Chelsea is closing the gap in race for Gwent League honours

Chelsea Creak’s steady improvement in the John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League has now lifted her up into fourth place in the overall standings.

The Bristol & West AC runner claimed her best result of the season so far at Pembrey Country Park, near Swansea, on Saturday as she finished runner-up to current leader Lauren Cooper.

On the move: Chelsea Creak has improved with every race of the Gwent League so far this season

Interestingly Creak was just 24 second behind Cooper, which is another sign of her improvement. In the opening fixture in Cardiff, which was incorporated into the British Athletics Cross Challenge meeting, Creak was 1mins 7secs behind Cooper as they finished 15th and fifth respectively.

Furthermore, both Alaw Benyon-Thomas and Emily Lowery finished ahead of Creak that day but by the second race in Brecon last month Creak was ahead of them and she repeated that last weekend.

That means she is closing the gap on the pair and with two fixtures remaining – Blaise Castle in February and then the finale in Swansea the following month – could well force her way onto the podium even if Cooper looks to have a firm grip on the overall title.

Creak’s impressive form has given her Bristol & West AC team a new potent weapon in the bid to win the team title. The squad extended their lead over nearest rivals Chepstow Harriers by 89 points on Saturday as the Wales club slipped to third on the day behind the B&W B team.

The A team now hold a lead of 241 points over Chepstow with the B side now just 13 points adrift.

On Saturday the B&W A team placed four in the top ten with Katrina Entwistle fifth, Catie O’Donoghue seventh, Helene Represse eighth with the fifth and final scorer Naomi Aylwin closing in on 13th.

Hannah Dyer led home the B team in 16th with support from Elina Jarbin (19th), Sarah Everitt (22nd), Liz Sanigar (28th) and Verity Potts (29th).

Overall women (after three matches): 1 Lauren Cooper (Parn Bryn Bach Runners) 879pts; 2 Alaw Beynon-Thomas (Les Croupiers RC) 872; 3 Emily Lowery (Cardiff Uni, U23) 868; 4 Chelsea Creak (B&W) 867.

Others: Hannah Dyer (B&W) 832; 11 Sarah Everitt (B&W, W45 3rd) 802; 12 Liz Sanigar (B&W, W35 3rd) 795; 13 Liz Potts (B&W) 789; 15 Claire Jolliffe (B&W, W55 1st) 785; 23 Tamsin Chick (Westbury H, W35 8th) 720; 33 Emma Woodworth (WH, W45) 650; 37 Ellie Wallace (NSAC, U23) 603; 39 Hayley Bennett (B&W) 599; 42=Catherine Treble (WH, W35) 589; 44 Francis Arnott (B&W) 583.

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