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CROSS COUNTRY: Gemma turns on the power
10:30am Friday 11th January 2013 in Sport
YATESBURY teenager Gemma Shepherd surprised herself as she claimed victory at the South West Cross Country Championships in Devon last weekend, writes KEVIN FAHEY.
The 15-year-old Marlborough & District Juniors AC runner – a student at Sheldon School in Chippenham, gave a powerful display to win the U15 girls’ race.
“That was a bit unexpected as I came here thinking I would do well to get a top three place so I am really pleased,” said Shepherd.
Shepherd’s was one of several notable performances at the event at Bicton College.
Trowbridge youngster John Howorth showed his talent by winning the U13 boys’ race – minus one shoe.
The 12-year-old lost his spiked footwear on the first lap and, despite it being handed back to him on a subsequent circuit, he carried it around the rest of the way to take victory just in front of his twin brother Robert.
Team Bath AC teammate Henry Dixon was a further nine seconds back, completing a remarkable day for the St Augustine’s School trio, with Themis Bower fourth to ensure a crushing victory for Team Bath in the team contest.
The Howorths’ brother Rory had got the day off to a winning start by romping to victory by 22 seconds in the under 11 boys’ race.
Warminster’s Imogen Wolsey (U20 women) and Winsley’s Alex Carter (U17 men) also took victories.
There were also bronze medals for Wiltshire runners Alex Hill (U20 men) and Naomi Webber U20 women), while in the senior men’s race Michael Towler of Avon Valley Runners finished 25th.