Portsmouth trio Wellington, Czura and Moore seal cross-country titles
Super-charged City of Portsmouth athletes secured a hat-trick of individual titles in the Hampshire Cross Country Championships.
Lachlan Wellington won the under-15 boys’ race at Fairthorne Manor on Saturday, defeating United Kingdom number one Zak Mahamed along the way.
Josie Czura took her third successive county cross country gold medal as she dominated the under-15 girls’ race.
And Saffron Moore recorded victory in the under-13 girls’ age group, while her club-mate, Nicole Ainsworth, also ran superbly to take second place.
City coach Vince Stamp lauded Wellington’s success as he stormed through the mud to complete the 4k course in a time of 12min 52sec.
He beat a very high-quality field, including Mahamed, who finished in 13.08, and his club-mate Jacob O’Hara, trained by Pat Butcher, who was fourth in 14.04.
Stamp said: ‘Lachlan’s win was the stand-out performance because he beat the UK number one.
‘He absolutely destroyed Zak who hadn’t been beaten on the country for around a year.’
The duo have a friendly rivalry, with Mahamed representing Southampton and Wellington, who attends Cams Hill School, running for Portsmouth.
Stamp joked: ‘After a previous race a national report said it was dominated by Hampshire with the red side beating the blue side, but this time the blue side smashed the red side!’
Wellington and O’Hara led the City under-15 boys to second in the team race, with Josh Goldfinch, 16th in 14.56, and Harry Moore, 24th in 15.20, completing the team.
City under-15 girls won the team prize after Czura completed the 4k course in 14.08 – more than a minute clear of Rebecca Bullock in second.
Bo Sansom finished 11th in 16.21, Eleanor Purdue took 13th in 16.42, and Anya Pigden completed the City team to secure the gold medal, finishing 14th in 16.46.
Havant’s Ellie Farrow also ran well to finish fourth in 15.40.
In the under-13 girls’ race over 3.2k, Moore took the victory in 12.29, with Ainsworth second in 12.31.
Eloise O’Neill took seventh in 13.43 and Yazmin Knight was 16th in 14.10, but the team had to settle for silver, after Aldershot, Farnham & District took the gold on countback.
Maisie Grice, from Fareham, finished fourth for Aldershot, Farnham & District in the under-17 girls’ race over 5k with a time of 20.21.
City’s Elizabeth Hedley finished fifth in 20.30, with club-mate Elizabeth Rose eighth in 21.45.
Thomas MacSwayne secured a silver medal for City in the under-20 men’s 9.8k race in a time of 35.52.
Don’t miss The News on Saturday for reaction from City of Portsmouth’s Alex Teuten after his second-place finish in the senior men’s race.