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UK Athletics

Christmas action highlights

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27 December 2007


Ross Millington (Stockport Harriers) won the Junior Men’s 6km race at the IAAF Permit cross country meeting in Brussels, Belgium, on Sunday to ease his disappointment at narrowly missing a place in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team at this month’s SPAR European Cross Country Championships.


Millington, who topped the Power of 10 Under 17s’ national 1500m rankings in 2006 and is young enough to be aiming for a Junior Men’s place in the team for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh in March, was distraught last month when he finished an agonising seventh in the European Trial at the UK Cross Challenge meeting in Liverpool. The selectors kept faith with the first six over the line – and they won the team silver medals to help Norwich Union GB&NI top the medals table in Toro with a record haul of eight medals.


But 18-year-old Millington showed his quality in Brussels, striding over the finishing line in 18 minutes 51 seconds, three seconds clear of runner-up Abdi Nageeye (Netherlands), who was 15th in Toro. His Stockport club mate Andy Nixon was tenth in 18:55.


Another of the Stockport group coached by David Turnbull, 17-year-old Jessica Coulson – who was seventh in the 3000m at this summer’s European Junior Championships – tackled the Senior Women’s 6km in Brussels, finishing 20th in 21:00 in a race won by Veerle Dejaeghere (Belgium) in 19:41.


Hollie Rowland, a University of East Anglia student who has joined the coaching group run by Tim and Pauline Ash at City of Norwich AC, exited the Junior Women’s age group in style by finishing second in the age-group race in Brussels.


Rowland, whose parents live in Germany, finished the 4km race in 14:18, seven seconds behind winner Jana Van Wabeke, who was Belgium’s second counter in the Junior Women’s race in Toro.


On the home front, Vicky Gill, the Chorley Harrier who has joined Mick Woods’ coaching group at the UK Athletics Endurance Performance Centre at St Mary’s University Twickenham, beat all but one of the men in finishing second in the Bushy Park 5km Time Trial at Teddington in 16:57. World University Games 800m bronze medallist Charlotte Best, the Crawley AC star coached by George Gandy at Loughborough University, was sixth in 17:35. Ian Johnson (Stragglers) won in 16:42.


Richard Ward (Belgrave Harriers) won the Richmond Park 5km Time Trial in 16:42, within two seconds of his PB.


If you are aware of more athletics highlights over the festive period, please send the details to UK Athletics communications officer Trevor Frecknall at tfrecknall@hotmail.com for inclusion in this report.