Frank Tickner starts well in defence of McCain Cross Challenge title
Frank Tickner started the defence of his McCain Cross Challenge title with a third-placed finish in the first event of the new season last Sunday.
The Wells City Harriers runner finished with a total of 262 points to take the title in the five-race series last term and got off to a strong start this time around, finishing on the podium at Ashton Court in Bristol.
Tickner gave everything in an attempt to break the field on the third of four laps but, with a limited amount of cross- country training in his legs, he could not overhaul winner Dewi Griffiths and runner-up Biniam Ande.
Fellow Harrier Nathan Young ran a well-judged race against the international field to just creep inside the top 20, finishing 19th.
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A host of the club's juniors were also in action, with under-15 boys Sam Somerville and Luke Prior finishing fourth and fifth respectively in their event. Matthew Dickinson was not far behind in seventh.
In the under-17 girls' race, Emily Smith ran well to finish sixth, while Keiran Young got himself in the top 20 among the under-20 men runners.
A number of the Harriers' veterans were in action at the Dorset three peaks challenge the same day. Known as the Stickler, the ten-mile off-road route takes in several severe hills across the county's countryside.
With a huge entry of more than 400 there was stiff competition among the many veteran age groups, with Graham Goldsmid leading the way for Wells in a close finish to the MV50 category. He crossed the line 34th overall but third in his class.
Other V50 runners included Paul Chadwick in 85th, Andrew Pate 97th, John Beveridge 130th, Samantha Baker 148th, Nathan Baker 167th and Catherine Goldsmid 264th.