WILL Crisp kept his hopes of earning a slice of the prize money alive in the British Athletics Cross Challenge Series in Cardiff on Sunday.

Despite a determined performance, the 14-year-old Swindon Harrier was far from happy with his sixth-placed finish in the under 15 boys’ race, as he was left trailing by an early break away group.

“The first lap was hard and the second lap was even harder,” said Crisp, who was second in the same race 12 months ago.

“My target had been to try to stick with the top guys but the leading four got away very quickly and over suddenly the race was all over, which was disappointing.”

There was some consolation for Crisp, who went into the event sitting fourth in the Challenge series. Of the boys ahead of him overall on the start line only Chey Kemp of Reading beat him in Cardiff. This means going into next month’s final he is still contesting a top three position.

“I think I may be second overall but we’ll have to see when the official positions come out.,” he said.

“It gives me something to go for in Birmingham next month.

“I can’t be too unhappy with my result I would just have liked to have run better.”

It was Crisp’s first race of the year after the cancellation of the latest Oxford Mail League race due to flooding on the course.

The Harrier actually showed a return to form after a below-par 38th in his previous Challenge appearance in Liverpool last month.

Also from the Harriers, 17-year-old Lillie Bellamy followed up her victory in the South West Championships with a solid 11th place in a good quality under 20 women’s race.

Ben McIntyre was another Harrier in action at Cardiff. The 11-year-old finished fifth in the under 13 boys’ race. In the same race, Cirencester AC’s Luke Roberts was 18th of the 78 runners.

Zoe Wassell of Malmesbury School had another good run to finish fourth in the under 15 girls’ race. The 14-year-old was just four seconds off the bronze medal spot.

“I was pretty pleased with that as the conditions were very tough,” said Wassell.