CROSS COUNTRY: Team’s best ever performance to finish fourth in league race

Rugby & Northampton AC's senior men at Abington Park at the weekend
Rugby & Northampton AC's senior men at Abington Park at the weekend

Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club

On Saturday, R&N senior men took part in the third Birmingham League cross country event held at our home course in Abington Park in Northampton. R&N had a near record turn out with 27 finishers and comfortably the best performance ever!

The standard of the race was, as ever, extremely high, with the race being dominated by international athletes. The R&N runners were not far behind, however! After the first of the four laps, the leading R&N athlete was William Gardner in 14th place followed by a group of three other R &N athletes, Dominic Jones, Mussab Hussan and Elisha DeMello in around the 30th position.

As the race continued all the R&N athletes showed excellent pace judgement as they moved slowly through the field. Eventually William finished in an outstanding 10th position, followed the group of three, who finished within four seconds of each other. Dominic claimed 16th position, Mussab 18th and Elisha 20th. The team comprises the top six finishers for each club and the runners behind performed excellently.

Haydn Arnall had an incredible run to claim 36th position, to emphasise the improvement made in the last months and the final scorer was international triathlete, George Goodwin in 55th position. Further down the field, the B team (the next six scorers) performed really well with Adam Searle, making his Birmingham League debut, in 65th, Adam Wright in 80th, Jordan Simmons in 107th, Finn Hutton in 112th, Alistair McDonell in 116th and Dave Ball in 126th.

Vince Carroll also completed his 100th Birmingham League race for the club.

The final team score saw R&N eclipse their best ever performance as they finished in fourth position, with the B team claiming third position. Well done to all that ran. The final race takes place on February 9 in Telford.

The R&N ladies were at Droitwich in the third round of the Midland Women’s Cross Country League Division Two and Bethan Goddard was the leading runner once again as she finished in 10th place over 6k. The club champion recorded 27:19, which helped the team to 7th on the day.

Tilly Lea was the next athlete over the line in 44th spot (29:36) and 12 seconds behind was veteran Sophie Wilkinson-Hargate in 47th position. Completing the quartet was U20 runner Olivia Sheehan in 68th on exactly 31 mins, which placed her as the 8th Junior.

R&N had four other Masters athletes taking part with Kate Williams (98th in 32:57), Zoe Shepherd (110th in 33:21), Helen Jones (117th in 33:44) and Minerva Chesser (121st in 34:06).

The squad finished in 9th position.