Eastbourne Dominate at Sussex Cross Country Championships

Freda Pearce – Gold – Under 15 girls race

Top performances mixed with a lot of mud and 90’s tunes – what more could anyone want from the Sussex Cross Country Championships?!

Around 500 competitors turned out for this year’s fixture, at the usual tough Bexhill course.

With ice cold conditions and lots of mud, but no rain(!), it was the perfect setting for a great day of running.

Starting with the under 11s, Eastbourne had 6 new hardy young athletes. Coach Hannah Messer said, ‘I am delighted to have so many racing for the first time for the club, they gave their all and will no doubt be stars of the future’.

Eastbourne Rovers have dominated the Under 15 girls contests all season, and Saturday was no different, scoring as a team a phenomenally low 8 points to claim the gold medals. Freda Pearce won the gold by a vast margin of 13 seconds, with Daisy Connor 3rd and Raya Petrova with an excellent run placing 4th. Lexie Mclean ran well returning from illness in 16th with Katherine Brown with her best run at the county championships in 19th.

Eastbourne carried on with the celebrations in the team Under 15 boys’ contest winning by 1 point on 16 points, to Brighton & Hove 2nd on 17. The Lewes team was led home by overall winner, Jacob Trotman, closely followed by Eastbourne’s Fin Lumber Fry (Eastbourne) in 3rd. Eastbourne’s Jonah Messer placed a fine 5th & George Armstrong – Smith finished strongly in 8th to secure the team gold. This result is particularly special as all the athletes in the winning boys team have another year in their age category.

Jonah Messer – 5th – Under 15 boys race

Joshua Webster timed his race to perfection, crossing the line in 5th & first for the Eastbourne under 13 boys’ team. Byron Roberts, returning from injury, positioned a strong 7th with Adam Meyer 9th to secure the silver county medals. Archie Franklin ran well and was very close behind his teammates in 10th.

Joshua Webster – 5th – Under 13 boys race

Fintan Pearce – 5th – Under 17 boys race

Fintan Pearce had a superb run, despite falling and being spiked whilst on the ground, placing 5th. Ilya Korchev was 2nd home for Eastbourne in 9th, Kaleb Berhane (returning from illness) 29th & Dermot O Rourke 31st. They were just outside the team medals in 4th.

Up and coming star, under 13 Maeve Jennings, placed inside the top 10 in a fine 9th position, a brilliant achievement for her first Sussex Championships.

Ellie Mclean returned to competition after a long spell out through injury and exceeded expectations placing 4th in the Under 20 women’s race.

The Eastbourne senior men’s team were out in force with 8 athletes taking part. It was the biggest race of the day with over 100 participating. Talented Richard Jones led the way for his teammates placing well up the quality field in 27th with Stuart Pelling 39th, Richard Davis 42nd, Ant Anderson 47th, Matt Southam 49th, Phil Wood 51st, Liam Gunner 58th, Luke Regan 71st.

Jennifer Brown showed her form is going from strength to strength finishing 13th overall in the senior lady’s race. The Eastbourne team were just outside the medals in 4th, with strong runs from Alison Moore (competing in her first Sussex Championships for Eastbourne) 15th, Katie Arnold 27th and Nicky Bignell 32nd.

Next up is the Sussex Schools Cross Country Championships at Waterhall, Brighton on Tuesday 16th January. The top 4 in each race guarantee a place in the English Schools XC championships in Pontefract on 16th March.


U11 Girls – Ava Simmonds 19th, Orla San Emeterio 20th, Poppy Charlwood 21st, Harriet Whiting 22nd, Ada Messer 25th, Milli Jayne Phillips 27th

U13 Girls – Maeve Jennings 9th, Chyna Wai 15th, Grace Luford – Brown 29th    

U13 Boys – (Silver Team) – *Joshua Webster 5th, *Byron Roberts 7th, *Adam Meyer 9th, Archie Franklin 10th, Aiden Pringle 23rd, Xavier Bray 28th, Jackson Walker 32.

Under 15 Boys (Gold Team) – *Fin Lumber – Fry 3rd, *Jonah Messer 5th, *George Armstrong – Smith 8th

Under 15 Girls (Gold Team) – *Freda Pearce 1st, *Daisy Connor 3rd, *Raya Petrova 4th, Lexie Mclean 16th, Katherine Brown 19th