Taylor's European success

TEESSIDER Jonathan Taylor finished 11th to help Great Britain win the senior men's team silver medals in the Spar European Cross Country Championships on a frozen, snow-covered course in Budapest, Hungary, yesterday.

The 25-year-old Morpeth Harrier, who won the trial at Liverpool two weeks previously, was prominent early in the race behind eventual runaway winner, Andrea Lalli, of Italy, but was overtaken in the later stages by Border Harrier Tom Farrell, who finished fourth, and Steve Vernon (10th), with Tom Humphries completing the British team in 17th place.

Lalli, who led virtually from the start, winning by ten seconds to become the first men's triple champion, having previously won the junior and under-23 titles.

Durham City Harrier Rosie Smith, making her first appearance at a major championships for eight years, also produced a fine performance, finishing 16th to help Great Britain secure the bronze medals.

Smith, twice North-East cross country champion, was the leading British runner for most of the race in sub-zero conditions, eventually being overtaken on the run-in by team-mates Louise Damen (11th) and Caryl Jones (15th) as Ireland's Fionnuala Britton successfully defended her senior women's title.

Stockport's former English Schools 3,000m champion Jess Coulson was a clear winner by nine seconds in the women's under-23 race, while World Junior 3,000m bronze medallist Emelia Gorecka took the silver in the junior race.

Great Britain's other individual medal winners were Kieron Clements and James Wilkinson, who each finished third in the junior and under-23 men's races. Great Britain also won medals in each of the six team races.

Selected results - Senior Men: 1 A Lalli (Italy) 30.01; 2 H Chahdi (France) 30.11; 3 D Meucci (Italy) 20.13. Great Britain: 4 T Farrell 30.14, S Vernon 30.28, 11 J Taylor 30.30, 13 A Vernon 30.33, T Humphries 30.37. Teams: 1 Spain 35; 2 Great Britain 38; 3 Italy 63.

Junior Men: 1 S Kulka (Poland) 18.43; 3 K Clements (GB) 18.57. Other GB: 9 C Grice 19.02, 18 I Bailey 19.22, 24 C Hulson 19.28. Teams: 1 Russia 50; 2 France 51; 3 Great Britain 54.

Under-23 Men: 1 H Ingebrigtsen (Norway) 24.30; 3 J Wilkinson (GB) 24.43. Other GB: 16 A Heyes 25.12, 23 S Horsfield 25.21, 38 D Griffiths, 45 S McDonald 25.52. Teams: 1 France 50; 2 Spain 59; 3 Great Britain 80.

Senior Women: 1 F Britton (Ireland)27.45; 2 D Felix (Portugal) 27.47; 3 A Herzog (Holland) 27.48. GB: 11 L Damen 28.22,15 C Jones 28.29, 16 R Smith 28.31, 18 E Baker 28.35. Teams: 1 Ireland 52; 2 France 52; 3 Great Britain 60.

Junior Women: 1 A Terzk (Serbia) 13.29; 2 E Gorecka (GB) 13.37. Other GB: 5 A Mason 13.47, 8 J Welsh 14.01, 13 J Judd 14.09. Teams: 1 Great Britain 28; 2 Germany 106; 3 Russia 111.

Under-23 Women: 1 J Coulson (GB) 20.40; 2 L Lebedeva (Russia) 20.49; 3 C Calvin (France) 20.52. Other GB: L Howarth 20.56, 12 H Walker 21.27, 15 L Partridge 21.33. Teams: 1 Russia 27; 2 Great Britain 33; 3 Germany 84.

NEW MARSKE Harrier Andy Wiles secured his first regional title when he defied the strength-sapping conditions on a quagmire course at Summerhill Country Park, Hartlepool, to win the North-East senior men's cross country championship.

Wiles, 24, fourth in the event last year and bronze medallist in 2009, beat Tyneside-based Leeds City runner Carl Smith by four seconds, with 2010 champion Lewis Timmins (Morpeth) third a further five seconds behind.

Mandale 's Kirsty Legg, the 2010 champion, regained her senior women's title, beating Jarrow's Alex Snook by over a minute.

Results - Senior Men: 1 A Wiles (New Marske) 39 mins 48 secs; 2 C Smith (Leeds City) 39.52; 3 L Timmins (Morpeth) 39.57. Teams: 1 Morpeth 75pts; 2 Tyne Bridge 198; 3 Sunderland 210.

Senior Women: 1 K Legg (Mandale) 33.28; 2 A Snook (Jarrow & Hebburn) 34.48; 3 K Matthew (Mandale) 34.57. Teams: 1 Mandale 8; 2 Morpeth 37; 3 Durham City 65.

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