Emily Thompson produced her best ever cross country run for Oxfordshire at Saturday’s UK Inter-Counties Cross Country fixture.
Racing at Loughborough’s Prestwold Hall, Thompson ran her most impressive national race to finish as the first Oxon and first Midlands runner in a high-quality under-17 women’s 5km race.
The Banbury Harrier looked strong and composed after her winter training, showing real stamina on a demanding course.
With a fast start, Thompson got to the first tight bend ahead of most of the 280-strong field, avoiding the bunching behind her.
She held her position well throughout the long undulating course and gained another position in a fast finish, coming through the line in 21 minute 27 seconds to claim 23rd spot, her highest ever finish in the major national cross-country titles.
Jenny Hannah also ran an impressive race in her first year as an under-17 to make it a one-two for Harriers in the county team, taking 86th position in 22 minutes 40 seconds.
Alex Scrivener continued her excellent run of form to take 33rd position in the under-15 girls’ 4km race. She was first in the Oxon team, despite being in the lower year of this age group.
An impressive time of 16 minutes 36 seconds demonstrated her quality and potential.
Harriers’ team-mate Naomi Dibb ran her first race in the county colours, showing excellent determination to run 19 minutes 22 seconds.
Owen Knox added to Harriers’ achievements with his run of 17 minutes 22 seconds to finish in 110th position in the under-15 boys’ race.
Other excellent performances included Rosie Weston, finishing 124th in a time of 27 minutes 51 seconds over the 6km course in the under-20 women’s race.
Northants’ Skip Snelson ran 17 minutes 23 seconds to finish 112th in the under-13 boys’ race and Jasper Bell, 266th, who completed the course in 14 minutes 08 seconds.