Taschimowitz Takes Fourth At Nationals

Polly Keen 5 March 2010

Another excuse for Cambridge’s runners to escape the bubble came in the form of the English National Cross Country Championships held on Saturday 27th Feb in Roundhay Park, Leeds. The course is famed for involving a certain hill that comes just prior to finish, nicknamed “the 60” because of its sixty degree angle.

With hopes of a high finish of the back of her current form (2nd in the Southern Championships), the first Cambridge athlete to step up to the line was Naomi Taschimowitz in the Junior Women’s 6km. From the gun, a determined Taschimowitz attacked the course, always in the leading group, finally finishing in a superb fourth place and an agonising two seconds of the bronze medal and a place on the podium.

Next up was the Junior Men’s race including the flying Freshman Sam Ashcroft and the outgoing CUH&H Club Captain, Robin Brown. The 10km course took its toll on an ill Brown who had to drop out part way round the course. An in-form Ashcroft, however, battled through the field to cross the line in a safe 69th position.

By the time of the Senior Women’s race the runners had 8km of an incredibly muddy course to cover. Visiting Gate Scholar, Amanda Scott, confirmed her adaptation to the more rugged British cross country to take 45th place. Meanwhile, veteran Light Blues Polly Keen and Lauren Barklie also ran well to take 73rd and 83rd respectively.

Another trio of Cambridge students finally got going in the Senior Men’s 12km race along with more than 1400 other runners; James Kelly, Matt Grant and James Chettle. Kelly had yet another excellent run finishing in 41st. Grant’s 243rd was a solid run having just come back from injury and Chettle’s 329th represents a very decent effort in such a huge field.

And so, the end of the cross-country season is just around the corner with only the Inter-Counties remaining before the mud, hills and cold will be swapped for the roads, track and hopefully some sun: a transition that only serves to highlight the undeniable attraction of the variety of competitive running.

Polly Keen