National cross country glory for Thetford AC athlete Ben Peck

Thetford AC's Ben Peck is crowned U13 boys National Cross Country champion Picture: CLUB

Thetford AC's Ben Peck is crowned U13 boys National Cross Country champion Picture: CLUB - Credit: Archant

The English National Cross Country Championships were held at Harewood House, Leeds in warm temperatures for February, a stark contrast to the usual cross country weather.

The course was extremely challenging but this didn’t deter Thetford AC athlete Ben Peck.

He followed up his South of England Championship by producing a wonderful, battling performance to be crowned U13 boys’ national champion, a superb achievement against the best cross country athletes in the country.

It was a proud day not just for Ben, but for Thetford AC as well.

His brother James Peck also put in a great performance in the U15 boys’ race to finish the 4km course in 60th position, continuing his fine cross country season.

The England Athletics National Indoor Championships were also taking place at the Institute of Sport in Sheffield at the same time. Thetford AC’s sole athlete to qualify for these championships was Jessica Norkett.

She achieved the qualifying time required for the U17 women’s 1,500m and put in a strong performance, coming back from a six-week injury lay off to finish second and claim the national silver medal.

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The fourth Cross Country race of the Suffolk League Series took part in a sunny Nowton Park on Sunday. Thetford Athletics Juniors were first to take to the slightly muddy undulating 2.5 mile course and stormed home with some fantastic results.

Abigail Clouston was first Thetford girl home in 16.27, winning the junior U15 girl category. She was followed by Daniel Clouston in 16.37 and ninth U13 boy, Bethany Wilson in 16.49 and fourth U13 girl, Ewan Peck in 17.40 for 16th in the U13 boys and Callum Wing in 19.15 for 21st in the same category.

The Thetford senior athletes followed with an extra lap of the course with Simon Smith finishing in 32.39 and seventh in his age group. Other age group results: Sabine Schaefer 37.19 for third place, Gary Malliband in 38.05 for 23rd, Charlotte Smith in 38.59 for eighth, Cliff Clear in 47.37 for 25th and Ann Kirton in 52.26 for 16th place.