THERE was an impressive effort from Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club runners at the prestigious Saucony English National Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
The event represents B&R’s cup final of running and was held at Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath Park, London.
Three B&R athletes secured top 100 places on a superb course as Sally Hogan was 100th on the 8km ladies’ course, Beth Sykes 68th in the U17 women’s competition over 5km and Natalie Hatfield 46th in the U15 girls’ race over 4km.
The men’s race over 12km was won by Adam Hickey of Southend. Leading B&R home in 662nd was Mark Appleton, ahead of team-mates Andrew Freeman (857th), Matthew Henney (1,564th) and Phil Anderson (2,134) as 2,328 finished the course.
Redditch runner Joe Smith, representing Tipton Harriers, had targeted a top 100 finish and did not disappoint as he ran a superb race and improved from last year’s 107th place to end 84th.
Phoebe Law of Kingston AC & Polytechnic Harriers won the ladies’ race. With Hogan 100th, the other B&R women in action were Tamara Freeman (261st) and Charlotte Ball (926th) as 1,113 finished.
Ben Passey (137th) was B&R’s sole representative in the junior men’s 10km race.
Behind Sykes’ 68th place in the U17 women’s event were Amy Mijovic-Couldwell (123rd), Ellen Bowen (133rd) and Anna Nicod (176th) to clinch 15th place out of 26 in the team event for B&R.
In the U15 boys’ contest over 4.5km, Harrison Mayne finished 148th and Joe Cunliffe 160th.
Esme Ranger came 326th in the U13 girls’ race over 3km and Lucy Hatfield 401st, whilst in the U13 boys’ contest over 3km Finnan Robins was 103rd, Leo Merritt 204th, Pijus Tvardauskas 246th and Seb Purvis 290th to help the B&R team to 29th out of 56.
The next meeting is Sunday’s final Gloucestershire Cross Country League event at Wotton-under-Edge.