Teams from Aldershot, Farnham & District came away from the English National Cross Country Championships in Nottingham with two sets of gold medals but – for the first time since 2003 – no runner from the club struck individual gold.
The closest they came on Saturday was in the two races they won – the senior and junior women’s – where AFD athletes took the individual silver and bronze medals.
A trio of AFD favourites were in contention for the senior title but they could not contain Gemma Steel, the European silver medallist, from creating a margin of 17 seconds to regain the title she had won in 2012. Steph Twell, the 2010 champion, finished second and Lily Partridge third.
Partridge’s team mate in the under-23s’ event at the European Championships, Jess Andrews, came in fifth and Georgie Bruinvels 11th to claim victory over Steel’s Charnwood side.
The size of AFD’s win was matched only by the club’s juniors. Georgia Taylor-Brown, of Sale Harriers Manchester, who was fourth in the European u20s’ event, finished 48 seconds clear of Amy Griffiths – a team-mate in Belgrade – and Grace Baker, u17s’ silver medallist in last season’s National, claimed bronze. Laura Gent completed the top dozen and AFD’s scoring trio.
The club gained silver medals from both u17s’ team competitions. Jack Crabtree in sixth led Nathan Gibson, 21st, George Gathercole, 31st, and Dan Rickards, 102nd, in the men’s contest, while Daisy D’Santos (10th), led home Katie Shiel-Rankin (12th) Rebekah Pantony (46th) and Eloise Milbourn (50th).
AFD did have one other individual medallist in the shape of Niamh Brown, who took bronze in the u15 girls' race but missed out on another medal by just four points when the club's individual placings were totalled.
Tilly Horton (29th) Stacey Burrows (34th) and Eugenie Cockle (53rd) were the other contributors to AFD's fourth.
The u15 boys, led by Jake Cvetkovic in eighth, were seventh, while both the senior and junior men finished fifth.
And the weekend was rounded off with a sixth place for the u13 boys and an 11th for the u13 girls.