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Chayce-ing cross-country glory

All the top competitors are expected to be out for the National Cross-Country Championships tomorrow morning at Botanical Gardens.

The men's open category should be keenly contested with Larry Marshall, who missed the final race of the Bermuda National Athletics Association Cross-Country Series, set to return to resume his battle with Chayce Smith, the class winner, Chefton Hall, and Darico Clarke, the other top finishers in the series.

There was little to separate Smith, Hall and Larry Marshall during the series, with all of them tied on 20 points going into the last race.

Smith saw off the challenge of Hall to win the five-race series, as Clarke finished second in the final race at Chaplin Bay, and third in the series.

Lamont Marshall was the 2014 men's open national champion after finishing ahead of Clarke.

Rose-Anna Hoey, who won the women's open with a race to spare, should renew her rivalry with Tamika Miranda, although Hoey is the clear favourite in that category.

Meanwhile, Omari Hart, Dean Smith and Chris Harris will be the three to watch in the men's masters category.

Scott Neil, who Hart beat to the series title by six points, is away and will not be competing tomorrow.

Jay Donawa won the men's masters national title last year when the veteran runner finished comfortably ahead of Harris and Hart.

In the women's masters, Laurie Orchard and Deon Breary, the 2014 national champion, will be the favourites for the title, with Kim Raymond expected to be in the mix based on her results over the course of the cross-country series.

Some of the most exciting races should be in the junior age groups, where the likes of Ryan Outerbridge, Selah Tuzo, Aaron Jacobs, Ashley Irby, Tesyah-Mahle Astwood, Jade Johnston, and Kahzi Sealey are among the favourites.

Competing with Outerbridge in the under-14s will be Iziah Tucker and Nicholas Pilgrim, who were in the top three in the series, while Jessie Marshall, Kayla Raymond and Koa Goodchild will compete with Tuzo in the under-14 girls.

Quincy Kuzyk took advantage of the absence of Jacobs in the final race of the boys under-17 series to take the title at Chaplin Bay last month.

Malik Joell and Max De Ste Croix should also be contenders in the nationals.

Messiah Greaves was the girls under-17 national champion last year, finishing ahead of Palmer and Quaashie Douglas, while David Darrell claimed the boys under-17 title last year when he beat Jacobs by just thirteen seconds.

Rajae Whitter and Elijah Bean should be the two favourites in the boys under-10 based on results in the series, while Ramiah Brangman and Katherine Bean-Rosarie should be likewise in the girls division.

Sealey, the boys under-12 series winner, should be in the mix along with Tommy Marshall and Sancho Smith.

Johnston pipped Astwood to take the girls under-12 title, and the pair should battle again along with Yasmyne Smith.

Selah Tuzo won the under-12 National Champions last year at the Arboretum when she beat Johnston, but she has stepped up to the under-14s where Jessie Marshall was last year's national champion.

Entries for the National Championships, which is sponsored by Butterfield & Vallis, closed on Wednesday and no late entries will be accepted on the morning of the race. Races start at 8.30am.

Title favourite: Smith is one of the top contenders in the men's race(Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published December 04, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated December 04, 2015 at 12:57 am)

Chayce-ing cross-country glory

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