Waveney Valley AC fielded two senior men’s and two senior women’s teams, plus one junior athlete, for the Suffolk Cross Country Championships at Culford School, near Bury St Edmunds, on Sunday. The course, consisting of grass and trails, was fast and firm with one energy-sapping gradient which the seniors had to deal with on each of the three laps. The distance for the seniors was 10k with 1 x 2k and 2 x 4k laps.
There was a closely contested field in the ladies race and Samantha Lines kickstarted the new year in fine style by finishing second in a time of 38:51, less than half a minute behind an international athlete from Aldershot & Farnham AC. Completing Waveney’s two strong ladies teams were Zoe Chase 17th in 45:43, Jess Hall 21st in 47:01, Sarah Norman 34th in 48:10, Susannah Close 41st in 51:31, Stephanie Pimlott 45th in 51:56, Kerry Saunders 46th in 51:57 and Rebecca Harris 55th in 54:09. Zoe Chase won the trophy for 2nd in the V40 age category. 88 runners completed the course with Waveney’s teams performing well to finish third (bronze) and 11th out of 16 teams
In the men’s race, Matt Jeffries finished fourth out of 165 runners, in a time of 34:14 with Dean Bain 23rd in 37:44, Jim Burgess 36th in 38:54, Chris Meadows 42nd in 39:46, Chris Pimlott 47th in 40:11, Leon Bernasconi 57th in 40:49, Chris Bradford 63rd in 41:20, Tim Earl 100th in 44:21 and Steve Carruthers, affected by an injury, 102nd in 44:28. Waveney’s ‘A’ team finished a very respectable 5th from 11 teams and Jim Burgess was the award winner for 3rd in the V45 category.
In the boy’s under-13 3k event, Waveney’s James Burgess finished 19th in a time of 14:39.
Sam Lines and Matt Jeffries have been selected to run for Suffolk in the Inter-Counties Championships at Loughborough on March 9.
At the Norfolk Cross Country Championships held at Thetford, Antony Croucher finished 32nd.