ALEX Carter is hoping for an explosive start to the new year – after ending 2013 on a real high with a stunning performance in the Clevedon 4 miles road race on Boxing Day, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

Twelve months after finishing fourth in the popular race around the North Somerset seaside resort the 17-year-old from Winsley – he doesn’t turn 18 until the end of this month – claimed some notable scalps as he chased home top 1500m runner and previous winner Richard Peters.

Carter was delighted with his second place, especially as he slashed 40 seconds off the time he clocked last year.

“I was really surprised to still be with Richard until the final 800 metres when he pushed on to win but I am delighted to run 40 seconds quicker than last year,” said Carter.

“I was really pleased to beat runners of the quality of Tim Merson, James Thie and Ben Noad, who are all terrific runners.”

The performance has given Carter a big lift ahead of the South West Cross Country Championships at Killerton House on Sunday, when he will be on duty for both Wiltshire and Team Bath AC.

“I had a poor start to the season at Liverpool (Euro-pean Championships trials) but then had a decent run in the Tri-Counties Champion-ships last month,” added Carter.

“I am obviously in better shape than I thought and now I have to transfer the form I have shown on the track and road onto the country.

“If I can finish the season as well as I did the last one then I will be very pleased.”

  • BRADFORD on Avon teenager Lauren Robinson was third woman in the Bath Pole Vault Christmas Special held at the University’s indoor facility.

The 16-year-old cleared 3.06m behind Katie James (3.61m) and Trudi Carter (3.06m). Team Bath’s 14-year-old Hannah Hewett cleared a personal best of 2.26m.

In the shot, Devizes School student Emily Hutchinson was runner-up in the U17 women with 10.64m.