CROSS COUNTRY: Rugby & Northampton on course for first overall top-five finish

Good results for club at Abington Park and Coombe Abbey

Friday, 17th January 2020, 2:03 pm
Rugby & Northampton ACs Zoe Shepherd, Minerva Chesser, Helen Jones, Angela Copson, Freya Vincent and Olivia Sheehan at Coombe Abbey

Rugby & Northampton AC hosted Division One of the Birmingham Cross Country League at Abington Park for the tenth time on Saturday.

The venue was also being used for the 20th league race in total since the Northampton Phoenix days.

The R&N Men’s squad produced another superb performance to finish in 5th place on the day and elevate themselves to 5th in the overall standings in this third race of the series.

After his Northants Championship success the previous week 19-year-old Josh Lay once again led home the club over the four lap 10k course to finish in 6th position on 32:41 and claim the top Junior spot.

Dominic Jones achieved the distinction of finishing in 8th place for the third consecutive league race in 33:02 and is now top of the league in the individual competition.

Northants bronze medallist William Gardner recorded 33:54 for another good run in 21st position and he was followed home by Jack Bond (47th in 35:02) and Duncan Birtwistle with a best ever 57th spot on 35:24.

The scoring six was completed by veteran runner Stephen Marks (72nd in 36:28 ).

R&N’s team score of 211 pts was their second best ever and a similar performance in the final race at Leamington could see them achieve a top five overall finish for the first time.

The B team also claimed 5th spot on the day with Adnan Haq crossing the line in 102nd place with 37:43.

He was backed up by Michael Salisbury (126th in 38:51), Lewis Cherry (138th in 39:16), Alastair Gardner (144th in 39:30 ), Nick Gower ( 164th in 40:28 ) and Jon Taylor (170th in 40:52 ).

A total of 19 athletes competed for R&N and making his league debut was Joe Egan who was timed at 41:50 for 183rd and just five seconds and two places behind was Junior Adrian Kaczmarek.

Team manager Vince Carroll added to his league total with his 103rd race (203rd in 43:02 ) and John Saw completed his 50th race to make him only the seventh Northampton based athlete to achieve this figure ( 215th in 44:43 ).

Two places and 20 seconds behind was U20 athlete Adam Bebbington followed by Terry Egan who completed his 125th Birmingham League race ( 227th in 45:58 ) with Bernie Myers also adding to his total to make it 58 times ( 245th in 49:08 ).

Also on Saturday, the Rugby & Northampton AC ladies competed in the third round of the Midland Women’s League Division Two at Coombe Abbey Park near Brinklow.

The Senior squad finished in 10th place.

Leading the way for the club over the 6k course was Freya Vincent in 50th spot on 32:40 followed by Junior athlete Olivia Sheehan with 33:31 for 67th position and 7th Umder 20.

The remainder of the squad was made up of Veterans with Angela Copson recording 33:56 for 76th place with Helen Jones just one place and one second behind.

Zoe Shepherd was exactly 100th in 35:21 and Minerva Chesser 102nd in 35:39.