Goldfinch soaring... Johns goes the distance

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Training partners Josh Goldfinch and Callum Crook enjoyed a close battle at the South of England Cross-Country Championships.

The duo both impressed in the under-13 boys’ race in Brighton on Saturday.

Although Crook runs for Havant he trains with City of Portsmouth coach Vince Stamp’s group.

City’s Goldfinch finished the 3,000m course in 27th with a time of 11min 03sec, while Crook was 28th (11.04).

Stamp said: ‘It was really nip and tuck between them.

‘On the final stretch Josh got a few metres.

‘He was kicking again on the straight and Callum was kicking as well.

‘They fed off each other.’

City’s Kayleigh Johns continued her progress as she finished 61st in the under-17s’ girls race.

She completed the 5,000m course in a time of 20.28.

‘Kayleigh started off as a sprinter,’ said Stamp.

‘She’s really improved with her running.

‘It was an outstanding performance.’

Meanwhile, Victory’s Zack Lahlal finished 46th in the under-20 men’s race.

He clocked a time of 29.49 for the tough 8,000m course.

City of Portsmouth’s Matt Smith was just behind Lahal in 50th place with a time of 29.54.

The talented duo ran shoulder to shoulder for much of the race.