VICTORIA Webster retained her title with a strong performance in the 2008 Herts County Cross Country Championships held on Sunday at Haileybury College. The defending champion from St Albans controlled the senior women s race and finished the 8k Hertford
VICTORIA Webster retained her title with a strong performance in the 2008 Herts County Cross Country Championships held on Sunday at Haileybury College.
The defending champion from St Albans controlled the senior women's race and finished the 8k Hertford Heath course with a time of 30.53, nearly one-and-a-half minutes ahead of the field. Coach George Harrison said: "Victoria was a class above all the others and to win it for the second year is nice for her."
St Albans Striders came second in the team race in both the senior women and senior men.
St Albans School athlete Dominic Easter stepped up from the Under 17s which he won in 2007 to the Under 20s and demolished the field, taking first place with a time of 27.48 for the 8k race. Easter was 1.54 seconds ahead of the next athlete and led the St Albans School team to first prize ahead of Herts Phoenix. Geoffrey Ewen from St Albans School finished fourth (31.14) and Chris Graham came in seventh (33.49).
The glory for St Albans School continued in the Under 17s men as Billy Collins took the title with a time of 21.31 for the 6.1k course. Niall Fleming of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers and St Columba's College came in third with a time of 21.47. Euan Mackenzie finished fourth with a time of 22.02 and Richard Priseman came in fifth with 22.26 as St Albans School dominated. Coach Harrison is delighted with the progress of the school teams. He said: "The St Albans School set up is at the moment the strongest it has been for a long, long time. Dom is in a class of his own in the Under 20s. He was looking very good, very confident. He would have taken quite a bit of beating if anybody else had been there.
"In the Under 17s, Niall ran well, Euan Mackenzie ran exceptionally and Richard Priseman also had a very good run. Billy Collins showed a lot of grit to win because he was ill half way round."
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Rebekah Gardiner, from St Albans, finished second in the Under 20s women's race with a time of 25.24 for the 6.1k race. Coach Harrison said: "Becky ran really, really well. It is the best she has looked for a long time. The girl who was third from Stevenage (one minute back) beat Becky at Parliament Hill so she has reversed that quite considerably."
Karis Mimms of Beaumont School took the Under 13s title ahead of St Albans Athletic Club star Anna Mackenzie. Harrison who coaches both Karis and Anna, said: "That was the best I have ever seen Anna run. She only got off the plane from South Africa the previous day as did Euan so you could say they had been warm weather training. Anna went from fourth to second in the last half and she is going to do well. She is very useful. Karis is a class act, she is a class above them all at the moment and had a very good result."
In the Under 13s boys race, St Albans AC took the team win with a superb performance. James McMurray won the race, Oliver Poulain finished third and Chris Hilton took fourth place. Mark Pearce, of St Albans School, came in fifth with a good performance running up an age group.
St Albans AC Under 15s Girls picked up a bronze medal and St Albans School Under 15s boys were also third.
St Albans Athletic Club Under 11s Girls finished third in the team race with fine performances from Meghan Hobbs (third), Pippa Bailey (ninth) and Alice Townend (13th).