CROSS COUNTRY: Success at National Championships

Emily Waugh
Emily Waugh
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Emily Waugh 8th in U23 race and 38th in senior women’s

Emily Waugh confirmed her place amongst the country’s elite as she finished inside the top 50 at the National Cross Country Championships.

Waugh’s time of 31.03 across the 8k course in the Senior Women’s race at Nottingham’s Wollaton Park saw the 20-year-old finish a magnificent 38th - 8th in the under 23 race - just over three minutes behind overall winner Gemma Steel of Charnwood AC (27.42).

A record 10,000 runners and spectators turned out for the event on a sunny but chilly and windy day in Nottinghamshire, with the course descibed as fantastic, being firm under foot for the most part.

Seb Palmer took a top 500 placing in the Senior Men’s to claim his first Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club Senior Men’s Cross Country Championship.

Palmer recorded a time of 43.54 over 12k to lead R&N’s men home for the fifth time this season - results that saw him put two third-placed club championship finishes behind him to finally finish top of the pile.

A little over two minutes behind Palmer was Vince Carroll (587th, 46.15) – the eighth time he has been the second R&N runner in the national race though he is yet to have the honour of leading the club home.

Palmer and Carroll were joined by Neil Willsher (836th, 48.55), Nigel Roberts (859th, 49.15), Terry Egan (972nd, 50.30) and Jon Saw (1,590th, 64.36) as R&N finished 75th in the team rankings, the first time they have finished a six in three years.

Rosanna Andrews led R&N’s Junior Women for the fifth time this season as she completed the 6k course in a time of 25.20 to claim the club championship.

Andrews finished 57th in the national standings and was joined in the top 100 by her club-mate Tilly Lea, who crossed the line in 99th, recording a time of 27.43.

In the Junior Men’s event, Jacob Allen suffered disappointment as he had to withdraw through illness despite being in the pack of leading athletes.

Amy Walker took the honour of the club’s highest finisher on the day as a time of 12.33 secured her 21st place in the under 13 girls – less than a minute behind the race winner.

Alongside team-mates Poppy Carmichael (43rd, 12.54), Abigail Pearce (94th, 13.19) and Georgina Woodward (125th, 13.30), Walker helped R&N record their best-ever finish from a junior team as they placed seventh.

Absentees dashed any hopes R&N had of a high-ranking team position in the under 13 boys as they were unable to field a full side. There was, however, an excellent run by Joe Musgrove (30th, 11.47) who was less than a minute behind the winnng athlete along with Ethan Kent-Whittaker (35th, 11.50) and Matthew Rushton (68th, 12.09).

Emer Wintsch led the way for R&N’s under 15 girls by finishing 39th in a time of 16.47 - a tremendous feat in what was her first appearance in the national event. Rhian Williams finished 323rd in a time of 21.35 in the same catagory.

Joshua Lay (77th, 15.30) was the leading R&N under 15 boy, supported by Oskar Potomski (144th, 16.07), Thomas Haynes (239th, 17.08) and Finn Hutton (326th, 19.17) on what was a very tough course for the younger athletes.

R&N’s under 17 women finished a very creditable 12th in their category with Kirsty Goddard (40th) the lead finisher in a time of 19.53. Nicole Johnson (142nd, 22.42), Ciara Moore (150th, 22.55) and Katie Clubb (23.00) also scored.

The under 17 boys race saw a battle for R&N supremacy between Ben Musgrove and Harry Hughes, with Musgrove (103rd, 22.08) recording the club-leading finish ahead of his training partner (133rd, 22.38).

R&N will be well represented at the Inter Counties Cross Country Championships on Saturday, March 9 at Coften Park, Birmingham. The club will have runners appearing for three different counties after they were selected following the respective County and Midlands Championships.

Selected by Northamptonshire: Poppy Carmichael, Amy Walker, Charis Hayes, Olivia White, Abigail Pearce, Rosie Edmonds, Zoe Morling (U13 girls); Adam Searle, Joe Musgrove, Matthew Chronicle, Ethan Kent-Whittaker, Matthew Rushton (U13 boys); Emer Wintsch (U15 girls); Joshua Lay, Oskar Potomski, James Wizard, Cameron Roberts, Ewan Roberts (U15 boys); Kirsty Goddard, Emma Bond (U17 women); Jack Bond, Hizam Sheikh, Ben Musgrove, Michael Kinder, Matthew Brookes (U17 men); Genevieve Roberts, Clarissa Blake, Eden Bates, Bethan Goddard, Sarah Bennett (U20 women); Joseph Lantsbury, Ben James (U20 men); Rosanna Andrews (senior women); Jacob Allen, William Gardner, Robert Male, Robert Gardner (senior men).

Selected by Warwickshire: Georgina Woodward (U13 girls); Rhys James (U13 boys); Ella Bromley (U15 girls); George Goodwin (junior men); Tilly Lea (junior women); Emily Waugh (senior women).

Selected by Buckinghamshire: Ben Sutherland (junior men).

PICTURE BY DAVE GODDARD