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St Mary's Athletes Compete at European Cross Country Championships

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Athletes from the Endurance Performance and Coaching Centre (EPACC) at St Mary’s University, Twickenham competed at the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday 11th December. The championships, which took place in Chia on the Italian island of Sardinia, welcomed Europe’s leading running talent to compete for the European titles. Amongst the EPACC athletes at the championships were two Rio 2016 Olympians, Steph Twell and Andy Vernon. Steph, who competed in the Women’s 5000m in Rio, ran in the Senior Women’s 8000m. Steph was one of six athletes in the early breakaway group, she managed to finish in an impressive sixth place, contributing towards a team Silver medal. EPACC athlete and Masters student Emily Hosker-Thornhill also competed, making her Team GB debut, finishing in 57th. In the Men’s Senior race, Andy, who ran in the Men’s 10,000m in Rio 2016, lead the second breakaway group. Andy finished in a fantastic fifth place in a time of 28:11, winning a team Gold Medal. Elsewhere, In the U23 Women’s race Rebecca Murray produced a fantastic performance to finish in seventh, contributing to a team Gold Medal. Following on from Rebecca’s performance, second year Sports Coaching Science student Ellis Cross competed in the Men’s race, finishing 15th and taking home a team Bronze. In the U20 races, Phoebe Law finished in 22nd place in the women’s competition, whilst Paulos Surafel contributed to a team Bronze Medal in the Men’s competition, finishing in 15th. Overall, Team GB finished second at the Championships, narrowly missing out on topping the medal table for a 14th year in a row. EPACC Coordinator Craig Winrow said, “There were some fantastic performances over the weekend bearing in mind for a number of them this was first major championship. It was a great end to a highly successful 2016 for our athletes and has hopefully provided them with motivation to make 2017 even bigger and better”.
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