Injury wrecks golden hopes
GUERNSEY had a highly unpredictable outing at Saturday’s Hampshire Cross Country Championships and the curve-balls were flying before the event had even started.
Sarah Mercier’s midweek ankle injury was devastating, not only for herself but the podium-contending women’s squad she was set to lead home on an uncharacteristically dry Fairthorne Manor course.
However, the senior men shone through and their strength-in-depth proved key to securing team bronze, despite the lack of an individual top-10 finisher.
London-based Richard Kowenicki was the unknown quantity among them and defied a quiet build-up to finish 13th overall and spearhead the men home, eclipsing his Guernsey-based teammates – notably in-form Richard Bartram.
Young Bartram was one minute behind and 20th overall, while remaining counters James Priest, Dan Galpin, Chris Gillman and Ben Wilen each made the top 40 and ensured the island’s collective success.
They may have been one Mercier short of an overall medal, but two of the island women’s ‘Big Four’ nevertheless spearheaded a great veteran team silver with top-20 overall finishes.
While club champion Laura McCarthy had an outstanding race to pip Jenny James in the home straight for 13th, the fast-following James and a slightly off-colour Louise Perrio shared much pride with Emma Beardsell and Laura Quayle further afield.
- More in Monday's Guernsey Press.
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