Portsmouth athletes shine for Hampshire Schools

Lachlan Wellington beat Zak Mahamed to win the inter boys' race. Picture: Mick Young
Lachlan Wellington beat Zak Mahamed to win the inter boys' race. Picture: Mick Young
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Lachlan Wellington and Josie Czura both won individual gold medals on a good day for Hampshire Schools in Sussex.

The City of Portsmouth duo continued their impressive cross-country form as they shone in the South East Schools Inter-County Championships at Bexhill Down.

Josie Czura. Picture: Mick Young

Josie Czura. Picture: Mick Young

Wellington and his club-mate Jacob O’Hara collected team silver medals in the inter boys’ race.

They only missed the gold on countback to Berkshire, finishing in second place, comfortably clear of the other teams Kent, Surrey, Essex and Sussex.

Wellington, coached by Vince Stamp, finished first in 17.30, 17 seconds clear of South of England champion Zak Mahamed, who finished second.

O’Hara, who is coached by Pat Butcher, crossed the line 10th in 18.31 and was fourth scorer for Hampshire.

City of Portsmouth's Bo Sansom ran well again. Picture: Mick Young

City of Portsmouth's Bo Sansom ran well again. Picture: Mick Young

South of England champion Czura led Hampshire to gold in the inter girls’ team race, with her fellow Cams Hill School pupil Maisie Grice also in the scoring team.

Czura finished first in a time of 13.28 and Grice was 12th in 14.40.

City coach Stamp said: ‘It was a good day for Josie and Lachlan again.

‘They are both bottom years in the schools’ events so they are beating under-17 runners.

‘Lachlan followed a few of the older runners who went away hard at the start.

‘He took the lead on the second lap and got clear to win by 17 seconds from Zak Mahamed.

‘They reversed the positions from the South of England Championships and they have raced three times this winter now.

‘Lachlan has won twice and Zak has won once.

‘In the inter girls, Josie blitzed the field on the second lap like it was an 800m race.

‘It was another runaway victory for her after the South of England Championships.’

City athlete Charlotte Bullard got one over on her club-mates in the junior girls’ race.

She helped Sussex finish first team on countback.

Bullard crossed the line 12th in a time of 11.49 and was third scorer.

Saffron Moore led the Hampshire team who had to settle for silver.

Moore finished fifth in 11.30, with Nicole Ainsworth seventh in 11.32.

Havant’s Ellie Farrow was Hampshire’s sixth scorer as she finished 28th in 11.54.

Stamp added: ‘Charlotte was the star performer for me after she had been suffering with illness recently.

‘Her run was outstanding to finish in 12th place and she was part of the winning team.

‘Saffron and Nicole ran well to finish so high up against older runners.

‘It is a big benefit for them to be training together because they take it in turns to push hard.’

Hampshire finished second in the senior girls’ race, with Evie Grice, from Fareham, finishing 20th in 18.53.

City’s Kayleigh Johns was 43rd in 20.12.

Bo Sansom finished 48th in the junior girls’ race with a time of 12.22 and Mia Billins was 80th in 12.53.

In the inter girls’ race, Elizabeth Hedley finished 18th in 14.57 and Anya Pigden also ran strongly to take 51st in 15.47.

Steven Cross continued his good progress with 79th in the inter boys’ race in 20.30.

In the junior boys’ race, Josh Goldfinch was 45th in 14.17 and Callum Crook was 58th in 14.27.