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UK Athletics

british athletics cross challenge series winners share £30,000 prize pot

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Dewi Griffiths Cross Challenge

10 March 2014

The British Athletics Cross Challenge reached a crescendo last weekend as Birmingham’s Cofton Park staged the final event of the series.

Ten individual series winners were crowned, spanning each of the five age groups after adding points scored at the Birmingham final with those gained during their further two best races from the five race series.   

Points were awarded in respect to final race position; with senior men and women picking up 50 points for a win, down to one point for 50th place. All other age-groups followed a similar model; collecting 25 points for a top-place finish, with points counting for double across all age categories in the series final.  A three-point bonus was also awarded to each athlete on completion of each race, with a prize fund total over £30,000 being distributed across the series.  

Finishing first, second and third in his respective Bristol, Cardiff and Birmingham races saw Swansea Harrier Dewi Griffiths (coach: Kevin Evans) top the Senior Men’s standings with a cumulative 161-point total; four points clear of Southend AC’s Adam Hickey (Eamonn Martin).  Hickey finished ahead of Griffiths in Liverpool, Antrim and Cardiff but given the double points on offer for the series finale, the title went Griffiths’ way.

The women’s event also went down to the wire; Katie Brough (Andrew Carter) being crowned overall champion by just two points, leap frogging Charnwood AC’s Juliet Potter (Roy Stowell) in the final race in Birmingham. Brough’s 100 points from Cofton Park, added to the 53 and 48 points she tallied in Bristol and Liverpool was good enough to secure her victory.

The under-20 men’s contest was a little more clear cut, with nine points separating the top two finishers. It was Alex Carter (Adrian Clover) of Team Bath who was given the eventual nod ahead of Cardiff’s Gwynant Jones thanks to a 50 point haul from Antrim and Cardiff, coupled with the 48 he collected for his sixth place finish this weekend.

It was a battle of the siblings as Alex & Bobby Clay (both Peter Mullervy) fought tooth and nail to dominate the under-20 women’s contest. With an extra 14 months of experience in her favour, it was Alex who finished up on top with a total of 106 points versus her younger sisters 103. Despite first year under-20 Bobby crossing the line ahead of her elder sister in Liverpool, Cardiff and Birmingham, Alex’s win in Bristol, combined with second place finishes in Cardiff and Birmingham were enough to give her victory. So you could say the Clay sisters were both winners on the day!

Iolo Hughes (Andy Walling) of Menai AC was looking formidable opposition going into the series final having completed the other four cross challenge races this winter, never finishing outside the top six. Hughes’ best performance came on home soil in Cardiff where he finished second, but his third place finish in Birmingham gave him an eventual winning total of 109 points.

The women’s under-17 race would have needed a photo finish were it a sprint, as Harriet Knowles-Jones (Russell Tart) and Lydia Turner (Thomas Millmore) ensured it was the only category to see two athletes finishing with identical point totals (104). However it was Knowles-Jones who officially took the title due to finishing ahead of Birtley AC’s Turner at the Cofton Park series showdown. Prior to Birmingham, Turner was leading the way; having beaten her Warrington AC rival in both Bristol and Liverpool. 

Ben Dijkstra finished head and shoulders ahead of the field to comfortably take the under-15 boy’s title in impressive fashion thanks to wins in Bristol, Liverpool and at the final in Birmingham. The Leicester Coritanian eased to an 11-point victory after the final event, where he was also the runaway winner.

With only five points separating first and fourth place, the under-15 girls proved a hot contest and went all the way to the line in Birmingham. Lucy Jones (Patrick Magee) of Charnwood AC was another athlete to complete all five events, which seemingly worked in her favour as she finished top of the class in the challenge overall. Despite finishing ahead of Jones in Cardiff and Birmingham, Menai’s Cari Hughes (Walling) had to settle for second; two points behind with a cumulative 103. Kate Waugh was just a solitary point behind in third.

The youngest competitors in the series proved just as exciting to watch with it being left to the final to decide the under-13 girls’ positions. Kathleen Faes of Tonbridge AC was awarded winners rights following a first, second and third place finishes in Bristol, Liverpool and Birmingham. This saw Faes amass 105 points, one and two points ahead of Jasmin Cooper and Grace Copeland (Bob Smith) respectively.

Finally, Luke Davies (Phil Banning) brought home the win in the under-13 boys’ event. Having secured top points in Bristol and Liverpool, sixth place in Birmingham was enough to see him reign supreme overall. The Brecon AC runner accrued 109 in total; four points clear of nearest opponent Connor Bentley, to round out another successful Cross Challenge Series.

For further information head to the British Athletics Cross Challenge page by clicking here.