Athletics: Cross-country medals for Gemma Steel and Amy Griffiths
Gemma Steel and Amy Griffiths stole the headlines for Leicestershire in the Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships.
Steel put on a late surge to clinch a bronze in the women's senior race, while Griffiths created a piece of history by winning gold in the under-17 women's event.
The Charnwood AC athlete charged through the pack on the last lap of the 8km course, at Birmingham's Cofton Park, to grab third place in a time of 27min 24sec.
Despite being unable to defend the title she won last season, the bronze-medal finish has sealed Steel's place in the Great Britain team that will travel to Poland for the World Championships, on March 24.
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Qualification is a great achievement for 27-year-old Steel as this was only her third outing since returning from an Achilles injury that had sidelined her since November.
This medal follows the bronze she won at the national cham pionships, as well as gold in the Alsager 5-mile last month.
Griffiths blew away the rest of the field over the 5km distance, taking the lead early on and gradually pulling further away from the chasing pack. Her time of 19.13 meant she finished 21 seconds ahead of her nearest rival.
Her Leicester Coritanian team-mates Hannah Nuttall (six in 20.09) and Mari Smith (eighth in 20.14) also managed good finishes but the team narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing fourth. Griffiths becomes the first county runner to win the Inter-Counties title at this age group since Maxine Newman in 1987. It gives the 16-year-old a great boost going into the English Schools' Championships next week, where she is looking to pick up another medal.
Charnwood's Lucy Jones led the county's under-15 girls' team, finishing eighth in the 4km race, in 17.50.
Alongside team-mates Laura Mullin (19th in 18.06), Hannah Cox (33rd in 18.25) and Caitlin Roper (46th in 18.36), they were denied a bronze by just two points.
There were top-10 finishes for Charnwood's Jo Pollard and Coritanian's Jordan Waine in the under-13 boys and girls 3km races respectively.
Waine finished ninth in her race, in 11.37, while Pollard seized 10th in a time of 10.44.
In the senior men's 12km event, Alistair Watson was the county's leading light. The Notts AC runner finished 27th in a time of 35.48.
Amy Griffiths competed at the McCain UK Cross Challenge Finals in Birmingham. For more information on how to get involved in athletics, visit :