15th November 2017
RUGBY & NORTHAMPTON LADIES START STRONG IN MIDLANDS CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUE
Club finish in sixth position among a record field in Coventry
Rugby & Northampton’s ladies made a superb start to the Midland Women’s Cross Country League held at Coventry, finishing sixth overall in Division One, among a competing field of 426 athletes — a record turnout for the event.
The club failed to finish inside the top 10 at any point last season, therefore the performance in Warwickshire was a fantastic start to the new campaign, highlighting a huge improvement with the team still to reach full strength.
Gabby Moriarty was the day’s star performer, racing around the course in a time of 25 minutes and 25 seconds to finish in a fantastic 13th place. Junior athlete Emma Bond soon followed her over the finish line, taking 21st spot with a fine run of 26:22.
Bethan Goddard’s effort of 29:24 was enough for 61st, while Tamara Hardman completed the line-up, placing 67th in 29:45 on what was her return to action following a knee injury. Hardman was also the first R&N veteran over the line and therefore contributed to the Masters team which finished 10th.
Backing her up were Daisy Melville, who finished 89th in 30:44, and Angela Copson, whose run of 32:58 secured 124th position.
R&N’s efforts didn’t end there, however, with a further four athletes completing the course last Saturday. Under-20 athlete Kirsty Goddard finished 102nd in 31:34, before veterans Kate Williams (148th – 34:47) and Krasimira Raykova (182nd – 37:55) arrived home — the latter of which was competing in her first XC race. Senior athlete Tilly Lea rounded things off, finishing 194th in 40:01.
Also on Saturday, the men were in action to contest the first Birmingham League Cross Country event in Cheltenham. The standard was extremely strong and a somewhat depleted team found the competition extremely challenging.
The first finisher for the club was Alistair McDonnell in an excellent 66th position, underlining the tremendous improvement he has made in the last year. He crossed the line in a time of 35:32, and the next runner over was Stephen Marks (36:34) in 97th position. There was then a significant gap to John Gercs, who finished 166th in 39:12.
The scoring six was completed by Jon Taylor (200th – 40:36), Nigel Roberts (216th – 41:22) and club captain, Vince Carroll (42:22) in 235th position. The team sit 15th of the 16 teams ahead of the next race in Trentham on 2nd December, where the club will need to up their performance in their bid to fend off relegation.
A busy weekend for the club continued on Sunday with a number of athletes competing in the Three Counties Cross Country League, where one of R&N’s athletes was triumphant in the event hosted by Wootton Road Runners.
Dominic Jones finished clear of the chasing pack in first place, while veteran runner Phil Melling added to the scoring with an impressive placing of sixth. There were five further scorers for the men — Haydn Arnall (11th), Brendan Moen (30th), David Ball (40th), Matty Gee (48th), Oliver Munns (67th) and Nigel Roberts (70th).
Sally Tilt was the quickest of the ladies to cross the line, in 29th, ahead of Copson — running a second race in two days and finishing 39th — Jenny Lind Roth (47th) and Louise Bennet (51st). The combined total points tally helped the club to an overall position of sixth.
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