ALEX ADAMS produced a sparkling performance as a record-breaking 60 Stratford upon Avon AC junior cross country athletes took part in the first fixture of the 2016-17 West Midland Young Athletes’ Cross Country League season at Hatton.
Adams took first place in the Under-11 boys’ race to help Stratford finish third overall on the day.
Although there was a record turn-out, there were still two gaps in the squad: one in both the U17 men and U11 boys, and so vital points were lost.
However, with this year’s mission to improve on last season’s best-ever third place, the produced some some sparkling, courageous and inspiring performances to finish behind Wolverhampton & Bilston and Rugby & Northampton AC.
The most sparkling performance was Alex Adams in the U11 boys. Having finished in second overall last year, Alex calmly paced himself round the 1.6km and ensured he claimed first place in five mins 35secs.
Adam Taylor (11th, 6.04) marked his continued progression with a well deserved top-15 finish. James Day (59th, 6.48) and George Finney (96th, 7.50) made fine cross country debuts for the club, with the U11 boys team finishing in sixth place overall on the day out of 19 teams despite being one member short.
There were six debutants in the U11 girls’ team: Olivia Clayton (36th, 7.02), Scarlett Richardson (38th, 7.02), Georgia Kirk (67th, 7.33), Ruby Edwards (92nd, 7.57), Katie Pridham (101st, 8.09) and Ella Peeke (113th, 8.56). All six proved their talent and put down excellent markers to improve upon over the rest of the season.
The U11 girls’ team was led home by Molly Bullock (7th, 6.30) with Maria Watkins (10th, 6.33), Maisie-Joy Spriggs (18th, 6.33), Maddie Linfoot (19th, 6.33), Sienna Evans-Cook (78th, 7.44) and Venus Aun (86th, 7.54) making up the rest of the team to finish a superb second overall on the day.
Seb Hopper (29th, 19.54) put in a courageous effort by ensuring he finished after injuring his ankle half way round in the U17 men race over 4.8km. Ollie Best (33rd, 20.04) completed the team that was one short of the three that count for overall team points.
Georgina Mitchell (13th, 16.45), following her triathlon success the day before, led the U17 women’s team home over the 4km, closely followed by Jess Sheppard (31st, 18.02), Edie Hutchinson (45th, 19.51) and Hannah Bexson (51st, 20.56).
The U17 men’s team finished ninth and the U17 women’s team finished eighth overall on the day.
An impressive 15 U15 boys and 12 U15 girls represented the club over the 3.2km course. Owain Jones (5th, 12.04) led the boys’ team home with a superbly judged race as they took second on the day, only six points behind the Wolverhampton & Bilston.
Georgie Campbell (4th, 13.29), having just stepped up into the U15s, demonstrated her true grit and determination to lead the team home third overall on the day while Oliver Adams (65th, 15.03) and Ela Morrow (83rd, 17.24) made impressive debuts.
Other U15 results were: U15 boys: Dylan Williams (22nd, 13.03), Ben Jones (30th, 13.21), Cameron Collins (35th, 13.30), Will Crowfoot (36th, 13.30), Josh Angus (37th, 13.30), Tom Crowfoot (38th, 13.31), Rhys Mahon (39th, 13.32), Archie Musk (48th, 14.07), Adam Pomeroy (51st, 14.14), Matthew Ross (61st, 14.49), Sean Mata (72nd, 15.28), James Bexson (78th, 17.10), Fin Hutchinson (83rd, 18.42); U15 Girls: Abi Wootton (20th, 14.28), Imogen Sheppard (25th, 14,42), Ellie Bryan (53rd, 15.39), Daisy Musk (57th, 15.45), Olivia Hall (70th, 16.25), Ana Gionis (74th, 16.40), Charlotte Gravelsons (80th, 17.06), Thea Pepperell (86th, 17.33), Isla Jackson (92nd, 18.10) and Isobel Hopper (99th, 19.37).
Both the U13 boys’ and girls’ team race over 2.5km. Louis Kendrick (8th, 9.22) showed his maturity with a lovely composed and relaxed run. Joel Watson (38th, 10.17), made a fantastic cross country debut with Ned Campbell (52nd, 10.37), Caleb Spriggs (58th , 10.52), Cameron Black (75th, 11.28) and Harry Gravelsons (80th, 11.38) making up the rest of the U13 boys’ team for sixth place on the day.
Ellen Taylor (40th, 11.01) led the girls’ team home followed closely by Evie Lowe (57th, 11.26), Helena West (62nd, 11.33), a fine cross country debut for the club, Millie Perkins (82nd, 12.05) and Sophie Ross (86th, 12.18). The U13 girls’ team finished 11th overall.
The next fixture is at Warley Woods in November.
Report by Brian Gravelsons