Team GB star Jess Judd gives some tips to Thetford Athletics Club juniors

Thetford AC athletes with Team GB athlete Jess Judd (centre) at the English National Cross-Country R

Thetford AC athletes with Team GB athlete Jess Judd (centre) at the English National Cross-Country Relay Championships at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield. - Credit: Submitted

Team GB rising star Jess Judd took time out to congratulate Thetford Athletics Club’s youngsters on their efforts at the English National Cross-Country Relay Championships.

The 19-year-old Essex athlete was amongst thousands competing at the country’s highest profile cross-country relay event of the winter season at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield.

A Commonwealth Games athlete who competed in Glasgow this summer and finished in an impressive fourth place in the 800m final, Judd also won bronze at the 2011 World Youth Championships, silver at the 2012 World Junior Championships and finished first at the 2013 European Team Championships.

Judd told Thetford’s athletes that despite being used to running a far shorter distance over the track, the longer distances that she competes over during the winter cross-country season were vital to her stamina training and crucial to preparing her for the 2015 track season.

Despite cross-country racing being her less high-profile discipline, Judd still managed a gold medal at the 2012 European Cross-Country Championships.

The Thetford athletes were impressed by Judd’s performance at Mansfield, competing in one of the first races of the day. Despite taking over the anchor leg in 34th position she ran over two minutes faster than her Chelmsford AC team-mates to pull her team back to a final 14th place finish.

This spurred the Thetford athletes on, with the under-13 girls the next to compete.

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Jessica Norkett got the Thetford girls off to a flying start completing the 2km course in an impressive time of 8:08.90mins. Emma Coppin took over the second leg and ran 9:51.35 with Maddie Rolph finishing the race off with a time of 9:04.40.

This saw the Thetford U13 girls team finish the race in 81st position out of 94 teams competing in a combined time of 27:04.65. The eventual winners of the race were Liverpool Harriers in a time of 23:02.25.

Thetford AC’s U15 boys got off to a quick start with a 6:42.90 run by Harley Swan to put the team in an excellent position after the first leg.

Charlie Stone ran a second leg of 7:26.25, with Aiden Try completing the anchor leg in a time of 7:14.85, bringing the team home in a combined time of 21:24 for 40th place out of the 81 teams taking part. Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers won the race in a time of 19:09.05.