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vernon and woolven take full challenge points in antrim 

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Andy Vernon
14 January 2017 


Andy Vernon (coach: Nic Bideau, club: Aldershot Farnham & District) finished third behind Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto (KEN) after a strong display at the Antrim Cross Challenge incorporating the Antrim International.

Vernon has been in strong form during the cross country season and competed well against a strong line up at Greenmount Campus. He took the full allocation of challenge points for the second time this series after his victory in Milton Keynes last November. Jonny Taylor (Gordon Surtees, Morpeth) was the second best placed Brit in fifth place with Scottish duo Lachlan Oates (John Montgomery, Shettleston) and Jamie Crowe (Derek Easton, Central) placing sixth and seventh respectively with just four seconds separating the pair.

Pippa Woolven (Luke Gunn, Wycombe) was the highest placed Briton in the senior women’s race, placing fifth overall after a battle with Leeds City’s Claire Duck (Mike Baxter). After both running well in Edinburgh last week, they continued their impressive form at the Antrim event. Louise Small (Mick Woods, Aldershot Farnham & District), representing England, was the third finisher counter towards cross challenge points with Scotland’s Morag MacLarty (Derek Easton, Central) just inside the top ten.

Keyna’s Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui was the dominant overall winner, with her nearest rival over forty seconds behind her. Ireland’s Fionnuala McCormack placed fourth overall after her second place finish in Edinburgh last week.

Jonathan Shields (Michael Thompson, Sheffield & Dearne) won a battle against compatriot Hugo Milner (Chris Woodhouse, Derby) to win the junior men’s race and claim full challenge points. Ten seconds separated the duo over the tape as Shields cut the lead in the overall standings.

In the U20 women’s race, Ellie Wallace (Steve Hollier, Westbury) ran away at the end to capture the victory ahead of Sophie Burnett (Thomas Millmore, Birtley) and Katy Whiteoak (Pete Torrance, Stockport).

Dundrum South Dublin’s Jodie McCann won the U17 girl’s race with Giffnock North’s Lynn McKenna (Dudley Walker) taking the cross challenge win, placing third overall. Matthew Willis (self-coached, Wrexham) won the boys equivalent.

Lily-Janes Evans-Haggerty (Victoria Park City of Glasgow), often featuring highly in the cross challenge standings, took the victory in the U15 girl’s race, making the long trip from Scotland a sweet one. David Dow (Mark Vile, Cambridge & Coleridge) stole a march on Giffnock’s Hamish Armitt (Dudley Walker) in the U15 boy’s race.

Fife’s Anna Hedley saw another Scottish victory on the day in the U13 girl’s race with Odhran Hamilton (Dermot Kerr, 3 Ways) triumphing in the U13 boy’s race.

Full results can be found here: http://athleticsni.org/Results