Thetford Athletics Club youngsters perform well at South of England Cross Country Championships

Thetford AC athletes at the South of England Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill in Londo

Thetford AC athletes at the South of England Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill in London, (from left) Charlie Stone, Aiden Try, Jessica Norkett, Tom Mead and Joseph Smythe. - Credit: Submitted

Thetford Athletics Club juniors made the annual pilgrimage to London for the South of England Cross Country Championships.

Always one of the most challenging events of the cross-country season, the Southerns, as they are best known, take place on Parliament Hill in north London, providing some spectacular views of the capital whilst also offering the steepest of hills over which to run and the boggiest of conditions underfoot in which to race.

The performance of the day came from under-13 female, Jessica Norkett, who has hit some excellent form. Racing to 43rd position in a time of 14 minutes dead was a huge success when amongst the toughest of fields consisting of the best young athletes across the south of the country. Norkett was up against 268 competitors, making her 43rd place even more impressive. Her race was won by Nicole Ainsworth, representing the City of Portsmouth, in a time of 12.36mins.

Thetford were well represented in the under-15 boys’ category with Tom Mead racing to 69th position in a time of 18:15, followed by Aiden Try in 80th place, completing the course in a time of 18:26. Joseph Smythe finished in a time of 19:10 for 138th position out of the 271 athletes taking part. The race was won by Southampton’s Zakariya Mahamed in 16:18.

Thetford’s Charlie Stone finished in 155th position, completing the course in a time of 26:12, and was the club’s sole competitor in the under-17 boys’ category. His race was won by Rob Huckle of Cambridge and Coleridge in a time of 20:17.

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Elsewhere, Thetford’s athletes have been in action in the Norfolk School’s Cross Country Championships with success at this event resulting in four of the athletes being selected to represent Norfolk at the forthcoming Anglian Schools Cross Country Championships.

Aiden Try finished fourth with Harley Swan ninth in the intermediate boys race for those pupils in years 10 and 11. Both qualify to represent Norfolk at the next stage.

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Jessica Norkett finished seventh in the junior girls race for those in years eight and nine whilst Joseph Smythe finished in fifth position in the junior boys category. All move on to race at the Anglians in Boston this week.

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