THEY weren’t gold medal favourites going into Saturday’s Hampshire Cross Country Championships.
But a succession of outstanding performances from City of Portsmouth under-13 girls’ squad ensured they delivered success on the day.
Powerful clubs Aldershot, Farnham & District, Guernsey and Winchester were left trailing as the City athletes topped the podium.
Olivia East led the team home with a sixth place finish in 12min 47sec.
Isabelle Brydon was ninth (12.57), Sophie Newsom finished 12th (13.05) and Hattie Locke was 14th (13.15).
Those performances gave the team a total of 41 points, so Aldershot had to settle for silver with 44 points and Guernsey were third with 57.
City coach Vince Stamp said: ‘We thought the under-13 girls would be capable of causing a surprise and they did just that.
‘Our scoring four ran superbly.
‘Two of our top runners didn’t have their best days but the team was so packed with talent they had four of their team-mates in front of them.
‘Olivia East’s dad is Michael East, the former Commonwealth Games 1,500m champion, so she has got some good pedigree, athletics is in the blood.’
The under-17s had a brilliant day with Anya Pigden sixth in 20.24, Eleanor Purdue 12th in 21.09 and Katie Simister 14th in 21.25 as they ran superbly to secure team bronze.
City under-15 boys also had a good day to get team bronze.
Callum Crook led the way with a cracking race, finishing sixth in 13.45.
Josh Goldfinch was 17th in 14.31 and Tommy Roe was 21st in 14.58, with Ben Cross fourth scorer in 26th with a time of 15.40.
In the under-13 boy’s race, Cameron Walker-Powell (28th in 12.47) and Josh Fawcett (30th in 12.49) battled well to help City of Portsmouth finish seventh team.