Talented trio relay their potential

City of Portsmouth's Josie Czura
City of Portsmouth's Josie Czura
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Top TRIO Josie Czura, Anya Pigden and Cheyanne James were the toast of City of Portsmouth AC after they medalled at the Southern Young Athletes Relays.

The under-13 girls’ team were the club’s only top-three finishers at the prestigious event in Aldershot, after they picked up a bronze in their ultra-competitive age-group category.

Their overall time of 25min 47sec saw them finish in third place, behind winners Herne Hill Harriers (24.53) and runners-up Wells City Harriers (25.34).

And to make the day even better for the talented team, Czura recorded the fastest time of the day out of the hundreds of athletes competing in her section.

Her individual effort of 7.55 in the second leg of the race saw her edge out Herne Hill’s Eloise O’Shaunessey (7.59) by four seconds and set a new course record for the event.

Coach Gerry North, though, believes his young charge could have ran even faster after spending long periods of the race out on her own as the rest of the field played catch-up.

‘Our under-13 girls’ team produced our best performance of the day. It was the only place we got,’ said North.

‘But if Josie had ran the last leg she probably would have gone even quicker and we would have got second definitely and might even have been fighting for first place.

‘Running in the second leg, she sailed past the four runners in front of her after Anya (8.28) finished fifth in the first leg, and ran mostly on her own after that.

‘She’s also not right at the moment, because her whole family has had a bad cold, but she looked all right.

‘I have got high hopes for Josie.’

North said he was expecting Czura to pick up some major titles over the winter season.

‘There are other good runners about in her age group but on her best Josie should win the national cross country championships early next year,’ he said.

‘If she’s on her best on the day she should win it. She’s got two big races to look forward to.

‘She’s got the national, which is in Nottingham, and then she’s got the inter-counties, which is in Birmingham.

‘Last year she was fifth in the inter-counties, but the four girls who beat her have now moved up to the under-15 group.’

Stepping up in age groups, Elizabeth Hedley also showed her undoubted class by helping her under-15 team claim a respectable 15th place last Saturday (35.23)

Taking over from first-leg runner Maisie Grice (11.57), she made up 23 places and ran the seventh fastest time for her race, stopping the clock at 11.15.

And Bobbie Dwyer helped maintain the good standards set by her team-mates by posting a time of 12.11 to ensure the team didn’t slip in the rankings.

Also competing in the girls’ section were the under-17 team (41.56) who finished 42nd after a good opening run from Eleanor Mills (13.14).

Meanwhile, Harry’s Moore’s impressive time of (10.52) helped the boys’ under-13s finish 23rd overall (47.50). The under-15 boys claimed 25th spot (43.22).