Numerous club athletes competed in the Inter-Counties Cross-Country at Cofton Park, Birmingham on Saturday 10th March 2012 on another bright sunny spring day, which has become the trade mark of the 2012 Cross-Country season. The first race of the afternoon saw one of the strongest performances as Rhys Park, running for Herefordshire, set off with intent and dug in to finish seventh in the under-20 men’s race in 25.36. Behind him, Adam Speake running for Avon & Somerset, finished sixtieth in 27.24 with a strong finish that saw him gain a few places in the final 150 metres.
In the under-17 men’s race Hobie Martin, running for Cornwall, was just outside the medals as another strong performance from him saw him finish fourth in 19.06. Kieran Young battled throughout to finish sixty-fifth in 20.17 and Luke Jacobs finished 110th in 20.54 – but still found his run good enough to take third overall in the McCain Challenge series for his age group.
There were no club representatives in the under-15 boys and Hugh Sadler was the sole club representative in the under-13 boys home finishing 97th in 11.23. If you look at the results of Hugh’s race you will see that there are blanket finishes all the way down the field.
In the Senior Women’s race Rebekah Randell broke into the top 10 in a National Competition for the first time with eighth place in 28.18 which was a fair reflection of the great form she has shown in recent weeks. Behind her with the club run of the day was Hannah Alderson. In her first major senior competition Hannah finished twelfth in 28.39 just one second off eleventh – showing that despite several niggles in the Autumn her endurance base was up to her longest race to date. Clare Stevinson finished 124th in 32.08 and Diana Kennedy 185th in 34.17. The Bristol University duo of Gwenno Brown (South Wales) 64th in 30.39 and Caitlin Lloyd (Sussex) 98th in 31.33 both made the top 100.
Annabel Gummow was the only club member to medal on the day with a fine silver in the under-20 women’s race in 20.38. But Emelia Gorecka again got the better of her – the two of them starting steadily before opening a large gap on the field. Annabel won’t be happy that Emelia’s winning margin was bigger than at Parliament Hill but one day Annabel will fill the role of Bride rather than Bridesmaid. Behind Annabel, Olivia Sadler started strongly and held on gamely to finish thirty-fourth in 23.13.
In the under-17 women’s race Tor Kenny finished 38th in 20.21 another athlete who couldn’t be faulted for her commitment throughout the race. Miranda Sadler opted for the role of interested spectator. Unfortunately the under-15 women’s race does not appear on Power-of-10 or the Inter-Counties web-site yet so details of the performances of Jo Taylor, Rose-Anne Baker and Jess Monk will have to follow.
The final race of the day was the Senior Men’s 12k which featured a trio of club athletes. Tom Russell, running for Gloucestershire, finished twenty-fifth in 36.46 as a battle to hold off younger brother Ander (Stroud) saw the pair move up at least 10 places on the last lap and this despite a heavy nose bleed throughout the second half of the race. Nathan Young produced a gutsy display to finish 67th in 37.54 and show what he can do when the pressure is off in this his first major senior championship. Shaun Antell almost ducked under the radar in the blue vest of Devon but was spotted finishing 134th in 39.34. Mention must be made of Bristol & West ‘old boy’ Kevin Heywood also racing for Devon who ran a stormer to finish seventh – his best ever result in a National Championship – wouldn’t he be a great addition if he chose to rejoin the club.