16th January 2018
RUGBY AND NORTHAMPTON EXTEND CROSS COUNTRY LEAD
Athletic club’s young athletes dominate on home soil in West Midlands League
Rugby & Northampton delivered a dominant display on home turf, winning five of the eight team categories in the fourth round of the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League.
Arthur Tilt led the way for the under-11 boys, racing around the Abington Park course to finish first in seven minutes and 18 seconds, crossing the line just one second before clubmate Lewis Robson. Nathan Lamb (sixth – 7:25) and Ollie Walls (eighth – 7:32) added top-10 placings, while Zac Pazqualin rounded off the team success with a 12th-placed finish in 7:35.
Alice Bates was another of the club’s young athletes to claim individual glory, racing to U13G victory in 11:03. Again, her clubmates weren’t far behind with two more inside the top 10. Elspeth Unitt was fourth in 11:28, four places and 14 seconds ahead of Abigail Thayanithy. The scoring was completed by Alice Bennett (12th – 11:48) and Madeleine Jacks (20th – 12:04).
All five of the successful U11G team finished in the top nine positions, with Ella Darby (7:45) and Olivia Willson (7:50) crossing the line in third and fourth place respectively. Emily Langley finished sixth in 8:01, while Georgia Gercs and Lara Turner were both timed at 8:08 to finish eighth and ninth.
In the U15B, the team came out on top in a tough field, with Noah Bennett the first R&N athlete home in ninth, in 13:03. However, the team’s strength in depth showed, with Tom Tyler (13th – 13:19), Lewis Panter (15th – 13:24), Jake Hope (18th – 13:32) and Finbar Myers (19th – 13:34) running on for team triumph.
The fifth and final team win went the way of the U17M, with Matthew Chronicle setting the pace in 18:21 to take fourth spot. Ten seconds further back was fifth-placed Muss-Ab Hassan, and the scoring was rounded off by Adam Caulfield, who took ninth in a time of 18:59.
R&N finished second in the U13B, U15G and U17W categories, giving the club a comfortable victory and further extending the lead at the top of the standings, ahead of the final round in Wolverhampton next month.
Also this weekend, the R&N men’s team produced their best performance of the season in the Birmingham Cross Country League Division 1, finishing in seventh place of the 16 teams. The result lifted them off the bottom of the table to 12th position overall after three races.
Leading the way for the club once again was Dominic Jones in 14th spot over the 9.7 kilometre Warley Woods course with a time of 31:29.
Elisha De Mello, returning from injury, was the next man over the line in 30th place (32:03) and he was followed by Ben Musgrove, with the 19-year-old achieving his highest placing in the league – 63rd in 33:39.
Recording 34:05 was Alistair McDonnell in 77th, and completing the scoring six were two veteran athletes – Stephen Marks (98th – 34:54) and John Gercs (127th – 35:40).
The B team finished 10th on the day and saw junior Joe Childs with a best ever 145th spot to be timed at 36:20. Lewis Cherry was making his league debut and he finished 160th in exactly 37 minutes, followed closely by the veteran pairing of Nigel Roberts (164th – 37:10) and Jonathan Taylor (166th – 37:11). Closing out the top 12 were Alastair Gardner (203rd – 38:57) and team manager Vince Carroll (211th – 39:21)
R&N had another six athletes turning out to represent the club with junior Adam Bebbington recording 40:14 for 227th, then came Paul Furness (236th – 41:03), Joe Lantsbery (240th – 41:18), Terry Egan (271st – 43:37), Adrian Reast (281st – 45:16) and Adrian White (284th – 45:58).
The women were also in Birmingham, at Cofton Park, for the Midland Womens Cross Country League Division 1 and with a lot of absentees from the team they finished in 15th place.
The squad consisted of seven veteran athletes with Tamara Hardman the first home for R&N, securing 83rd position in 30:31, while Zoe Shepherd was three places and 20 seconds adrift.
Angela Copson was timed at 32:13 in 116th spot and the scoring team was closed out by Alison Cobb (119th – 32:21). Also completing the course were Helen Jones (140th – 34:48), Minerva Chesser (147th – 35:18) and Efthymia Katsogianni (148th – 35:18).
The fourth and final league race for both men and women will be held at Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton on February 10th.