Nicholls bat­tles through mud to fin­ish well clear

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - All The Week’s Action... -

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.

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM2973808

Matt Brit­ton – Ash­ford AC’s lead­ing fin­isher in the se­nior race

Max Nicholls – un­der-20 men’s race win­ner

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