Bird is on song at inter-counties event

JOHN Bird was the star performer for Suffolk at the annual Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships, staged at Wollaton Park, Nottingham.Bird was a superb eighth in the under-15 boys' race, helping Suffolk to a creditable eighth in the team stakes.

By Carl Marston

JOHN Bird was the star performer for Suffolk at the annual Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships, staged at Wollaton Park, Nottingham.

Bird was a superb eighth in the under-15 boys' race, helping Suffolk to a creditable eighth in the team stakes. He was joined by Samuel Cheverton (47th), Alex Dunbar (64th) and D O'Connor (71st) in the scoring quartet.

Greg Billington, of Newmarket, finished an impressive 14th in a very competitive under-20 men's race. The American-born teenager tasted victory in the under-17 age group last year, to become the first Suffolk runner to win an individual inter-counties title.

Elsewhere, Kelvin Hardy was 24th in the senior men's event, and his Ipswich Harrier club-mate Laura O'Dell finished 74th in the senior women's race.

Nicola Morgan and Andrew Ridley posted the best results for West Suffolk AC. In all, 23 members of the club had been selected to represent Suffolk across the age groups. Most races had fields of more than 300.

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Morgan was an excellent 35th in the under-17 women's event, with club-mate Zara McLoone (46th) also to the fore, while Ridley led home the Suffolk contingent in the under-17 men's event in 36th position.

Ipswich Harrier Andrew Rooke was 38th in the same race, with West Suffolk's Matthew Cripps in 118th.

Maddy Davies was 48th in the under-13 girls' category, and J Garvin spearheaded the county in the boys' equivalent in 44th position. Tom Bailey (79th) also finished in the top 100 on his inter-counties debut.

In the under-15 girls' section, there top 200 efforts from Abby Marriott (106th), Abbie Beales (176th), Emily Barker (178th) and Frances Waterhouse (185th).

Under-13 boys: 44 J Garvin, 79 T Bailey, 84 R Hinton-Smith, 102 T Eames, 150 J Robinson, 246 R Beard, 260 A Cripps, 274 C Lundy. Team: 17th.

Under-13 girls: 48 M Davis, 133 A Grose, 158 J Anthony, 232 H Peterson, 248 E Robrins, 252 L Clipstone. Team: 30th.

Under-15 boys: 8 J Bird, 47 S Cheverton, 64 A Dunbar, 71 D O'Connor, 148 C Fry, 160 J Ware, 195 A Groiss, 210 D Thackeray. Team: Eighth.

Under-15 girls: 106 A Marriott, 176 A Beales, 178 E Barker, 185 F Waterhouse, 207 L Thomas, 212 A Wicks, 233 E Burroughs.

Under-17 men: 36 A Ridley, 38 A Rooke, 118 M Cripps, 133 E Palmer, 158 A Waterhouse, 169 W Barnes-Smith, 209 T Taylor, 233 J Palmer. Team: 16th.

Under-17 women: 35 N Morgan, 46 Z McLoone, 142 J Clarry, 160 E Wenham, 162 A Simpson, 221 H Waters, 259 H Finndan. Team: 23rd.

Under-20 men: 14 G Billington, 60 C Rooke, 76 L Allen.

Under-20 women: 108 S Gilbert.

Senior men: 24 K Hardy, 269 C Ridley.

Senior women: 75 L O'Dell, 143 S Bird, 207 V Gladwell, 208 M Narey, 236 T Dennison, 261 C Anthony. Team: 25th.

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