Gorecka supreme at BUCS Cross

Mick Woods-coached duo Emelia Gorecka and Steven Connor take student cross-country titles in Leeds

BUCS women's race (Dave Greenwood)

Emelia Gorecka was a convincing winner of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Cross Country Championships in Leeds, while Steven Connor was a surprise winner of the men’s race.

Gorecka, who won European junior silver in December and competing for Royal Holloway University of London, beat Lauren Howarth of Birmingham University by 35 seconds with Elizabeth Potter of Loughborough third, Susan Partridge of Leeds fourth, Georgina Taylor-Brown of Leeds Met fifth and Louise Small of St Mary’s sixth.

Supported by Catherine Blew in eighth and Melissa Hawtin in ninth, Howarth led Birmingham to the team gold in the women’s race ahead of St Mary’s and Loughborough.

In the men’s race, Southampton student Conner finished 14 seconds ahead of St Mary’s trio of Daniel Davis, Stephen Scullion and Rowan Axe, with Jack Gray of Birmingham fifth and Gordon Benson of Leeds sixth.

The 24-year-old Connor, who like Gorecka is a member of Aldershot, Farnham & District and coached by Mick Woods, was only 16th in last year’s event in Cardiff.

St Mary’s took team gold easily in the men’s event from Birmingham and Loughborough. Cambridge also had a solid day with fourth place in the men’s and women’s races.

The men’s B race was won by Toby Loveridge of St Mary’s as the London university showed their depth by filling eight of the top ten places.

» In-depth coverage from the BUCS Championships in the February 7 issue of Athletics Weekly, with photos, reports, results over five pages of the magazine.

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