City trio lead Hampshire to team bronze at English Schools' Cross Country Championships

Katie Simister has had a strong cross-country season. Picture: Paul Smith
Katie Simister has had a strong cross-country season. Picture: Paul Smith
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With City of Portsmouth athletes leading the charge it was a solid day for Hampshire at the English Schools’ Championships.

Lachlan Wellington (fifth in 22min 01sec), Jacob O’Hara (16th in 22.31) and Sam Charig (52nd in 23.17) were the first scorers for the county.

They led the team to a bronze medal in the senior boys’ race.

Wellington, coached by Vince Stamp, wrapped up his winter in which he secured two international medals and a major title as he became South of England title.

O’Hara, who is coached by Steve Purser, had an excellent run while Charig, coached by Alex Budd, also impressed for the team after enjoying a good winter ahead of his big track targets for the summer.

Katie Simister ran strongly in the senior girls’ race (86th in 16.57) and was sixth scorer for Hampshire to help the team secure fifth position.

In the junior boys’ race William Campbell was third for Hampshire (93rd in 14.50) with a good run while Cameron Walker-Powell (295th in 16.10) battled on after falling early in the race.

Stamp felt it was a good finish to the winter for the athletes who made the trip to Leeds for the last major domestic championship of the season.

He said: ‘It has been a busy finish to the season with lots of very competitive championship races.

‘Lachlan has been our top cross-country athlete through the winter but it wasn’t the greatest of seasons, he won’t mind me saying.

‘He had a nice purple patch when he won the southerns and led England in Seville and in Belgium to get two international individual bronze medals.

‘At the English Schools Lachie led the Hampshire team home. He gave it everything he could but he didn’t feel it was one of his better runs.

‘Jacob had a cracking run and Sam did well as the club provided the first three to help Hampshire get bronze.

‘Katie was being hyper-critical of her run and she didn’t feel she got off to a good enough start. But she was sixth scorer for Hampshire and now it will be interesting to see what she can do over 10k on the road which is what we have been working towards recently.’

City’s Ellie Farrow showed she is getting back to full fitness after illness with a good 47th position (16.21) in the senior girls’ race representing Sussex as they finished eighth team.

While Liam Dunne, who trains with Stamp’s Invincibles, led Hampshire intermediate boys’ team as they finished 11th. The Chichester Runners athlete was 39th in 18.02.