STRATFORD-upon-Avon Athletic Club’s junior endurance runners enjoyed a successful outing at the third West Midlands Young Athlete’s Cross Country League (WMYACCL) fixture of the season at Warley Woods.
The under-17 women started the day with Maisie-Joy Spriggs (ninth in 18 minutes 30 seconds) who finished inside the top-10, followed by Abbi Cooper with her highest placing of the season (14th in 19 mins 6 secs), she was followed by Tilly Campbell (37th in 24 mins 33 secs) and Abigail Skinner (39th in 25 mins 38 secs).
Unfortunately, Niamh Hillard was forced to pull-up due to illness which leaves Stratford ladies in third place at the midway point of the WMYACCL.
Next up were the under-11 boys with Stratford’s contingent led home by Toby Ledgard (28th in 7 mins 55 secs) who finished inside the top-30 for the first time this season with Eli Ford just behind (33rd in 8 mins 4 secs).
Just three seconds further back was debutant runner Tom Yates (37th in 8 mins 7 secs) followed by Toby Wilkinson (89th in 9 mins 37 secs) who produced a strong run in his first race of the season followed by Tyler Li (93rd in 9 mins 52 secs) who finished 10 places higher than his previous best finish.
Improved performances all round mean the under-11 boys have climbed up the league table to ninth spot.
The under-17 men’s race was dominated by Alex Adams (first in 16:41) who charged to victory with a winning margin of 56 seconds.
Next home for Stratford was the impressively calm Milo Cullimore (19:21), followed by Jaicob Ford (27th in 19:37) who was challenged all the way by Henry Wheeler (28th in 19:39).
The under-17 men maintained fifth position in the league table.
It was then the turn of the under-11 girls as Amelie Marshall (25th) and Maggie Silvers (27th) both recorded times of 08:29 with Marshall pipping Silvers on the line.
They were followed by Jasmine Mothershaw (32nd in 08:35), Ruby Whyman Bean (108th in 11:08) and Layla Sparrow (109th in 11:30) to sit seventh in the league table.
Then came the under-15 boys with Will Mayes (10th in 12:23) first home for Stratford, followed closely by the two Lambert brothers, with Sam (13th in 12:28) just edging out brother Zak (14th in 12:29).
And Tom Fisher was next to finish (18th in 12:49) followed by James Day (13:03), Charlie Clayton (38th in 13:57), James Mayes (33rd in 13:45) and Luca De Freitas Pires (38th in 13:57).
Behind them were Josh Harrison (41st in 14:03), Seb Hillard (58th in 15:02) and rounding off the under-15’s was Ewan Sparrow who finished in a season’s best 68th in 17:54 to maintain their second position in the league table.
In the under-13 girls race, Marijke Tear-Verweij showed her running prowess to challenge for first place during the first half of the race and finished fourth overall to remain joint-second in the league.
Behind her, Lois Ford (12th in 11.54) put in another stellar performance with Portia Nabney (24th in 12:30), Ava Sheppard (32nd in 12:34), Amelia Peeke (36th in 13:02), Rachel Sparrow (57th in 14:07) and Georgia Sharpe (73rd in 14:53) ensuring the girls sit third in the table.
Stratford’s all conquering under-13 boys had four finishers in the top-five and were led home by Arthur Williamson (second in 10:13) closely followed by Aran Cooper (third in 10:18), Will Hovell (fourth in 10:22) and Joel Ledgard (fifth in 10:28).
Next to finish was Kipp Stevens (17th in 11:14), Sam Plumb (18th in 11:16), Arthur Mansbridge (29th in 11:48) and Toby Spriggs (74th in 14:23) as the team finished in first position for the third consecutive fixture to stretch their lead at the top of the table.
The under-15 girls finished the day’s racing on a team high with Annie Silvers (18th in 14:53) followed by Martha Peters (26th in 15:25), Bo Algate (31st in 16:05) and Tessa Parkin (44th in 16:51).
Thereafter came Harriet Black (49th in 17:27), Hannah Wilkinson (52nd in 17:37), Charlotte Skinner (57th in 18:23) and Brooke Rossney (18:52) to cement fifth place in the table.
Stratford are currently in third place overall out of 21 clubs with the next fixture at the Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton on Sunday, January 15.