SALLY HOGAN claimed the highest placed Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club finish when 13 club members began their cross country season at Saturday’s Gloucestershire Cross Country League opener at Blackbridge.
In warm conditions more suited to track and field, Hogan came fifth in the ladies’ race on the flattest and easiest course of the season which features multiple laps around sports fields and favours the road specialists.
Five runners broke away from the pack straight from the gun, including Hogan, who finished only 29 seconds behind race winner Hilary Mott from Cheltenham AC.
Tamara Freeman continued her good form to finish 33rd and the B&R ladies’ team was completed by Dagmar Prinzing in 119th.
Some 173 runners finished the race and B&R were 13th out of 39 teams.
The men’s race was won by Will Ferguson of CLC Striders and B&R’s improved Mark Appleton finished an impressive 31st, closely followed by veteran Kevin Fisher in 40th.
Dean Hartshorne (49th), Adam Parr (61st), Andy Freeman (91st) and Steve Brooks (97th) completed the scoring six to bring B&R home in seventh position out of 21 teams.
The scoring six were supported by Ian Keyte (115th), newcomer Anthony Howell (131st) and Phil Richardson (141st) among 205 finishers.
Unfortunately veteran campaigner Mike Hoxbigge suffered a painful calf injury and had to pull out halfway around the course.
The next race will be held on November 4 in Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire.