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7th Dec, 2021

Youngsters impress to take fourth overall in West Midlands cross country

STRATFORD AC provided three top-five individual finishers in ending the second round of the West Midlands Young Athlete’s Cross Country League in fourth place.

Alex Adams won the U17s Men’s race, with Maisie-Joy Spriggs taking third in the U15s girls and Marijke Tear-Verweij fourth in the U13s girls event.

A total of 48 club juniors headed to Warley Woods to help Stratford return another superb performance,  finishing more than 600 points clear of the fifth-placed team.

Although fourth place was down from second spot place at the last fixture, a closer look at the results shows that had the club been able to field a full team in the U13 girls race they would almost certainly have finished in third place.

“As team manager I can say that it was wonderful to see the team running so well and enjoying the races,” said team manager Jess Sheppard.

“It was a busy weekend for many of them who had schools races earlier in the weekend, so their achievements are made even more impressive.

“I look forward to seeing them race again in December at Wolverhampton.”

The U17 women started the day off by finishing in sixth place in what was a really hotly contested group, with just 34 points separating Stratford from the top placed club. Charly Marshall in seventh place was the first of four top-10 finishers on the day.

The U17 men finished third, a mere 16 points off the top slot, with Alex Adams recording his 15th consecutive win just a few days after his 16th birthday and despite it being his third race of the weekend. It was another masterclass with Alex winning margin being 49 seconds in a 17-minute race.

The U11 boys ended in 7th place while the U11 girls took fifth place out of the 20 teams competing.

The U15 boys were fourth with some nice bunching, as the individual team members drove each other on. Five of the team crossed the line between 21st and 29th place.

The U13 girls finished in ninth place, despite Marijke Tear-Verweij’s performance earning her fourth place.

The U13 boys claimed a magnificent second place, again driving each other on with just 12 places separating Stratford’s top four runners.

A lack of numbers certainly wasn’t an issue with the U15 girls with a total of 13 competing. They rounded off the day finishing in third place, just 26 points off second place. Maisie-Joy Spriggs took third place for the second successive fixture and was closely followed by Niamh Hillard in sixth place.

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