CROSS COUNTRY: Club’s first ever individual gold in league

Jacob Allen
Jacob Allen

Jacob beats Olympian on way to victory in Northampton

Jacob Allen’s stunning personal best performance on Saturday saw him become the first ever Rugby & Northampton runner to take gold in Division One of the Birmingham & District Invitational Cross Country League.

The 19-year-old claimed the scalp of Olympian Weynay Ghebresilasie en route to recording a time of 32.53 at Abington Park, Northampton - enough to see him take the gold medal in the second round of the highly competitive competition.

Allen took a three-second victory after a commanding performance that saw him lead for the majority of the course - at one point a full 50-meters in front of his nearest rivals. Eliot Buckner of Loughborough closed on the youngster on the final lap, but Allen judged his race tactics to perfection to seal victory.

Robert Male (65th, 36.55) and Iain Botheroyd (93rd, 38.17) also achieved personal best finishes to help R&N’s A team - completed by Robert Gardner (64th, 36.48), Luke Robinson (85th, 38.01) and Brendan Moen (96th, 38.21) - to 10th position on the day, while they hold ninth overall.

Debutants Iain Gillam (119th, 39.24) and Daniel Mould (165th, 41.02), helped the B team move up to fourth overall with a fifth-place finish. Paul Birch (115th, 39.18), Terry Egan (159th, 40.47), Nigel Roberts (163rd, 40.59) and Vince Carroll (140th, 40.05), making his 80th league appearance, also aided the B team’s effort.

Other notable performances included personal best finishes from Aaron Lincoln (197th, 43.56), Colin Durrant (205th, 44.51), Richard Franklin (217th, 47.50) and Adrian Hodson (221st, 48.18). Jonathan Sarkies (184th 42.08), Scott Andrew (188th, 42.42), Joe Lantsbery (222nd, 48.22) and Paul Baxter (231st, 63.59) all performed well on their debuts, while Pete Thomas (193rd, 43.11), Max Chippington (196th, 43.53), Neil Wilsher (201st, 44.20), Bernie Myers (214st, 46.02) and John Saw (230th, 57.07) had solid showings.