City of Portsmouth coach Vince Stamp was delighted with the performance of his young charges in the UK Inter-County Championships on Saturday.
Josie Czura came up against her rival Kathleen Faes, with the duo locking horns in the under-15s – as they have throughout this cross-country season.
It was Kent’s Faes who took the win but Czura gave her a big scare in the 4,000m race.
Thr 14-year-old City ace finished just six seconds back in 17min 53sec.
Club-mate Elizabeth Rose was fourth scorer for Hampshire in 32nd spot with a time of 19.38.
Elizabeth Hedley completed the City contingent in the under-15 race finishing 79th (20.22).
Stamp felt Czura just ran out of ground in her bid for victory.
He said: ‘Josie ran with a smile on her face.
‘She closed the gap to Kathleen by around 20 seconds on the last lap.
‘If it had been a bit longer, Josie looked the likely winner.
‘The Inter-County race is the top eight from all the counties in the UK.
‘It’s a higher standard than the nationals and it was a good day for the club.’
Hampshire finished third in the under-15s boys’ 4,500m race.
Lachlan Wellington was second scorer in 13th spot (17.37) and Jacob O’Hara was fourth scorer in 55th place (18.28).
‘Lachlan ran a very mature, controlled race,’ said Stamp.
‘Jacob has been running well all winter and he had a flier.’
Training partners Havant’s Callum Crook and City’s Josh Goldfinch, who had to pick himself up after a fall, both ran well in the under-13 boys’ race.
Crook came in 43rd (12.39) and Goldfinch 78th (12.54).
In the under-13 girls’ 3,000m race, City’s Olivia Wiseman, representing Sussex, had a superb run to finish 64th in 13.56.