Local pair win national medals

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Two local teenage athletics talents won medals at the National Cross-Country Championships.

Grace Baker won individual bronze and team gold in the under-20 women’s event, while Jess Margorrian clinched team silver in the under-15 boys’ race at Nottingham’s Wollaton Park.

Representing first claim club Aldershot Farnham & District, Baker celebrated her 18th birthday by seeing off many of the country’s top junior women. The nationals have always been a happy hunting ground for the Bexhill College student, this being her third medal.

Her 14-year-old training partner Margorrian finished an excellent 12th for his first claim club Tonbridge. With another year in this age group, he can look forward to greater individual success next year.

Both athletes are second claim for Hastings Athletic Club and spend much of the week training together at the William Parker Community Athletics Arena.

Dylan Liesinger was the pick of the Hastings AC runners, finishing 18th - six places behind Margorrian - in the under-15 boys’ race. He too will have another year in this age group and will be hopeful of a medal next year. Mat Herring came home 204th.

Sophie Markwick had a return to form in the under-17 women’s race with an excellent 17th, while Louise Nash made her long-awaited comeback from injury in an encouraging 70th position.

George Pool and Harmony Cooper made their nationals debuts with 51st and 58th in the under-13 boys’ and girls’ races, and both will be in the same age group next year. Cooper’s big brother Luke finished 90th in the under-17 men’s race.