CROSS COUNTRY: Emily the star at Droitwich

Emily Waugh
Emily Waugh

Rugby & Northampton AC

Emily Waugh produced a typically dazzling display at the Midland Women’s Cross Country League to help Rugby and Northampton to 12th place among an elite field at Droitwich last weekend.

Waugh dashed around the course in 26 minutes and 58 seconds, finishing 14th out of the 322 runners taking part, in a race where Team GB-athlete Jess Judd showed her international class, running a time of 24.51 for a dominant victory.

R&N grabbed 12th spot out of the 38 participating teams thanks to Waugh’s junior club-mates Katie Clubb and Leisha Mulvey. Clubb continued her record of scoring in every round of the League, breaking the 30-minute barrier to earn 66th with a time of 29.56, while Mulvey produced a personal best, taking 82nd with a time of 30.31. Tilly Lea and veteran Angela Copson also made the top 100, finishing four seconds apart with times of 31.11 and 31.15, to finish in 91st and 93rd place respectively.

R&N’s men were also in action in the Midlands where they continued their Birmingham & District Cross Country campaign. The ‘A’ team finished 12th on the day, with junior debutant Elisha De Mello leading the way with a time of 29.57, enough for 60th place. Seb Palmer and Paul Birch were next over the line, finishing 71st and 79th with respective times of 30.13 and 30.20.

Jack Murphy achieved his best-ever placing in the competition, with the 18-year old finishing 106th with a time of 31.33. Brendan Moen positioned 119th after clocking 32.01, while there was another PB for Alistair McDonnell, who took 138th place with a time of 32.34, giving the team a total of 573 points to keep them in 10th spot after three fixtures.

The ‘B’ team sit in 8th place in the second division, after finishing 10th in last weekend’s event, with Neil Willsher the first R&N finisher home in 161st with a time of 33.14. There were more best-ever finishes for R&N athletes, with Daniel Williams and Jonathan Taylor taking 179th and 213th with respective times of 34.07 and 35.06, while Mike Andrews debuted with a time of 34.11, enough for 183rd place. Completing the scoring were 191st-placed Max Chippington (34.22) and Terry Egan (35.04), who finished 211th in his 108th league race.

A huge number of R&N athletes celebrated newly-recorded PBs at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham at the Midlands Counties Open.

Zach Stapleton in the under-20 and Tom Cheyne in the under-17 events were the quickest boys across the 60-metre sprint, clocking respective times of 7.15 and 7.25 seconds. Dan George (7.40), Christopher Sutherland (7.98) and Emmanuel McLean (7.88) ran their best-ever times in the under-23 age group across the same distance, as did Sam Owusu (7.49) and Joseph Winterburn (7.78) in the under-17 category, along with Olie Lambert (7.63) and Bradley Whitehead (8.49) for the under-15s. Also getting in on the act were under-13s Sam Holdsworth (9.63), Josh Lambert and William Dean, who ran PBs of 8.92 and 8.98 seconds respectively.

Not to be outdone by their male counterparts, the girls also shone on the track, with Tia Clues in the under-20 and Lucy Laight in the under-15 event running the 60 metres in 8.31 and 8.56 seconds respectively to set new PBs. Under-13 girls Amelia Tutt (9.30), Megan Burge (9.30), Maia Reynolds (9.38), Ella Watford (9.40) and Millie Watford (9.78) set new records for themselves in the sprint, while Rhoda Woller (9.06), Hettie Seager (8.83) and Olivia Foster (9.25) also ran their quickest-ever times in the under-17 category.

Tutt carried that form into the 60m hurdles with a time of 10.82 as records continued to fall, with Molly Barnett (9.20), Brittany Wood (9.46) and Milan Clues (9.86) also getting in on the act over the jumps, while the boys continued their good form, with Jay O’Leary (8.73) and Alfie Bowers (11.03) setting PBs.

R&N also impressed on the field, with Rhoda Woller throwing a personal-best 8.39 metres in the shot-put, while Adele Blenkinsop (6.60) and Victoria Merrey (5.15) also set their farthest-ever distances in the event. It wasn’t just the shot-put where Merrey shone, launching the discus 11.73m for a new best throw.