ATHLETICS: Another international title for Copson

Rugby & Northampton athletes at the Midland Women's Cross Country League races in Leaminton
Rugby & Northampton athletes at the Midland Women's Cross Country League races in Leaminton

Rugby & Northampton AC round-up

Last weekend was a busy one of cross country action for Rugby & Northampton, who had representatives in four separate events.

Angela Copson, R&N’s multi-record holder, represented England in the British & Irish Masters International, hosted at Tollcross Park, Glasgow. She joined up with the home nations’ best to compete for the Women’s Over-65 title.

It was a great trip north for Copson as she completed the six kilometre course in 24 minutes and 15 seconds, clinching first place ahead of Scotland’s Ann White and Jeanette Craig.

With the success, Copson has extended her winning streak in national and international cross country championships to 20 events, and it was her ninth international title in the last year of her competing in the over-65 age group.

The Women’s senior and veteran teams were also in action on Saturday, competing in the first round of their new Midland Women’s League Division 1 campaign in Leamington.

The Athletics Club finished ninth in Division 1 with a strong veteran contingent. Jo Pulsford (26:22) was the first R&N runner home in 34th, while two places further back was Amy Sarkies (26:34), making her first appearance in the competition. Junior Rebecca Leadbeater (27:22) crossed the line in 44th and Daisy Melville (29:19) completed the scoring team in 75th.

Leamington proved even more successful for the masters collective as R&N clinched the runners-up spot. Brilliant finishes of sixth, seventh and 21st in the master competition by Pulsford, Sarkies and Melville helped seal second place.

Zoe Shepherd (30:17) finished 26th in the master age category and was supported by Helen Jones (31:36) in 31st, Catherine Williams (31:43) one place further behind and Minerva Chesser (32:09) in 34th.

While the Women’s team were in Leamington, 17 male R&N athletes took to the course in the Birmingham League Division 1 in Cheltenham. Team A performed well to finish in 14th - an impressive position considering many of the club’s strongest runners were unavailable - while Team B claimed 11th.

Ben Musgrove (34:02) participated in the Birmingham League for the first time and the Under-20 athlete led the team home in 78th position. Following the 18-year-old across the line was Adnan Haq (34:17) in 89th. Veteran Paul Birch (35:21) was next in 119th, while fourth and fifth in the R&N results were Robert Male (35:37) and Alistair McDonnell (35:44).

Completing Team A, in 140th, was Chris Lamb (36:00), while Peter Currington (36:29) was 13 places further back in a personal best 153rd. Also claiming a spot inside the top 200 was debutant Joe Childs (37:14) in 176th, and finishing within eight places of each other were veterans Nigel Roberts (210th, 38:28), Vince Carroll (213rd, 38:36) and Max Chippington (218th, 38:53).

Peter Thomas (39:30) came 235th, while Adrian White (42:48) claimed 274th place. Within a place of each other were Terry Egan (43:39) and Adrian Reast (43:42) in 281st and 282nd. Rounding off the R&N involvement was Ian Wright (46:50) in 295th and 298th-placed John Saw (50:00).

Over in Milton Keynes, three of R&N’s younger athletes competed in the British Athletics Cross Challenge Series. In the U17 competition, Adam Searle (19:32) finished 13th on the 5.9k course, while James Wizard (21:39) claimed 35th. Claudia Searle (10:34) competed in the Girls’ U13 race, finishing 10th over the 2.67k course.