Emelia Gorecka celebrated her 20th birthday in style by completing a hat-trick of junior women’s titles at the South of England Cross Country Championships on Saturday (January 25).
The Aldershot, Farnham & District (AFD) runner – easing into a transition into the senior ranks – powered to another impressive victory at Parliament Hill, while leading the club to the team title with three of her colleagues finishing in the top six.
Amy Griffiths took the bronze medal, coming in behind team-mate Gorecka and Invicta East Kent’s Alex Clay, who represented Great Britain at last year’s World Championships.
Grace Baker finished fifth and Ruth Haynes sixth to round off an impressive performance from the dominant AFD girls.
In fact, AFD provided the individual and team winners in the senior women’s race too.
Jess Andrews, in her first season out of the junior ranks, led most of the way to beat Miranda Heathcote, of Newquay & Par, by 15 seconds with Georgie Bruinvels coming in fifth, Emily Hosker-Thornhill sixth and Sarah Rollins 54th.
Bronze medallist Jack Crabtree led AFD to their triumph in the under-17 men’s event. He was backed by Gus Cockle, fifth, George Gathercole, tenth, and Nathan Gibson 22nd.
The u17 women were also victorious with Daisy D'Santos finishing fifth, Katie Shiel-Rankin 11th, Rebekah Pantony 22nd and Eloise Milbourn 42nd.
The club’s other victory came from the junior men with Jack Rowe heading the team home in fifth ahead of Toby Smith (ninth); Matt Arnold (13th) and Ben Bradley (17th).
AFD also claimed silver medals in two age-groups – individual silver medallist Niamh Brown leading home the under 15 girls team in front of colleagues Tilly Horton (19th), Stacey Burrows (20th) and Eugenie Cockle (29th).
The u13 boys’ team comprised Billy Smith (12th) Marcus Shantry (15th) Josh Foreman (43rd) and Josh Genco-Russo (67th).