BURTON Athletics Club broke a 30-year duck at the weekend as they won gold – twice – at two different county championships.
Club members Cameron Abberley and Gordy Smith are now both county champions after outstanding individual performances.
Young Abberley dominated the Under-13 Boys race at Stafford Common from start to finish.
Stretching out an early lead, he cruised around the field to become Staffordshire champion.
Abberley will now lead the Staffordshire team at the coveted Inter Counties Championships, shown on Sky Sports, at Cofton Park in March.
Veteran Smith was in action at the Derbyshire Championships at Shipley Park, Heanor.
With tough competition to contend with, Smith became Veteran champion for the first time, finishing in 11th place overall but taking key scalps to claim the Veteran prize.
Smith was delighted and could hardly contain his pleasure at the finish line. He should now make the county team in March.
There was more success at the Staffordshire Championships, where Alex Benfield, a Staffordshire team regular, had moved up into the Under-20 category and ran in a mixed race with the senior men in a three-lap, 10km gruelling course.
Benfield suffered a severe nosebleed before the race which required medical attention before competing.
It meant he only made the starting line with seconds to spare.
He had targeted a bronze in his first outing at the age group, but ran one of his best races to date, crossing the line in a superb sixth place and taking silver in the Under-20 division.
Benfield will lead the Staffordshire team out for the second time at the county championships in March due to the category winner exceeding the age limit qualification by the time the championships come around.
Cory Parker was next home for Burton in the race and he was a little disappointed not the make the team, finishing in 26th place overall and sixth place in his final year in the Under-20 class.
Veteran runners Ian Parker, Eamon O’Hanlon and Rob Sharratt will be pleased with their performances as they looked comfortable finishing in 84th, 99th and 104th respectively.
Myles O’Hanlon and Thomas Benfield ran well to take fourth place in the Under-13 boys team race, while Mollie O’Hanlon was the only female competitor for Burton, but she narrowly missed out on a county team place.
However, 14th position was a good performance as a first year at Under-15 level.