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Steve regains Inter-Counties crown

5th Mar 2005
Steve Vernon finishes six seconds clear of his rivals in the Inter-Counties 4km race

Steve Vernon finishes six seconds clear of his rivals in the Inter-Counties 4km race

The club's Cross Country International Steve Vernon regained his UK Short Course 4km Cross Country title at Woolaton Park Nottingham on Saturday.

In conditions that weren’t for the faint hearted the eighty or so competitors who were running for places in the Great Britain squad at the World Cross Country Championships in France in a fortnights time, only a top four placing in the race would be good enough for selection.

Steve knew the race would be hard having only had six weeks to prepare after spending a nightmare nine months out with injury used his experience to win.

The early race efforts that were being made by Ben Tickner of Welwyn Garden City who was setting the early pace.

Tickner whittled the group down to ten runners at the half way mark but Steve and some fast finishers were still in contention they included Athens Olympic eight hundred metre man Ricky Soos and two times previous winner of the event Spencer Barden of Belgrave Harriers London, also pre race favourite Mike Skinner of Barnet Copthall.

Barden of Belgrave and Vernon who was looking full of running despite his lengthy lay off both pushed the pace in the final 2 kilometres to open up a gap on the group.

The pair ran neck and neck going into the long home straight that had been churned up by the previous races but it was the Stockport runner who found the extra gear in the final four hundred metres to leave the Belgrave runner in his wake winning by over six seconds as he crossed the finishing tape to secure his second title win in two years.

Next stop is France for Vernon where the weather may be kinder but the race will be faster as you have the Africans to contend with.

Steve will be part of a strong Great Britain team that will also include Yorkshire man John Mayock who took the silver medal at the weekend in the European Championship three thousand metre race.

The trial races also included the UK Inter Counties Championships races, Stockport Harriers had a number of there younger athletes representing the Greater Manchester team. English National under-15's runner up Jess Coulson ran solidly for 13th followed home by Lucy McLoughlin in 23rd and Leah Kay 25th to help take the team to 2nd behind winners Hampshire.

Michelle Wiblin ran an outstanding race in the under-13 girls' finishing in 27th, Charlotte Barber was 123rd while Carley Davies was 77th in the under-20s' race.

In the boys' Steve Pearson goes from strength to strength, he won team bronze in a storming run to finish 15th and Ross Millington a brave 103rd.

Andy Nixon finished 40th and Ben Styles 177th in the boys' under-17s race.


Trafford 10k

Stockport Ladies faired well at the Trafford 10k this weekend with 6 out of the 8 ladies running personal bests.

Joanna Robertson was first home in a personal best of 44.38 followed by Sharon Glendon in 45.03, Helen Todd was a third counter in 47.56 taking first Vet 50 Prize and helping take the women's team prize ahead of Spectrum Striders by 5 points.

Other personnal bests were Vicky Buckley in 49-32, Helen McColl 52-18, Helen Beard 53-28, Julia Aikin 53-41 and then finally Ala Jackson returning from injury 1.00.25.

Also Alan Pover was fastest in both Over 55s and 50s in a time of 34:51 and Mike Shaw 12th overall in 33.36.