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HAT-TRICK OF VICTORIES FOR PURDUE IN MCCAIN cross CHALLENGE

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Purdue Antrim

22 January 2011

Charlotte Purdue continued her current superb running form with another clear win over 5.6K at the McCain Antrim Cross Challenge on a foggy Greenmount course today.

This gives her a hat-trick of victories in the McCain UK Cross Challenge Series following wins in Liverpool and Cardiff.

Purdue (coach: Mick Woods) always appeared to be running with ease in the early stages of the race with a large group including Kenyan World Junior bronze medallist Esther Chemtai, Louise Damen (self-coached), Laura Kenney (coach: George Gandy), Gemma Steel (coach: Roy Stowell) and Stevie Stockton (coach: George Gandy). At the halfway point Purdue, Chemtai and Damen had opened a 50m gap on the field.

Thereafter, the European Junior Champion applied further pressure and at the line had a 30m victory over Damen who narrowly edged out Chemtai.

Purdue said she was pleased with her run and felt she was in control over the last lap. She said: "I love racing and will carry on so long as I remain healthy and injury free".

Coming races for Purdue include the McCain Cross Challenge Final, incorporating the World Cross Trials, in Birmingham, and IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Spain. Brits Sonia Samuels (coach: George Gandy) and Steel were fourth and fifth respectively.

In the men’s 9K race, Andy Vernon (coach: Nick Anderson) faced six Africans including last year’s winner Mike Kigen and current World Junior 10,000m champion Denis Masai, along with sub 13 minute 5000m runners Titus Mbishei and Jacob Cheshari.

Vernon, first Brit home in seventh, said: "I am pleased with my performance as the competition was very good. I have now overcome the disappointment of dropping out in Albuferia and I will be racing in the European Clubs Cup in Italy in two weeks followed by the McCain Cross Challenge Final in Birmingham."

Vernon was closely followed by a trio of Brits: Michael Skinner (coach: Andrew Hobdell), Derek Hawkins (coach: Lawrie Spence) - continuing a great run of form - and Bruce Raeside (coach: Trevor Muxlow) in eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

In the Junior Women's race, Aldershot athlete Louise Small (coach: Mick Woods) had a massive 75 seconds victory over North Laois athlete Mary Mulhare. She said: "It was slightly easier here today than Cardiff where I only won by six seconds." Small's next races will be the South of England and BUCS Championships.

The Junior Men's race was won by Ferrybank's Shane Quinn followed by Lachlan Oates of Shettleston Harriers with Harvey Dixon (coach: Mike Woods) of Aldershot in third.

Full results are below: