Geele glory but team fall short

NEWHAM & ESSEX Beagles runner Moumin Geele claimed a magnificent silver medal at the National Cross Country Championships on Saturday, writes BEN WELCH. But the Beagles, who triumphed in the team event in 2009, had only the bare six athletes for the team

NEWHAM & ESSEX Beagles runner Moumin Geele claimed a magnificent silver medal at the National Cross Country Championships on Saturday, writes BEN WELCH.

But the Beagles, who triumphed in the team event in 2009, had only the bare six athletes for the team competition and were relegated to a disappointing eighth place overall, with Aldershot, Farnham & District taking the honours.

The Beagles actually entered 24 runners for the gruelling Yorkshire event, but in the end only half a dozen made the trip north and the Beagles had to fall back on their individual success.

Geele, 23, finished second in Leeds behind Aldershot's Andy Vernon.


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In the second half of the 12k race the 24-year-old strode out in front, with Geele hot on his heels, but he turned on the afterburners in the final 800 metres to accelerate away for his first senior national title, with a nine-second winning margin.

Geele crossed the line at the Roundhay Course in 38 minutes and 10 seconds. Stockport's 29-year-old Steve Vernon claimed third place with a time of 38.20.

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Somalia-born runner Geele admitted he was amazed by his performance having not competed since finishing second in the European trials last November.

"The race went off very slowly but it was very good for me. I'm very happy to get a medal," he said.

"I'm going to Kenya for a month's training to prepare for the track season.

"I want to make the GB team for the 10,000m at the European Championships."

Further down the order for Beagles was Karin Stone who finished 25th in 40.20.

Under-23s runner Rory Chesser negotiated the course in 40.31 to claim 31st place. Veteran competitor Ian Grime was the next home for the Beagles.

The 39-year-old completed the race in the useful time of 41.44 to occupy 69th place. Creeping inside the top 200 was Jamal Mohamed who clocked a time just under 45 minutes.

Andy Barber completed the Beagles' line-up, finishing in 268th place in a time of 45.37.

Elsewhere, Beagle Victoria Ohuruogu won the 400 metres at the Aviva England Age Group Championships, in Birmingham on Saturday.

The 17-year-old younger sister of Olympic Champion Christine Ohuruogu clocked a personal best time of 55.36 in the final to take the title.

At Sunday's Spanish Championships in Valencia, Lara Richards recorded 5.79m in the long jump to claim 11th place.

Keith Gerrard made the trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States on Friday to compete in the MWC Indoor Championships.

In the men's 5,000m Gerrard finished in sixth place with a time of 14.41.

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