KINGS Heath Running Club hosted the third round of the Birmingham & District Cross Country League Division Two season at Cofton Park, which was a welcome and impressive venue for the 20 Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club men who tackled the three-lap 10km course.
B&R’s Tim Spencer started well but unfortunately had to pull out injured, meaning Mark Appleton was first back for the club in 35th position.
He was followed by team-mates Peter Ball in 42nd, youngster Gareth Richardson 58th (7th junior), Ashley Ross 61st, Adam Parr 68th and veteran Kevin Fisher who completed the A team in 70th.
This brought B&R home seventh out of 17 teams, placing them seventh overall after three races.
The B team was made up of Andy Freeman in 87th, Steve Brooks 101st, Tom Richardson 107th, Calvin Scoltock 138th, Matt Henney 163rd and Ian Keyte 167th which secured fifth spot on the day and third place in the series.
The race was won by Chris Perrin from Cannock & Stafford AC, followed by Telford’s evergreen V50 runner Paul Ward and Will Ferguson from CLC Striders.
The remaining B&R runners finished as follows: 173rd Anthony Howell; 179th Kevin Lanckham; 183rd Dean Hartshorne; 222nd Phil Richardson; 232nd Ian Nutter; 244th Phil Anderson; 266th Simon Radcliffe. Some 288 runners finished the race.
Halesowen’s Andy Nock finished 210th in his 150th Birmingham League race which, considering there are only four per year, is an amazing achievement.
Redditch athlete Joe Smith competed in the Division One meeting at Warley Woods and finished in his best position of tenth to help his team Tipton Harriers finish joint second team and sit second overall.
ALSO in action at the same Longbridge venue earlier on Saturday were B&R’s female runners in the Midland Women’s League.
The course was grassy and true but also slippery underfoot and featured a large climb which tested the athletes.
Leading the B&R ladies home was Sally Hogan in third place, followed by team-mates Tamara Freeman (13th), Amy Ross (87th), Dagmar Prinzing (94th), Em Stevens (104th), Holly Smith (111th) and Jane Anderson (118th). B&R finished seventh on the day as a team.
THE WEST Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League resumed with the second round on Sunday at Abington Park in Northampton where there was another highly impressive by B&R’s juniors.
Beth Sykes won the U17 women’s race as B&R also clinched first place in the team event thanks to the efforts of Anna Nicod (10th), Amy Mijovic-Couldwell (12th), Alice Battey (19th) and Ellie Moss (33rd).
Nathan Sanders was third in the U11 boys’ event, followed by B&R team-mates Matthew Bevins (5th), William Pridden (16th), Samuel Hembry (19th), Willem Hembry (22nd) and Freddy Cox (55th) to secure second place on the day as a team.
The B&R U11 girls’ team came fourth thanks to the efforts of Lexi Robins (13th), Hannah Dale (15th), Amelie Ranger (19th), Georgie Hensey (45th), Eve Freeman (60th) and Megan Charles (68th).
The U13 boys were seventh due to the performances of Finnan Robins (3rd), Sebastian Purvis (5th), Pijus Tvardauskas (17th) and Leo Merritt (25th).
In the U13 girls’ race Esme Ranger was 26th, Lucy Hatfield 31st and Lucy Young 74th to secure 12th place, whilst in the U15 boys’ event Joe Cunliffe was 14th, Harrison Mayne 21st, Josh Keyte 44th and Adam Knowles 61st to seal seventh spot.
Natalie Hatfield was fifth in the U15 girls’ competition and then came club-mates Sophie Groom (28th) and Lauren Sykes (47th) to earn ninth place in the team event.
The next race for B&R’s juniors is the Midlands Cross Country Championships at Wollaton Park in Nottingham on Saturday, January 27.