Age proves no barrier as impressive Alex stars again

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The cream of the local running crop travelled to Cofton Park in Birmingham last Saturday to take on the country’s leading athletes at the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships.

Nene Valley Harriers’ Alex Hampson produced the most impressive display for his Lincolnshire county team when he stormed to 44th in the under-17 men’s race.

Nene Valley Harriers' Emily Brand.  ENGEMN00120140402143315

Nene Valley Harriers' Emily Brand. ENGEMN00120140402143315

This represented a big step up for the Bourne school boy, as it is his first year in that age group, meaning he was competing against many older and much more experienced athletes.

Hampson received good support from team mates Jake Richardson (87th), James McCrae (158th) and Kurt Smyth (197th).

Tracy McCartney ran one of the strongest cross country races of her life in the senior women’s race, finishing first for Cambridgeshire and bettering her position from last year by more than 100 positions.

Continuing her rich vein of form, McCartney crossed the line in 87th place in 31.48mins, which was also nearly a minute and a half quicker than her 2013 performance.

Club mate Emily Brand, who is from Morton, shone in the under-17 women’s race and placed a very respectable 173rd.

Fellow Harriers Jasmine Allen, Amber Park and Keilin Spurdens also ran well in the under-13 girls and under-13 boys’ events respectively.

The under-20 men’s race saw a strong performance from Chris Allison in 62nd, while Michael Moore also battled hard for his 212th position in the senior men’s race.

Austin Herbert was first in for Nene Valley in the under-15 boys’ race in 148th, with Stamford-based Nathanial Taylor just behind in 170th position.

They were closely followed in by team-mate Will Baker in 207th.

Bourne Town Harriers’ Scott Taylor wasn’t far behind in 226th, while club mate Elin James did well to place 161st in the under-13 girls’ challenge.