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LWAC 2000-2002 - last updated 21 November 2002

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Reebok Cross Challenge
17 November 2002

Lincoln Wellington's Rachael Nathan will be part of a six strong Great Britain and Northern Ireland under 20 women's team at next months European Cross Country Championships at Medulin in Croatia. The 16 year old ran superbly in the Reebok sponsored trial race at Margate against girls up to three years older than herself to cross the line in 6th place in a field of nearly 180 finishers. After an anxious wait she received a call from the National selectors on her arrival home to confirm her place in the squad. Having learnt something from last years frantic start to the race when she was badly impeded she was away much faster on this occasion and soon showed up in the leading group. By halfway she was in 5th place with some noticeable gaps appearing between the chasing pack. Although she conceded one place on the final run to the line she never looked likely to lose a qualifying position and the selectors were obviously impressed enough with the performance. Although Rachael has already represented Great Britain three times on the track this will be her debut at this level at cross country and will provide invaluable experience. She does not enter the under 20 ranks officially until next year and then has a further three years in the same age group. In the same race the very promising Lucinda Pitcher did her confidence a power of good by running very well to finish 77th and new member Amy Connolly also produced a useful effort to come back 122nd.

Two further outstanding Wellington performances came in the under 15 boys race. In a field of well over 100 athletes including nearly all the big names in the age group Danny Roome confirmed his considerable potential by running very strongly to finish in 11th place. He was not beaten far at all and could easily be troubling the best by the end of the season. In a tightly packed finish club-mate Josh Stone was only a few seconds behind him in 21st place and this was another terrific effort. These two should certainly spearhead a strong Wellington challenge for honours in the under 15 age group at the Northern Championships in the new year.

In a superb quality senior men's race, which was also the European trial, Tom Doe represented the East of England and had a very good run to finish 41st. He was making steady headway virtually throughout the whole race and finished right on the heels of some very high class runners. Simon Bell was running for the Combined Services but was never going too fluently and finished some way back in 83rd place. Dean Houlton also represented the East of England team and after finding the early pace a bit hot he was picking people off in the second half of the race to finish 92nd.

In his first year in the junior men's age group Jason Hall did well to finish 65th in another talent packed field particularly as he did not feel well prior to the race. The only reverse for the club came in this race when Matt Bowser had to drop out before halfway with breathing problems when in 4th place. He had suffered with a heavy cold for the previous two days and regrettably this took its inevitable toll. After last years fine performance for the gold medal winning British squad at the European Championships this was a disappointment but he has plenty of time left this winter to make his mark.

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