THREE young City of Salisbury track runners were star performers at Crystal Palace - and two of them are now south of England champions.
Lizzie Clifford took an excellent gold in the under 20 400m hurdles, Jake Ness held his 400m under 20 title with an impressive 48.44sec despite the windy conditions and Tom Cummings narrowly missed a medal in the 3,000m steeplechase, coming fourth.
Their jubilant roadrunning clubmates were this week confirmed as winners of this season’s premier road race league, for the second consecutive year.
After an agonising wait of several days following the final fixture of the 12 race season while race results spanning the past ten months were doublechecked, Salisbury’s men’s team were crowned league champions again, by the narrowest of margins. With the same final points total as their big rivals Stubbington Green AC, their win came only after a countback system on individual runners’ finishing positions. Third men’s team place went to Lordshill AC and Winchester were fourth.
“It’s a remarkable achievement,” said the club’s road team manager Rod Smith, “and it’s a real tribute to the dedication of our roadrunners who took on the challenge of the league programme among all 30 of the south region’s top road running clubs.”
Highest placed Salisbury runners in the individual standings were Stuart Holloway fourth, Ben Brewster sixth, Mike Brewster 11th and Kevin Tilley 19th.
Faye Parker achieved a remarkable second place in the women’s individual standings, her consistent improvements catapulted up the table to net another of the club’s best league results for years.
Her fluid running style and great determination produced a succession of personal bests on her way through the fixture list and her success in holding off a number of more experienced athletes when the pressure was on gave her a well-deserved silver medal position. New Forest’s Erica Fogg was overall winner and Natalie Cain of Winchester came third.
Salisbury ladies other talented top finishers were Sally Greenslade in eighth and Ruth Thom 14th.
At the Yeovilton 5k, Ben Brewster was the club’s fastest with 15min 59sec, and he was followed by Simon Wiltshire 19.24, Adam Bradburn 25.18 and Gordon Wiltshire 30.11.
Further afield, in the Bath Hilly 10mile, Lee Perkes was timed at 87min 28sec and in the Kingston Lacy half marathon, David Osment ran strongly to record 98.57.