STRATFORD AC had 12 athletes representing Warwickshire at the Inter Counties Championships, which marked the highest contingent of runners taking part in the event in Loughborough.
And Stratford’s leading athlete was Charly Marshall who finished 52nd in the under-17 women’s race in a time of 22 minutes 32 seconds with Olivia Robinson in 179th.
Maisie-Joy Spriggs and Niamh Hillard were next up in the under-15 girls race, who provided Warwickshire’s best team result on the day in 11th, with the former suffering a cut arm after falling on top of another runner
However, Maisie-Joy bravely finished the race despite her arm dripping with blood and went straight to the first aid tent to have it glued together after coming home 93rd out of 297 finishers with Niamh close behind in 121st.
Niamh said: “The start was very fast and narrow, once through the gates the race opened out to reveal a winding tough hilly course, where the weekly Sunday Welcombe Hills cross country training sessions with Tim Hutchinson came in handy.
“The short twisting hill down into finish made an exciting sprint race to the line, I am looking forward to improving again next weekend in Kent.”
Alex Adams had a quiet day in the under-17 men’s race as he finished 103rd whilst Taylor Stubbins was delighted to gain his first County vest in 217th after returning from injury and illness.
And under-20 runner Georgie Campbell finished 100th in the Senior Women’s race to come home third for the county.
G Campbell said: “Not my best race this season, I went off too quick and then felt like I was going backwards for the rest of the race but at least I’ll have something to improve upon for next year.
“The course was also longer than 8k!”
The first Stratford runners of the day were under-20 men’s pair Ned Campbell (136th, 34.14) and Alex Pester (141st, 34.42) who have battled each other all season.
N Campbell said: “I was very pleased with my performance, on a tough course and in a quick race I’m really happy with my first under-20’s inter counties performance.”
And the two under-13 races featured three of Stratford’s rising stars with Aran Cooper (155th, 13.20) and Joel Ledgard (217th, 13.47) competing in the boys’ race and Marijke Tear-Verweij finishing in the middle of the pack in the girls race.
The final cross country event of the season are the English Schools Championships which take place on Saturday, March 19 at Hop Farm in Kent.