Tamworth AC athletes took part last weekend in the ECCA Saucony English National Cross Country Championships
The athletes put in battling performances as ‘The National’ was held on a testing course at Donington Park.
With the terrain providing a true test of fitness and character the competition for medals was fierce and challenging particularly with regard to the number of entrants in each category.
Cross, a former Warton Nethersole pupil, won the junior men’s 10km race In claiming the win, he follows in the footsteps of British legend, multi-gold medallist Mo Farah.
Speaking after his fantastic win, Cross said: “That was 100 per cent the best race I have ever had.
“To get my name on the same trophy as Mo Farah is just amazing really.
“It was a bit of a shock and didn’t even sink in when I won it. I am just so happy.”
Cross admitted that he had gone into the race with no real expectation, refusing to put pressure on himself.
“I went in thinking it would be good to make the top five,” he said.
“And I thought perhaps there was an outside chance of a medal but I knew it was a big race. I didn’t want to put too much stress on myself but the race just went so well and I felt so good.”
Reflecting on the race, Cross added: “There was a big group at the start, through the first leg and then one of guys decided to make a break.
“It split the group and a lot of athletes dropped off but Gus and myself pushed on to get back with him.
“I sat in with them for a bit but my legs felt really good and I felt I could push it on.
“I managed to kick on and saw the race out, it was a great feeling.”
Former Polesworth School pupil Cross is studying at St Mary’s Twickenham at present and working with new coach Mike Woods, based at Aldershot and Farnham.
And he admitted: “I owe Mike a lot and have learnt a lot off him,” he said.
“I never expected to be in this position so soon.
“If someone had said before I went to university that I would be a national champion in such a short space of time, I would have just laughed it off.
“I have knuckled down in training and am part of a good group of athletes and the hard work is really paying off.”
Cross will now represent England at an international in Edinburgh on March 19.
“It’s great to receive a second England call-up,” he said. “It all adds to the experience and that can only be a good thing.”
Regarding the junior runners representing Tamworth AC one of the parents reported that “there were so many runners it was very daunting and intimidating for them”
In the under 13 girls race which saw four Tamworth AC athletes competing. The girls ran bravely against the opposition Abigail Hamer finished 169th, Sophie Perry was 368th, Katie Stretton was 410th and Amy Cook finished in 444th place. 449 runners finished
Also daunting for the Under 13 boys category Adam Morton nevertheless finished in 230th position and Finlay Cross also running in the Under 13 boys category finished in 309th position. 420 runners finished
Charlotte Bush was the only Under 15 girl running from Tamworth AC, she finished in a superb 28th place against some very tough opposition. 354 runners finished