NAA COUNTY CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW SATURDAY JANUARY 7TH 2017
Rugby & Northampton AC will host the NAA County Cross Country Championships at Abington Park on Saturday January 7th 2017.
The first race begins at 12 noon and finishes with the joint Senior Mens and Womens race starting at 1.45pm.
The Senior Mens event will be taking place for the 78th time and reigning champion Jonathan Goringe of Kettering Town Harriers returns to defend his title. He will be up against former winner Rory Grant of Birchfield Harriers, who when winning the Junior title 5 years ago defeated the whole of the Senior Mens field.
Last years runner-up David Green of Northampton Road Runners is also in the field along with the strong pairing of Rugby & Northampton’s Dominic Jones and William Gardner.With six to score in the team the host club will be challenging for their 20th title as either Phoenix/R&N,but will have to hold off defending champions Corby AC along with four other clubs.
The three medallists from the U20 Mens race 12 months ago will do battle again with Kettering’s Jack Hope defending the crown against his clubmate Josh Cara and R&N’s Ben Musgrove.
The Senior Ladies will for the first time compete jointly with the men over 10000m and Hayley Munn of Northampton Road Runners will be defending the title she won so emphatically last year.Her main challenge is likely to come from Birchfield’s Nicole Roberts, but also battling for a podium place will be last years silver medal winner Kelly Barnett of Wellingborough and Corby’s Rebecca Hall.
The team competition will be contested by Kettering, Corby, Silson & Wootton Road Runners.
Rugby & Northampton’s Emma Bond will defend her U20 title against Claudia Nevett of Kettering.
The U17 Men’s race could see a battle between the R&N pairing of Adam Searle and James Wizard. Searle is the current U15 Champion, but Wizard will be hoping to go one place better than his U17 silver medal from last year. Fynn Batkin of KTH could also challenge for honours.
In the absence of title holder Tabatha Walford through injury, the U17 Womens event is looking wide open. Sophie Moss of KTH is a strong bet, but with the pairing of Amy Walker (R&N) and Poppy Carmichael (KTH) moving up from U15 level a good race is in prospect.
There will be two clear favourites in both the U15 events with Adam Caulfield of R&N for the Boys and KTH’s Emily Williams for the girls. Also challenging for medals in the Boys section will be the top two from last years U13 race with Dylan Bowley (KTH) and Archie Parkinson (Corby).
While the current U13 Girls Champion Molly Williams could be challenging her R&N team mate Lucy Stevens.
The biggest field from the young athletes comes in the U13 race with 37 entries for the boys and 30 for the girls. Louis Buttrick will be hoping to medal this time and could challenge for top honours with his R&N team mate Finlay Heard who is the reigning U11 Champion. Harvey Wilmott (Wellingborough) and Noah Bennett (R&N) could also be in the mix for a medal.
The reigning U11 Girls Champion Emily Hinton of Silson AC moves up to the U13 age group and her main challenger for the title could be last years U13 runner-up Freya Batkin of KTH. Olivia Williams (R&N) also moves up and is a medal prospect along with Wellingborough’s Lucy Watts.
Rugby & Northampton’s Arthur Tilt and Alice Bennett will start as favourites in the U11 Boys and Girls races respectively.