Nicholls battles through mud to finish well clear
Ashford School sixth-form pupil Max Nicholls won the under-20 title at the Kent Cross-Country Championships at Brockhill Park in Saltwood near Hythe on Saturday. He finished 40 seconds ahead of Tonbridge AC club-mate Robbie Farnham Rose and the victory sets him up nicely for the South of England Championships at Parliament Hill Fields in London later this month. Clubs from all over Kent descended on the rain lashed coastal venue for the county’s top event of the season, with Nicholls having to battle against the worst conditions of the day in the last event, with the course turned into a quagmire by nine previous races. Declan Burton produced Ashford AC’s performance of the day. He finished eighth in the under-17B race, earning himself a call-up to represent Kent in the National Inter-Counties Championships in March. Junior athlete Daniel Dunlop also produced an impressive performance in the tough conditions, finishing 15th in the under-13B event. He now prepares for the Kent Schools Cross-Country Championships. Matt Britton, who continues his build-up for the London Marathon in April, was Ashford’s leading finisher in the senior 12km race, taking 34th place in 49.32. Consistent vet 50 runner Kevin Williams was 58th (52,24), Andy Robertson 127th (1:03.14), and Phil Heathfield 153rd (1:15.18). Janine Brown (27th) led home the club’s senior ladies in 39.46, followed by Jenny Brown 38th (41.12) and Candy Hawkins 40th (41.23) – Ashford taking ninth place in the team standings. Amanda Jukes 55th (43.59) and Rebecca Weller 58th (44.21), both returning to fitness, raced well. Ashford will field teams in both the National and Southern Championships for the first time this year.
Matt Britton – Ashford AC’s leading finisher in the senior race
Max Nicholls – under-20 men’s race winner