CROSS COUNTRY: Best run brings Perez home first

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News from Rugby & Northampton AC

Birmingham Cross Country

League Division One

Sandwell Valley

Chris Perez produced his best ever performance in Division One of the Birmingham Cross Country League on Saturday to lead home Rugby & Northampton AC for the first time in seven years.

In the third race of the series at Sandwell Valley Perez finished in 44th place to record 34 mins 24 secs on a course just short of six miles.

Maintaining his consistency to finish in the top 50 for the third time in a row was Hywel Davies in 46th spot on 34.31 and Seb Palmer once again had a good run in 69th position on 35.18.

Iain Botheroyd made the top 100 for the first time when he was the leading M40 Veteran for the club in 97th place on 36.28 and fellow Veteran Brendan Moen recorded 37.14 to cross the line in 115th.

The only Junior man taking part for R&N was 18-year-old Robert Male making his Division One debut and he completed the scoring six in 122nd place with 37.27.

The club finished in 12th place on the day and although they dropped a place to 11th overall from 16 teams there is a gap of 275pts between them and the bottom three relegation zone.

Team manager Vince Carroll led home the B team for the eighth time in his long career and was only one place and one second behind Male, while Paul Jolliffe did likewise behind Carroll, but his 124th position was his highest to date. Former Northampton Phoenix member Pete Currington has now re-joined and ran his first ever Men’s race for the club.

He gave a good account of himself to finish 174th in 39.46 and chasing him all the way was Brian Summers who ran his first ever Birmingham League race at this same venue 27 years ago. He finished four places back on 39.59.

Neil Willsher followed in 185th spot on 40.17 and closing off the B team, which finished 7th on the day and remain 7th overall, was Max Chippington with a best ever 204th place (42.00).

Making up the 14-man squad was Pete Thomas (206th in 42.08) and Terry Egan (213th in 43.10).

# The Midland Women’s League also took place at the same venue and from a field of 216 runners Rugby & Northampton’s Emily Waugh finished in 35th place on 27.18 over a distance of four miles. This makes her the Ladies’ Club Cross Country Champion.

The final Men’s race will take place at Birchfield’s Alexander Stadium on February 9, while the Ladies will be at Pittville Park in Cheltenham.