Promoted as champions

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February 11

Stuart Nelson completed a superb series of races to help the Rugby & Northampton Men win the Division Two title of the Birmingham Cross Country League.

Competing in the final race at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton Nelson covered a snowy 10k course in 34 mins 17 secs to finish in 5th place and lead his club to victory on the day by 41 pts, which made them Champions from Worcester AC by 96 points.

The four League races saw Nelson finish 8th,7th,6th & 5th, which placed him 3rd in the overall individual standings as well as sealing the Club Championship for the second time in three years.

R&N had two more athletes in the top ten with new recruit Mike Aldridge chasing Nelson all the way to finish just ten seconds behind in 7th position and Junior Rory Grant hot on his heels in 9th spot with a time of 34.43.

Luke Robinson had his best ever placing of 14th when he recorded 35.27 and the 18 year old clinched fourth spot in the Junior Mens competition, while the next man across the line was Chris Perez with his highest position of the season in 22nd with 36.06.

Completing the scoring six was Seb Palmer, who in his first season with the club has showed a great improvement and he made the top 40 for the first time with 36.59 in 35th place.

The promotion celebrations for Rugby & Northampton also coincide with the 10th anniversary as a combined club and after their first ever championship they can now look forward to a 9th season in Division One next Autumn.

The B team hung on by the skin of their teeth to win the overall standings. With just an 18 point lead going into the final race from Wolverhampton & Bilston the R&N squad lost out to the West Midlands club by 10 points on the day, leaving just an eight points gap between the two clubs.

Leading them home was Gary Wallace in 43rd place with 37.25 and he was followed by Matt Howes, who is returning to fitness after spending a year in Australia and he was timed at 37.36 in 47th spot.

Vince Carroll finished in 59th position with 38.31 and the B team was closed off by Neil Willsher (77th in 39.21), Brian Summers (105th in 40.54) and Terry Egan (126th in 42.14).

There was a personal best position from Steve Dixon when he finished 133rd in 42.37 with the rest of the 16 strong squad being completed by Max Chippington (145th in 43.38), Aaron Lincoln (153rd in 44.21) and Colin Durrant (166th in 45.43).



February 11

Four Ladies from Rugby and Northampton took part in the final race of the Midland Women’s Cross Country League at Pittville Park in Cheltenham.

Jo Pulsford was the first athlete home for the club with her highest placing of the season in 28th with a time of 25.47 over the four mile course. She was followed by veteran Daisy Melville who improved with every race this season to cross the line in 46th spot on 27.07, while fellow veteran Angela Copson was the only runner to score in the Senior team in all four races when she recorded 27.47 in 57th position.

The Ladies 12th place on the day put them in 11th overall, while closing off the veteran team, which finished in fourth place, was Rachel Shaw (80th in 29.16) and this placed them 3rd in the final standings.