Posted on Tuesday 16th December 2008
The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team enjoyed record-breaking success at the Spar European Cross Country Championships yesterday – with help from six University of Birmingham Sport related athletes.
Four current students and two alumni travelled to Brussels for the event which saw the GB & NI team come away top of the medal table.
One other current student, Sara Treacy meanwhile represented Ireland.
The highlight came when first year medic Lauren Howarth collected individual bronze in the junior women’s 4k race, helping the under 20 team to collect gold.
”It’s a total shock,” said Haworth, “I was hoping for top 10. I was a lot stronger than I thought, I can’t believe it!”
Second year Treacy finished 12th in the same race, helping the Irish team to fourth place.
The women’s under 23 team followed suit picking up another gold in their 6k race. Students Stacey Johnson and Hannah England came in 11th and 16th respectively in a field of 66 runners, being the 4th and 5th team scorers.
Stacey says, "I'm so happy to finally make the team and it has just fed my hunger to compete at an international level.”
Regular fixture on the GB team, alumnus Frank Tickner gave his best ever performance at the event to help the senior men 10k team collect bronze. He was the second Brit home finishing 10th out of a 77 strong field.
”It’s taken me four years to do something like this” says Tickner, “In my previous three championships I have finished in the 30s and 40s. I think I was a little lucky that the frost stayed off and it was hilly and muddy this time. That suited me.”
Fellow alumnus Gemma Miles was 34th in the senior women 8k in which the GB & NI team finished with a silver.
The junior men’s race saw the final athlete from the Birmingham contingent finish 65th. Fresher Nick Goolab wearing his first GB vest was part of the under 20 team who picked up the bronze medal.
University of Birmingham Sport head athletics coach, Bud Baldaro said “Birmingham’s contribution to GB’s most successful ever European Championships was an inspiration to all. Of the seven current and former athletes from UBSport, we returned with seven European medals - a tremendous achievement indeed.”
Baldaro concluded, “Undoubtedly the star of the show was Lauren who shocked everyone to take the bronze medal. She has an excited career ahead of her.”
Notes to Editors:
Lucy Hood - PR, Media and Promotions Officer, University Sport Birmingham
tel: 0121 414 2262 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org