Talented Czura shines on national stage

Josie Czura
Josie Czura
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Champion Piotr Meller with duathlon organiser Rob Piggot.  Picture: Neil Marshall (170306-18)

Defending champion ready for Portsmouth Duathlon mission

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Josie Czura underlined her fast-emerging class at the UK Inter Counties Cross-Country Championships.

The City of Portsmouth ace ran to a hugely-impressive fifth-place finish and helped her Hampshire team to third overall in the team competition at Cofton Park in Birmingham.

Czura recorded a time of 11min 29sec over 3km – and that effort was made all the more impressive with the 12-year-old a bottom-year entry in her category.

She was joined by team-mate Elizabeth Headley, who also performed superbly to finish 15th in the same race (11.47).

There were a number of fine displays by the region’s athletes in the midlands, with City flexing their muscle.

Alex Teuten flew the flag for the club at senior level as he finished 12th over 12km in 35.13.

And it was a similar story for Ethan Bevis in the under-15 boys’ race as he clocked 16.37 over 4.5km.

That helped Hampshire finish as runners-up in the team competition in his category.

Lauren McCarthy was 85th in the under-17 race over 5km (22.06), with Thomas Coleman 146th in the under-13 boys race over 3km (11.43).

The healthy number of City athletes involved were boosted further by Evie Grice (19.32) and Ellie Czura (20.14) who finished 137th and 202nd respectively over 4km at under-15 level.

Havant were also well represented as Matthew Gordon ran impressively to finish 56th in the under-20 race over 8km in 26.57.

Grace Crumplin was part of the under-20 women’s squad as she finished 124th over 6km in 26.37.

City coach Gerry North was delighted to see so many strong performances on the national stage.

He said: ‘It was a brilliant run for Josie considering she’s a first-year in that age group.

‘If she continues how she is, she’ll be a strong contender for the title next year.

‘There’s a lot of strength in depth – as this race shows.’