On Sunday 17th November Rugby and Northampton AC lined up along with 20 other clubs for the second round of the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League at Warley Woods, Smethwick. The first round of the league was cancelled due to poor weather, it was good to see the course condition, while still challenging, was better than expected after a wet week.
The first race of the event was the Under 17 Women 4km. Sophia Hill led the Rugby and Northampton team of Megan Stenhouse, Lucy Van Uem and Hannah Grocott through the finish line with our first individual top-ten position of the day (9th). A sure sign of the success that Rugby and Northampton where going to enjoy.
The Under 11 Boys set off next for 1.6Km at a truly impressive pace on the long downhill start. First back was George Bell (8th) followed by Charlie Cook, Joseph Boyle, Connor Darcy, Charlie Gercs, Thomas Leeson, Taylor Berwick and Nate Tilt.
The Under 17 Men’s race saw two top-ten positions for Rugby and Northampton AC over 4.8Km, Tom Tyler (3rd), and Jake Hope (10th) followed by Jake Louis, Finbar Myers and Matthew Everett. Tom Tyler competed the previous day in very tough muddy conditions for Warwickshire Schools at the Inter-County Schools Competition in Lilleshall, Shropshire.
The Under 11 Girls, most of who were racing cross country for the first time, ran brilliantly over their 1.6Km course. Esther Hutchins-Morant was first back from the team (27th) closely chased by Claudia Terrell, Merryn Hutchins-Morant, Eleanor McClements, Pheobe Skinner, and Hope Berwick.
Next up, the Under 15 Boys toed the line for their 3.2Km race. Dominic Evans racked up our 5th top-ten place of the day (9th) followed by teammates George Rogerson, Jenson Buttrick and Ned Gilford. Dominic also ran with Tom in the previous days Inter-Country Schools XC competition.
The Under 13 Girls put in a brilliant performance over the 2.5Km race, led back by Jemima Cooper, Sophia Hancock, Georgia Gercs, Tamara Cave, Amelie Budd Beynon, Rebecca Eaton and Isla Lacey.
Expectations were running high for our last two races of the day. The Under 13 Boys were up next. Arthur Tilt has recently returned from a football injury, so fingers were crossed for a good recovery. The 2.5 Km race saw Arthur finish 3rd, Isaac Hutchins-Morant, Noah Unwin, Archie Campbell, Charlie Gibbs, Theo Clements, and Lyall Lambert who all ran brilliantly rounded off the team.
In the last race of the day, the team of Under 15 Girls Madeleine Jacks, Jemima Lambert and Elspeth Unitt set off over 3.2Km. Madeleine had a superb run, finishing in 2nd pace; the club’s best position of the day.
A great day’s racing.