Loughborough athletes bring back European Cross Country Medals

lboro athletes win medals in dublin

Loughborough athletes contributed excellently to Great Britain and Northern Ireland's medal haul at the European Cross Country Championships in Dublin this weekend.

In an event where GB&NI typically perform very well - and continued their tradition of topping the medal table - there were plenty of strong performances for Loughborough athletes to celebrate.

One of the highlights of the day was the short course mixed relay event, which saw two current students and one recent alumni take the gold medal. Former MSc student Hannah Nuttall put the team in a strong position and handed over to current student Luke Duffy in 6th place. Duffy maintained the position and handed over to Olympian Alex Bell who had a phenomenal run to take the team into 1st place. When Bell handed over to scholar Ben West with a 4-second lead, it was just up to West to maintain the lead, which he managed to do even with a fast finishing French team chasing him down.

West took to social media after the event to announce, “EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS!! Over the moon to take the win in the mixed relay alongside Hannah, Luke and Alex. Senior debut went to plan – what a way to cap off 2021”

MSc student Ossama Meslek, competing for Italy, ran a strong 2nd leg to help his home country finish in 8th place.

There was further team success for the Women’s Senior Team with scholars and PhD students Jessica Judd and Abbie Donnelly finishing a highly respectable 4th and 12th to contribute strongly to the women’s team gold.

The U23 men’s team had a real Loughborough presence with recent graduate Tom Mortimer, former student Rory Leonard and current scholar Matt Stonier contributing towards a team silver medal. They finished in 14th, 16th and 23rd place respectively.

Finally, recent graduate Cari Hughes will also come back to Loughborough with some precious metal as her own 16th place finish helped the U23 women’s team return with a bronze medal.

Newly appointed Loughborough’s Head of Endurance Kyle Bennett, who is also personal coach to gold medallist Ben West, was clearly pleased with the results from the weekend:

“There were some excellent results from Loughborough athletes in Dublin, which is always exciting as you come into a new programme. We’re in a great position heading into BUCS Cross Country which takes place in about 6 weeks, as well as being set up for a very busy 2022 where we have the Commonwealth Games, European Championships and World Championships taking place. Lots to look forward to.”