‘The course was only 2.2k and that is very short for Saffron and Nicole.
‘They finished first and second in the Hampshire Championships, with Saffron first.
‘This time Nicole got the better of Saffron.
‘Different courses suit different athletes.
‘It had some short, steep banking and Nicole kicked hard on the climb.
‘She finished only two seconds down on Ellie Farrow, who is an under-15.
‘Nicole and Saffron are both under-13s. It was really impressive running.’
In tomorrow’s South of England Championship Lachlan Wellington and Jacob O’Hara will be heading a powerful City under-15 boys’ team.
O’Hara finished fourth in the inter boys’ race at the Hampshire Schools’ Championships with a time of 13.49.
It was a good run from the athlete coached by Pat Butcher and shows he is flying again after illness.
Wellington goes into the South of England event as county champion and was the winner of the latest British Athletics Cross Challenge race in Cardiff last Sunday.