CROSS-COUNTRY: Leeds go the distance

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Leeds went into BUCS cross country in high spirits following their convincing Varsity victory against Beckett last time out. Strong performances from Susan Partridge and Joe Steward as they claimed the first point of the 2015 Varsity series.

Brighton took centre stage in hosting BUCS cross country 2015 as conditions were hilly, windy and cold, but Leeds men’s A, women’s A and men’s B team did extremely well.

The men’s A race was first to kick off. Gordon Benson was the first Leeds student home, in a fantastic 12th place. Next up was Ben Mason, who paced his race to perfection to come through the field very strongly to finish in 36th. Third was Richard Powell, who after finishing third in the north of England championships recently was clearly running with confidence, coming home in 44th position. Following him were Patrick Vis (55th), Linton Taylor (94th), and Josh Woodcock-Shaw (102nd), which saw the men’s A team finish 5th overall. A great achievement, and with nobody leaving next year a medal is a very realistic possibility.

Next up was the women’s race. Fresher Georgia Malir had a brilliant race, finishing in 17th position, a stunning achievement for a first year. Triathlete Zara Knappy was next in for Leeds, finishing strong in 69th with Emma Beck close behind in 79th. The trio placed the womens team in a very respectable 12th position overall. Other stand out performances included Sophie Lee (117th), Beth Garland (142nd) and Zoe Hewitson (177th).

During the men’s B race, Phil Sesemann gave a great account of himself, placing himself in the top 5, but tired towards the end of his race to finish in 10th. Considering he was carrying the after-effects of a long-term injury, this was still a brilliant result. An injury-free year for Phil and a top 20 finish in the A race beckon next year. Fresher Nathan Marsh also had an extremely impressive race, finishing 12th and showing potential to be in the Leeds A team in the next few years. Unsung heroes included Joe Kilgour, a much improved runner whose finish of 32nd could cause the selectors a few headaches in years to come. Tom Eames finished off the B team in 45th position. The B team finished 6th overall, the highest Leeds has finished for 8 years. Overall, it was a fantastic performance from Leeds with which to round off the cross country season.

 

Image courtesy of sport.leeds.ac.uk

 

Richard Powell

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