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Young Distance Stars Build On Winter Success

Posted: 28th Feb 2019 by Lewis Smith

Ashford Athletic Club’s distance group has gone from strength to strength over the winter months, with two notable performances on the weekend more than justifying this. 

Youngster, Louis Small, competed in the Saucony English National Cross Country Championships, in Leeds, on Saturday. Louis is a newcomer to the sport, having only started competing in long-distance running last year. Despite this, Louis has had his fair share of successes over the winter. He has won all four of the Kent Cross Country League under-15 races, the South of England Inter Counties Championships, and the South of England AA Championships. Louis’ most recent success was at the English National Cross Country Championships. In a field of 346 runners, Louis ran a fantastic race from start to finish to win the Silver medal, only 7 seconds behind the winner. Louis’ twin brother, Jack, also ran a fantastic race, finishing a very respectable 21st. 

The second highlight of the weekend was for Marshall Smith, who has also had an impressive cross country season over the winter months. Marshall, 18, received an elite entry for the Brighton Half Marathon on Sunday. Marshall finished 12th out of a field of 7530 runners. He was the first junior home, beating the second placed junior by a huge 13 minutes. Marshall’s time of 70m12s was a new Ashford AC Club Record and ranked him number 1 in the UK for under-20 year old’s. This impressive ranking has added to his number 1 ranking over the 10 mile distance last year. Marshall has since received an elite entry for the Brighton Marathon 10K Race in April, a fantastic opportunity in which he hopes to run in the 31m30s region.

LS

Image above by Adrian Royle - https://www.flickr.com/photos/adiroyle/sets/72157705513711941/

Marshall


Louis Small Takes SEAA XC Champs Title

Posted: 31st Jan 2019 by Lewis Smith

After being crowned overall champion of the Under-15 Boys Kent XC League and winning the recent South of England XC Inter Counties race, Ashford Athletic Club’s Louis Small has become South of England Cross-Country Champion on his debut SEAA XC Champs race. 

This gruelling and challenging race took place at Parliament Hill in London on Saturday in the cold and rain. Louis worked hard from the gun to stay in title contention throughout, and even lead in the early stages. But it was his well-timed sprint finish that saw him win by just 1 second. Louis covered the distance of 4.5km in 14m 59s.

In what proved to be one of the most exciting races of the weekend, Louis was supported throughout by his twin brother, Jack, who ran with him at the front for the first half of the race, going on to finish a very impressive 14th. Ashford AC team mate, Max Behrens, who battled through a large field of over 300 runners, finished a very strong 65th.

Further AAC results included Harry Miles finishing 129th out of 330 finishers in the Under-13 Boys race, Anna Hinson finishing 277th in the Under-15 Girls race, Adam Wood finishing 35th and Daniel Fitch 194th in the Under-17 Men's race with a field of 232 runners, Marshall Smith came 20th out of 117 runners in the Under-20 Men's race, and Andrew Huxley came 1139th in a huge field of runners for the Senior Men's race. Well done everyone!

Ashford Athletic Club have always produced very successful cross-country athletes, who have won numerous medals from county level through to international level. It’s very encouraging that not only does Ashford AC continue to be a major force in cross-country and distance running in the South East, but now the youngsters are getting in on the act of winning at such a high level.


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