Sixth-placed finish for impressive Okbazghi

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Yorkshire champion Meles Okbazghi (Sheffield RC) had a fine run to finish sixth in the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships at Birmingham on Saturday and he led Yorkshire to silver medals in the team race behind a powerful North Eastern Counties team.

Okbazghi, who came to Sheffield from Eritrea some five years ago, ran strongly in the second half of the race to overtake his Yorkshire teammate James Wilkinson (Leeds City) who had also been beaten by the Sheffield runner for the Yorkshire title earlier in the year.

Yorkshire’s six counters were in the top 56 places. Former Rotherham runner Jon Thewlis (Notts AC) ran well to finish 32nd whilst Rotherham’s Philip Hoole, a late replacement in the team, played a vital role finishing 56th.

The Yorkshire women were also among the medals, finishing third. Yorkshire counters packed well, with six finishing inside the top 50 with Rotherham duo Annabelle Grady (35th) and Samantha Johnson (47th) excelling. Also running in the Yorkshire team were Hallamshire pair Nicola Squires (79th) and Julia Jagger (101st).

Yorkshire were third in the under 20 men’s race with Bertie Houghton (Doncaster) making a valuable contribution as second counter in 32nd place.

Pole Vaulter Luke Cutts (The Dearne ALC) was in good form in an indoor meeting in Manchester last weekend, his winning height of 5.46 his best for two years.

Adam Hague (Dearne ALC) won the under 17 event with 4.61.