Houghton Harrier Cameron Allan’s cross country foray continued with another fine performance in the Run Stirling Cross Country and Home Countries International at Stirling, Scotland, on Saturday.
In gale force winds, heavy rain and a waterlogged course, the lanky athlete put his head down and surprised many, once again, with his gutsy performance.
The 20-year-old, representing the North of England, took a few noteworthy scalps as he splashed through the mud on his way to finishing 13th (26.36).
He said: “The race went very well I followed my coach’s race plan and it worked brilliantly. I think I surprised a few people and hopefully got my name out there.’’
This was probably his best performance to date, in what were dreadful conditions. He started steady on the first lap and on the second lap he worked his way through the pack into the top 20. He then pushed on and started picking off some of the international runners to move into his finishing position.
He was the first to finish from the North team and beat two of the four-man England team as well as being the second Under-23 to finish at the King’s Park venue.
This performance comes after the St Mary’s University student finished in fifth place in the North Eastern Counties Championships at Alnwick last month.
Now Allan will head to the Northern Championship on Saturday, the 25th of January where he will be one of the favourites to win the junior men’s crown at Bedale, North Yorkshire.
His Houghton clubmate, Under-20 Luke Pickering, also gave a good account of himself in finishing 46th (27.54).
The race winner was Welshman Kris Jones, winning over the 8km course in 25:33 - 10 seconds ahead of Scotland’s Jamie Crowe.
In the senior women’s race, there was a great win for the North East’s Kate Avery, a team gold medallist for Britain in the European Cross Country Championships held in Lisbon in December.
The Shildon athlete led the England team to the Home Countries title, winning the 8km event in 29:20 to finish 11 seconds ahead of team-mate Abbie Donnelly.
Birtley’s richly talented Christopher Perkins led all the way to win (13.42) the Under-15 Boys race ahead of Connor Bell (13.51). Clubmate Katie Francis was ninth in her Under-15 event.
Middlesbrough AC’s Archie Lowe finished runner-up to Mansfield’s Jenson Connell in the Under-17s race and clubmate Joshua Cowperthwaite was ninth in the Under-20 men’s race.