KIYA Dee’s fears that the Sefton Park course in Liverpool might not suit her were well and truly banished as the Highworth Running Club teenager romped to a superb victory.

The third event in the British Cross Challenge Series was the toughest yet, and a top-class field had been lured to Merseyside for arguably the premier pre-Christmas meeting on the cross-country calendar.

Having already won the opening two Challenge races at Cardiff and Milton Keyes, Dee was among the favourites to make it three in a row in the U15 girls age group, but she was cautious beforehand having finished 13th over the same course a year ago.

Afterwards, Dee revealed that it was one of her toughest days so far as she was not in 100 per cent shape.

“It was my hardest race yet this season, partly because we all came down with a bug before,” said Dee.

“I started differently this time as I went off in the back of the front pack, then pushed on through. Towards the end, I managed to gain a three-second lead, which I maintained.

“I’m now looking forward to Stirling in January.”

Finding different ways to win and digging deep are the hallmarks of a top athlete, and for Dee, victory extended her unbeaten start to the season with a sixth successive triumph – also including wins in the Gloucestershire and Oxford League races, plus success in the Great South Junior Run.

Fletcher Hart was Swindon Harriers’ sole representative and the 13-year-old finished 31st after placing 18th and 19th in the opening two fixtures.

Meanwhile, Bath University hosts the Tri-Counties Cross Country Championships on Sunday.

Swindon Harriers’ Simon Byrne will be one of the club’s best hopes for a medal in the senior men’s race, an event in which he finished third last year.

But Calne Running Club’s in-form Simon Nott will be seeking a hat-trick of senior men’s titles and will be tough to beat.