Kirsty wins silver at English Schools

In grueling conditions and bitterly cold winds, Kirsty Walker finished 2nd in the Senior Girls cross country at Temple Newsam, near Leeds.

The organizers stated that racing in the wintery conditions was "a chance to decry the increasing perception that kids nowadays are 'snowflakes'! Turn up, run, get cold, get muddy, enjoy getting warm again!  This is proper cross country weather."  And Kirsty certainly did that!

U15 & U13 Boys at Loughbourough Inter-Counties Cross Country Champs.

Eddie and Joseph lead Berkshire U17s to 11th in Inter-Counties.

A number of Reading's lads represented Berkshire in the Inter-Counties Championships on a muddy course at Loughborough on Saturday, with mixed fortunes.

In the 6km U17 race Eddie Steveni was the leading Berkshire runner, finishing in an excellent 32nd place in a time of 22.22. Joseph Mott continued his recent good form with 62nd position in 22.57 as Berkshire's second scorer, helping the team to a very respectable 11th place, while among the non-scorers for Berkshire was Tom Nike in a good 104th place in 23.38.

For the U15 Berkshire team in their 5km race, the reliable Laurie Baker was Reading's leading runner, finishing in 195th place and third home for Berkshire in 21.11, but Tom Rickards found the going tough, finishing as the team's fourth and final scorer in 202nd position, recording 21.16, and Mattie Raynor unfortunately lost a shoe in the mud soon after the start and was forced to retire. The
Berkshire team finished 35th.

Reading had two runners in the Berkshire team which finished 29th in the U13 3km race, but although Fraser Bradshaw kept going well, he was outside the scoring team in 252nd place in a time of 15.14, while Ollie Craggs was another to fall foul of the tough conditions, having to retire at around halfway.

A number of the Reading squad will be competing again this Saturday in the final cross country event of the season, the English Schools Championships at Leeds.

Report by Keith Whyte

Davies Picks Up Medals

Reading Athletic Club's Jonathan Davies has just returned from an incredibly successful trip representing Great Britain in the World University Games in Taipei where he picked up two of GB's three medals.

Davies, currently studying at Birmingham University was selected to represent Great Britain in the 1500m following some outstanding performances this season. Normally a 5000m runner, Davies had clocked a time of 3:39.00 at a British Milers' Club race in Watford earlier this season and followed up the next week with 4:00.58 for a Mile as he won the English Championships in Birmingham - coming tantalising close to breaking the iconic 4 minute barrier in a solo run in windy conditions.

These fantastic performances led to his selection in the 1500m for the GB team for Taipei and he cruised through his heat on Wednesday in wet and humid conditions with 3:43.95 to take the 3rd automatic qualifying spot and book his place in Friday's final. Davies picked up his first medal finishing 3rd in the 1500m final in a close finish in which Timo Benitz of Germany won with 3:43.45, with Alexis Miellet of France taking second in 3:43.91 just ahead of Davies' 3:43.99.

Having initially only been selected for the 1500m discussions with team management followed and Davies was asked to race in the 5000m heats the following day. Davies controlled his heat, leading everyone round until the last lap and then ensuring he took one of the five automatic qualifying spots with 4th place in 14:25.43.

Davies then had a day to recover for the final on Monday and once again Davies looked to be in control with a lap to go - but in the end the exertions of the 1500m meant that he was unable to fend off the fast finish of France's Francois Barrer who took the Gold medal with a time of 14:00.86 with Davies' just behind on 14:02.46.

So Davies' returns from Taipei with both a Silver and a Bronze medal, two of Great Britain's three medals - the 3rd was won by Chelmsford's Jess Judd who picked up a Bronze medal in the 5000m. Davies, wrote on Twitter after the race "No regrets! Silver in the 5000m to go with the bronze in the 1500m. Gave everything I had to these champs and learnt loads! Now to relax!" - and he has certainly earned it!