Former European champion returns to the track for the first time in a year at BMC Grand Prix in Loughborough
Bronwen Owen and James Hunt claim debut Welsh cross country titlesFebruary 24, 2018
A round-up of Welsh Cross Country Championships action at Singleton Park
James Hunt stormed to a first Welsh Cross Country Championships title on a cold and sunny day at Singleton Park in Swansea, Alex Donald reports.
The Cardiff AAC man was too strong for second-placed Phil Matthews in the second half of the race, with Matthews settling for the runner-up spot and M35 title.
Dan Nash was the next Cardiff AAC athlete home and third overall. He wasn’t able to help his team to a club title however, with Swansea proving the strongest in depth.
The Harriers team crown came despite star man Dewi Griffiths retiring on the second large lap, unable to add a seventh consecutive title to his racing portfolio but still on target for Steve Jones’ record of nine titles.
Hunt commented on his victory saying: “It’s unbelievable, I can’t believe I won. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I was really strong in the second half, I kicked on the downhill and moved away and I didn’t look back.”
Bronwen Owen of Scarborough AC ran away from a quality women’s field to add a win here to her 2015 junior women’s title from Corwen in North Wales.
Next home was 2017 champion Beth Kidger of Brighton Phoenix, with Mel Wilkins of Winchester & District AC taking her first medal at a Welsh senior championships in third.
Sian Edwards was fourth, leading her Swansea Harriers team to reclaim the team crown from last year’s winners, Cardiff AAC.
Owen commented on her victory saying: “The course was quite tough but not too muddy. I didn’t expect to win but I wanted to medal. I didn’t know who the competition was and didn’t get the lead until around 800m to go.”
Dominic Smith took the top Welsh honours in the junior men’s race, just behind race winner and Swansea Harrier team mate Connor Smith.
Cardiff AAC’s Abigail Fisher was the victor in the under-17/under-20 women’s race, with under-17 men’s victory for club-mate Larry Ryan.
Mike Spill and Samia Jones of Menai Track & Field took under-15 titles, with Frank Morgan of Carmarthen Harriers and Neisha Roberts of Deeside AAC claiming under-13 titles.
» See the March 1 issue of AW for further coverage