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UK Athletics

St Mary’s duo win BUSA cross country titles

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Stephanie Twell (picture courtesy of Job King)
Stephanie Twell (picture courtesy of Job King)
5 February 2008


St Mary’s University College Twickenham, home of the UK Athletics Endurance Performance Centre, earned three of the four major gold medals at this winter’s British Universities Sports Association Cross Country Championships in Singleton Park, Swansea.


Stephanie Twell, the European Junior Cross Country Champion for this winter and last, led all the way in the women’s 6.9km race, clocking a time of 23:45. She was followed home by the former European Junior 5000m Champion Emily Pidgeon (representing Loughborough University), who clocked 24:12. Stacey Johnson, third in 24:16, led Birmingham University to their third successive women’s team title thanks to support from Andrea Woodvine fourth in 24:29 and Sara Treacy eighth in 24:50.


St Mary’s took the team silver medals with Twell’s back-up coming from Jessica Sparke fifth in 24:33; Rose-Ann Galligan 15th in 25:18.


And St Mary’s dominated the men’s 10.4km. Andy Vernon, who won bronze in the Under 23 men’s race at the European Cross Country Championships in Toro in December and silver in the senior men’s race at the South of England AA Cross Country Championships on Parliament Hill last month, struck gold in 33:16, just two seconds ahead of his team mate Keith Gerrard with Mitch Goose 15th in 34:40. Their efforts gave St Mary’s team triumph with 34 points to the 89 of runners-up Loughborough.


To complete St Mary’s most successful BUSA day, Bertie Powell ran brilliantly to finish second in the men’s B-race and lead his team to bronze medals.


The gold and silver medal-winning individuals have received automatic invitations to run for GB at the World University Cross Country Championships in Mauquenchy, France, on 5 and 6 April.


But first come the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh on 30 March. Twell is pre-selected in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team. The trials for the remainder are incorporated into the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships and UK Cross Challenge Finals at Wollaton Park, Nottingham, on 15 March.


For the full results from Swansea, click on busa



Hayley Yelling (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC) ran aggressively as ever in the Women’s 6km at the 76th Cinque Mulini race in Italy and finished fifth in 20 minutes 34 seconds, 40 seconds behind winner Pauline Korikwang (Kenya). Mike Skinner (Blackheath and Bromley) was ninth in the Men’s race in 33:33. It was won by the reigning World Cross Country Champion, Zersenay Tadese (Eritrea) in 31:06.