Tickner can stay in race for the prizes

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By Western Daily Press | Saturday, January 12, 2013, 09:00

ATHLETICS

Frank Tickner gets his new year campaign started in Northern Ireland today with the third race in the McCain Cross Challenge Series.

The 29-year-old Wells City Harrier has not raced since finishing sixth in the European trials in November, but, after his third place in the opening fixture in Bristol, Tickner knows that a good performance in Antrim today and then Cardiff a week tomorrow will keep him in line for the overall prizes.

"Frank hasn't raced since the trials, but his training is going well," said coach Clive Thomas.

Also in Antrim is Stroud & District AC's Will Paulson, who has been selected for the England junior team.

Chippenham-based 1,500 metres runner Dave Bishop switches to the boards this weekend as he tackles the 3,000m at the Cardiff Indoors Open meeting.

Bishop has one eye on the UK Championships and European trials on February 9 and would need to run the tough qualifying standard of 7mins 50secs to be a contender for the Europeans.

"I would be happy to break eight minutes this weekend, but a lot will depend on whether there is a good field and we can sort out some pacemakers," said Bishop.

Last summer Bishop ran a personal best of 7:56.37 in the Olympic Park and, while he will do well to match that indoors, he should certainly beat his lifetime best on the boards of 8:07.65. Stroud athlete Tom Russell, who won his fourth Gloucestershire cross country title in six years last weekend, may also line up for the 3,000m.

Dave Roper heads the Cheltenham & County Harriers' squad at the Birmingham Cross-Country League fixture in Sandwell today.

The fourth match in the Brooks Westward League series takes place at Westward Ho! tomorrow and among the entries will be newly-crowned South West women's champion Emma Stepto.

"I have always struggled with cross country, so I am delighted to win the south west title," said Stepto.

There is a busy fixture list tomorrow and two of the events, the Rough'n'Tumble 10 in Wiltshire and the second Beat The Bore 7, from Epney to Weir Green, are full and will be taking no entries on the day.

Races that are available include the challenging Naunton 19 in Gloucestershire (www. cotswoldrunning.co.uk).

Devon races include the following: The Oh My Obelisk 10 from Dawlish Leisure Centre (www.dawlishcoasters.co.uk), the Axmouth Challenge 10 (www.axevalleyrunners.org.uk) and the Plympton January Jaunt 10k (www. plymouth.roundtable.co.uk). Or why not try the Swanage 10k in Dorset (www.ssrc.org.uk).

The next race in the 2012/13 Weston Prom winter series is next Thursday (January 17, 7.30pm) with entries taken on the night as usual.

It has been confirmed that Team Bath AC was the most successful club at the 2013 South West Inter Club & County Cross Country Championships, winning a total of nine medals across the six age groups.

Of that total four were gold and their champions were Imogen Wolsey (U20 women), Alex Carter (U17 men), John Howorth (U13 boys) and Rory Howorth (U11 boys).

The club also won two silver and four bronzes to finish one ahead of Taunton AC with Wells City Harriers third on four medals.

In the Inter County competition, Devon's athletes emerged on top with a total of nine medals, including three golds, two ahead of Somerset.

Somerset also won three golds as did the runners from Cornwall.

The only county that did not make an impact was Avon, who opted not to take part in the Inter County contest, preferring to target the club competition.

      

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