City of Portsmouth runner Samuel Charig agonisingly close to winning Hampshire Cross Country Championship title
Samuel Charig was just a few seconds off being crowned the Hampshire under-20 cross country champion for 2020.
The City of Portsmouth runner was desperately close to repeating the feat of club colleague Lachlan Wellington who had won the title 12 months earlier at Fairthorne Manor.
The Isle of Wight’s Henry McLuckie clocked 27.07 over the 8,100m course to finish just four seconds in front of Charig.
Jacob O’Hara was third - for the second year running - in 27.37.
Charig had competed at under-17 level in 2019, finishing fourth with CoP colleague Callum Crook fifth.
Crook also stepped up to the under-20 category in 2020, finishing eighth in 30.02.
As a result - and with only 15 runners in the category - City of Portsmouth were comfortable winners of the top team award.
The highest-placed City of Portsmouth finisher in the main senior men’s and veterans race (over 12,000m) was 12th-placed Paul Cardy, who clocked 41.56.
There was a Southampton one-two with winner Zak Mahamed clocking 38.57 to win from Will Bryan in 39.01.
Stubbington Green were the best performing local club, coming eighth in the team event (comprising the six highest-placed finishers).
Lewis Banner led the Stubbington contingent home in 28th place (44.37) followed by Iain Cross (48th, 46.21), Colin Trigg (53rd, 46.30), Andy Simpson (58th, 47.07), Dan Foster (80th, 49.22) and Steve Cumes (107th, 52.27).
City of Portsmouth’s Damon Howard was second in the men’s 45 vet category, clocking 45.38 - behind Basingstoke’s Alex Hamilton (43.37).
The first Fareham Crusaders member to finish was Emlyn Hughes, who was 54th in 46.43 and fifth in the men’s 40 category.
Three places behind was Paul Mitchinson, the first Victory AC runner to finish in 47.02.
Stubbington Green’s Penny Forse was the fastest women’s 70 category runner in the senior women and veterans race.
She belied her years to finish a superb 55th out of 111 in 40.55.
There was only one other women in her age group - Victory’s Marilyn Crocker, who finished in 61.36.
Forse’s time was quicker than those of the fastest women’s 60 and 65 sections, and only 45 seconds adrift of the quickest women’s 45 group winner.
City of Portsmouth’s Cassie Thorp was third in the senior women’s race in 31.56.
That was only five second adrift of second-placed Sarah Mercier (Guernsey), with Winchester’s Helen Hall winning in 31.18.
CoP’s Emma Jolley was 13th in 33.34 - the third finisher in the women’s 35 age group.
And club colleague Emma Montiel was 20th in 34.55 - placing her third in the women’s 40 section.
They helped City of Portsmouth to finish third in the veterans team event, alongside Elly McMeehan (46th, 39.55) and Katie Carew-Robinson (55th, 41.03).
Amy Bream was the first Havant club runner to finish, clocking 36.03 for 27th.
City of Portsmouth’s Cameron Walker-Powell was fourth in the under-15 boys race over 4,100m in 14.50 - 44 seconds behind winner Ben Brown of Southampton.
CoP had two entrants in the under-20 women’s race - Eleanor Purdue (6th in 27.59) and Penelope Batty in 42.17.
Clubmate Finney Coomber was fifth in the under-13 girls ace over 3,300m in 13.15.