Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Avery Superb Effort by Carl

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Avery Superb Effort by Carl

Article excerpt

Byline: BILL MCGUIRK

CARL AVERY did his reputation the power of good with another eyecatching performance in the Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships on a mud-bath course at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough.

Avery led the North East Counties in defence of their team title and two weeks after catching the eye by finishing eighth in the 'National' at Parliament Hill, the Morpeth athlete continued his good form with an even better performance to came home in fifth place after a gruelling effort over 12 kilometres.

Avery now has the confidence to mix it with the best and he could be seen in a prominent position as the near-300-strong field filed its way out into the country.

As conditions worsened as more than 2,000 competitors churned up the course in the previous nine races, Avery dug deep into his reserves as one by one a number of his rivals began to fall away.

Going into the final circuit, gaps began to appear among the leaders but Avery, who finished 10th last year, was determined to stay in contention at the head of the field. While the gaps widened between himself and eventual winner Mohamed Mohamed, Avery kept the momentum going to come home in fifth place, a very tired, but happy, athlete.

Avery, who was informed he had been selected for England for the Home Countries International in Nottingham in two weeks' time, was naturally delighted with his performance, saying: "I'm pleased with that as I knew I was in good form after my National run.

"I thought last year - at the same course - was tough but this time around, it was even tougher.

"There weren't many parts of the course where you could manage to put your foot down; in fact, it was a quagmire for most of the way.

"I was told earlier in the week that I was in the team for the Home Nations so I really had to repay the selectors' faith in me by running well and I'm delighted that I did.'' The North East team were defending champions, having won the trophy for the past seven years. However, team manager Stewy Bell had to do without a number of major players, so it came as no surprise that they didn't figure among the medals this time. …

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