Westbury’s golden girl Rosie is a true champion

LET’S all salute Rosie Hamilton-Jones – the new 2022 Midland Counties Cross Country Championships Under 20s champion.

The 19-year-old Westbury Harrier from Coombe Dingle added the regional title to her South West Championships junior success at the start of the month to continue her great start to the new year.

True champion: Rosie Hamilton-James. Photo courtesy of Westbury Harriers

Running a clever race at the Berry Hill Park course, Mansfield, Hamilton-James held back on the first of the two laps before making her winning move to finish six seconds clear of Wolverhampton & Bilston’s Louise Hackett.

“So, I knew the course was two laps so the plan was to sit in on the first lap and then push on the second lap and it worked really well,” said Hamilton-James, who is a student at Birmingham University.

“Louise had made around a 10-15 seconds gap on the first lap so I always had that target. And I got to the hill and kicked and had about half a lap to go so just worked to hold that position.

“With about 500 metres to go I felt strong and that I had to win but I kept pushing as I didn’t want to relax too much.”

The last time Hamilton-James raced the Midlands was four years ago when she finished eighth as an under 17 while before that her record reads 18th as an under 15 in 2017 and 32nd on her debut in the 2015 under13s race.

So, it has been steady progress and a lot of hard work and dedication for Hamilton-James to bring her to the top of the podium for the first time.

“I wasn’t expecting to win but was definitely aiming for a medal,” she added.

And a nice gold one will certainly look very nice in Hamilton-Jones’ collection.