Golden debut for McMurray while St Albans team-mates enjoy home cross-countries

PUBLISHED: 14:34 13 December 2019

St Albans Athletics Club's James McMurray won his first gold medal in a GB vest at the European Cross Country Championship.

St Albans Athletics Club's James McMurray won his first gold medal in a GB vest at the European Cross Country Championship.

Archant

James McMurray was celebrating after he and his GB team-mates won gold at the European Cross Country Championships.

Tom Halling in action for St Albans Striders at the Chiltern Cross Country League match at Stopsley, Luton. Picture: BARRY CORNELIUSTom Halling in action for St Albans Striders at the Chiltern Cross Country League match at Stopsley, Luton. Picture: BARRY CORNELIUS

It was the St Albans Athletic Club runner's first senior GB appearance too and came in the mixed relay around a very hilly park in Lisbon, Portugal.

Racing over 1500m he produced a stunning run to give GB the lead at the handover, one they never relinquished.

Equally impressive were his St Albans team-mates who played a significant part in the success of Hertfordshire at the south of England Intercounties Championships in Oxford.

The U13 boys of Matthew Nicholls, Eddie Wade and Tom Bailey also came home with gold while the U15 girls' team, consisting of Antonia Jubb, Lily Tse, Sarah McGrath, Hannah Barker and Annabel Hedge claimed silver.

Lucy Waterlow in action for St Albans Striders at the Chiltern Cross Country League match at Stopsley, Luton. Picture: BARRY CORNELIUSLucy Waterlow in action for St Albans Striders at the Chiltern Cross Country League match at Stopsley, Luton. Picture: BARRY CORNELIUS

Jubb's fast early pace also gave her an individual bronze while Poppy Fisher, Christina Durbin, Lauren Eckley and Niamh Gallagher were other St Albans athletes to wear the orange vests of Hertfordshire.

The rest of the club's cross-country squad teamed up with St Albans Striders for the latest round of the Chiltern Cross Country League, held at Stopsley Common in Luton.

There were a number of debutants, including Joshua Hirst, Toby Pritchard, Mitchell Massey, James Spicer-Thornton, Gabriella Sweeny and Eliza Davies.

Georgia Tongue took the individual performance of the day with third place in the U11 girls' race while there was a strong showing from the U17 men's squad of Aidan Tanner, Alex Moffat, James Allison and Cameron Donnet.

The Striders had a total of 27 men and 18 women competing in the senior races and it was Tom Halling, Jonathan Scott, Steve Buckle, Phillip Evans and Rowan Daly who were the leading lights for the Saints men.

Lucy Waterlow, Lucy Jones, Jenny Maginley, Jen Conway and Wendy Walsh top that honour for the club's female athletes.

The final results placed St Albans fifth across the board, those categories being overall as well as male and female.

It also leaves them fifth in the league table with two more matches to take place this season, both in the new year.

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