Well what a start to the winter season with the relays bringing titles from Essex championships, South of England and National, twice, in events over both road and cross country.
The latest saw our under 17 men complete what in tennis terms achieve the `grand slam` when at Mansfield in the National cross country relays they came home with an advantage over Norwich of 26 seconds. This time round the team comprised Jacob Hurrell with a time of 9m 18s, Joseph Grange 9m 22s and Sam Plummer 9m 21s. Our `B`team who have all been members of winning teams in the other four races of the campaign placed 21st here from the 88 competitors facing the starter - Gregory Martin 9m 43s, Harry Wright 10m 10s and Archie Durham 9m 55s.
Our under 13 girls who have fielded the same team throughout the five races came oh so close to also achieving the grand slam. Heidi Woodley 7m 48s had brought the through fourth on the opening lap before Ava King with 7m 46s took the lead. Aldershot`s Poppy Guest now came up the fastest lap of the race and despite a determined effort Erin Kelly could not match this and second place was taken - just six seconds adrift. Our `B` team of Beatrix Cooke 8m 19s, Isla Kehoe 8m 47s and Orla Martin 8m 32s placed 22nd in such a class field. Success also came from the under 15 year girls for taking any kind of medal in a National event must come under that category. In a close affair Aldershot came out winners in 22m 50s with Rotherham`s 23m 00s edging us by a mere two seconds. Ezra Harrold running the first stage set the scene with 7m 39s in fifth place, Lottie Wilkin on 2nd leg with 7m 49s then moved us in to third place. Daisy Stollery, being brought into the team after fine performances in Essex League races, proved right for with 7m 34s -fourth best of the two hundred competitors - maintained the third spot. The `B`team were to place 23rd with Hetty Harrison 8m 07s, Amelia Shipton 7m 42s and Niamh Roberts 9m 14s. Amelia having been in the`A`team previously showed how difficult it can be for team managers, but solace can be taken that forthcoming championships have four scorers. It was to be sixth place for our under 20 year women with Megan Harris 8m 49s, Ruby Vinton 9m 19s and Kiera Atkinson 8m 52s - yes 6th but the only real club ahead were Cambridge & Coleridge for it was Birmingham and Loughborough taking places 1 to 4 and they of course include runners from other clubs. At under 17 level Sienna Shipton 9m 47s, Lucy Nuttall 10m 08s, and Kayleigh Atkinson 9m 20s gave us 14th place whilst the under 20 men with Will Steadman 9m 23s, William Nuttall 9m 14s, and Joseph Perry 9m 03s came through in 9th place.
It was unfortunate that the senior team could only muster two members via Hannah Bolton and Martha Smith.
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Report written and compiled by Roy Meadowcroft