Rugby and Northampton Athletic Club hosted round four of the West Midland Young Athletes Cross-Country League at Abington Park on Sunday 13th January. The team of young athletes put in a fantastic performance to win the event, beating 19 other teams to the top spot.
In the U11B category, R&N had 21 athletes taking part and it was Ollie Watts who was the fastest runner for the team, crossing the line in third position with a time of 7:16. Nine seconds further back was team-mate Nathan Lamb, who finished in fifth place. Zac Pasqualin (7:41) and Jake Clarke (7:44) also put in strong performances to finish in 11th and 15th place respectively in what was a good opening race for the team.
R&N’s athletes continued to shine as the U11G team won their category convincingly. Ella Darby claimed first place with a time of 7:40 and was joined in the top three by Isabelle Smith (07:59). Mariam Zbirou recorded a time of 8:17 to end up one place outside the top 10 as part of another successful turnout from their 16 competing athletes at this level.
The U13B team also performed well and Arthur Tilt’s second place was the highlight: his time of 10:09 was only four seconds shy of first place. Ollie Buchan (6th), Cian Shea (16th), Oliver Bell (18th), Benjamin Westmoreland-Alexander (20th) and the rest of the R&N U13B team contributed to help the team achieve another victory.
Twenty-two runners represented Rugby and Northampton in the U13G race and it was Madeleine Jacks (10:57) and Alice Bennett (10:58) who were the standout performers. The two athletes were neck and neck heading towards the finish line, but it was Jacks who just edged second place in the end. Olivia Wilson also impressed and was the only other R&N athlete to finish in the top 10, her time of 11:36 was good enough for ninth place on the day.
R&N enjoyed another victory in the U15B event, taking a narrow victory ahead of Wolverhampton and Bilston. Noah Bennett was the fastest runner for the team with his time of 12:51 good enough for a fifth-place finish. He was followed closely by Finlay Ward (12:56) and Lewis Panter (13:03) who finished seventh and ninth respectively.
The U15G team missed out on the victory in a hotly-contested category. Claudia Searle was the standout runner for R&N, finishing in 10th place with a time of 14:54. The U17M and U17W teams again just missed out on taking the top spot in their categories but they scored valuable points that helped Rugby and Northampton take overall victory on the day.
Adam Caulfield ran brilliantly to finish first in the U17M race, his time of 18:25 was over half a minute faster than anyone else. In the U17W race, it was Amelia McMurtrie (18:44) who was R&N’s fastest runner, she finished the race in an excellent fourth position.