CROSS COUNTRY: Rugby & Northampton celebrating three Midland Counties champions
Team title for club's Under 17s men and silver for Under 20s
Rugby & Northampton AC showed their strength at the Midland Counties Cross Country Championship at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough on Saturday.
There were gold medals for Arthur Tilt (Under 13 boys), and local running stars Joshua Lay (Under 20 men) and Angela Copson (Over 70 women) who were all champions in their age groups.
R&N’s under 17 men’s team also lifted the team shield, while the under 20 men won silver. More than 100 clubs took part in this year’s championship.
This year the course provided many challenges with plenty of mud, fallen trees through the wooded section, a large puddle and a steep ascend and descend. The uphill finish also sapped the energy from tired legs.
The under 13 girls placed 6th team out of 15. Running, were Sophie Hancock (32nd), Jemima Cooper (45th), Ava Rogerson (55th), Amelie Budd-Beynon (67th), Georgia Gercs, Isla Lacey and Tamara Cave.
Arthur Tilt was first from R&N on the podium, winning in the under 13 boys’ race. Arthur started strongly, putting himself on the heels of the leader for the first half of the race. He took a direct line through the large five-metre long puddle to take first position, which he held until the end, to achieve a very convincing win in 9:34.
Arthur was supported Thomas Church (31st), Isaac Hutchins-Morant (45th), William Gower (54th), Noah Unwin, Theo Clements, and Charlie Gibbs, in the 3km event.
Madeleine Jacks placed 10th in the under 15 girls’ race and was followed over the 4km course by her R&N team of Grace Darcy (29th), Elspeth Unitt (49th), Olivia Williams, and Jemima Lambert.
The R&N under 15 boys’ team was missing a few of its regulars, nevertheless, they put in a great effort and did very well. Oscar Delgado-Major (37th), in only his second cross country race for the club, led the boys back to the finish line.
He was followed over the 4km course by Benjamin Carroll (62nd), Ned Gilford (73rd), Jenson Buttrick (82nd), and Oliver Carroll.
First for the under 17 R&N women’s team was Sophia Hill (27th), she led teammates Megan Stenhouse and Freya Carroll over the 5km single lap course.
A strong performance from the under 17 men’s team gave them the first place team shield.
More than 80 points separated them from the second-placed team.
Fergus Scott was first for the team to cross the line, taking the bronze medal in the individual competition.
His team consisted of Lewis Panter (8th), Tom Tyler (16th), Finlay Ward (17th), James Fletcher (23rd), Jake Louis (36th), and Joseph Comerford (43rd). The men raced over 6km on a two-lap course.
The race winner was Liam Rawlings from Oswestry Olympians who completed the race in 20:07.
The senior women raced alongside those in the master running categories, with 235 runners finishing the 8km course that saw the ladies run a long lap and a short lap.
Tilly Lea (52nd) was first from R&N to cross the line, followed by renowned veteran athlete Angela Copson in 41:32 for first place within the veteran women’s over 70 category.
In doing so Copson won the W70 Midland Masters title, which was incorporated within the event. It was her eighth gold medal in this Championship.
The team was completed by regular competitors Helen Jones, Zoe Shepherd, and Minerva Chesser.
Winner, Charnwood AC athlete Gemma Steel completed the 8km course in 29:50. The team finished in 24th place.
Joshua Lay, international competitor, continued his winning streak with a third age category cross country win in a row. Joshua completed his 8km race in 26:23, over 25 seconds ahead of second place.
Cian Hutton and Joe Musgrove competed alongside Josh in the under 20s race finishing in 24th and 26th places respectively.
It was a tremendous performance by all the athletes in the championship.