Winter series glory for Burdus-Cook

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Matt Burdus-Cook. Photo: Jon Mulkeen

ATHLETICS

MATT BURDUS-COOK was crowned the overall winner of the Tempo Winter 10k Series after a fine display in the fifth and final race of the event which takes in the streets in and around Ilmington.

The Stratford AC runner came home second in the difficult conditions brought on by Storm Dennis, clocking a time of 38:13 to claim top spot in the M35 category.

His fine performance ensured he finished as the overall series winner. Burdus-Cook was chased home by top 20 finishers Richard Liggatt (7th, 40:34), Ade Mason (12th, 41:39) and Seth Turner (19th, 42:29).

Mark Hateley (23rd, 43:51) and Max Ross (44:08) were followed by Malcolm Bowyer, (28th, 1st M55, 44:38). Behind John Raby (31st, 45:08) and Joe Lee (36th, 45:36), the time gaps opened up.

Fern Hordern (52nd, 47:53) was first in the F45 category and was also Stratford AC’s first woman home.

Graham Hill (57th, 48:05), John Bettles (64th, 48:46) Luke Watkins (73rd, 49:26) and Carl James (78th, 49:46) broke the 50-minute barrier while Cara Reynolds (83rd, 50:27) and Clare Weatherhead (95th, 51:03) were unlucky not to.

Phil Brennan (138th, 55:16, 1st M75) was closely followed by Tony Tomacek (151st, 56:20) and Rebecca Pridham (157th, 56:39).

Tom Horbury (160th, 57:05), Simon Curran (171st, 57:57), Stuart Macleod (58:44), Louise Stewart (176th, 58:54) and Neil Robertson (181st, 59:14) all mastered the conditions to finish under the hour while Clare Eynon (266th, 1:09:35), Alice Baxendale (267th, 1:09:50), Gemma Smith (279th, 1:15:18), Paul Nash (283rd, 1:17:02) and John Butler (1:22:13) showed their usual bravery in the appalling conditions.


Midlands Indoor Track & Field Championships

STRATFORD AC were out in force at the Midlands Indoor Track & Field Championships held at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.

Moving up to U20 this year was always a challenge, but hurdler Cole Williams has made the transition really well.

In a neck-and-neck 60m hurdles race with Thomas Wilcock (Northampton AC), he finished with a new PB time of 8.16s and a silver medal.

Williams’s mum Paula went one better by winning gold in a time of 9.71s in the masters women’s 60m hurdles.

Ollie Cresswell also had a good win in the senior men’s 60m hurdles in 8.47s.

Kaili Woodward showed signs of getting back to being able to produce a series of consistent jumps in competitions after her best jump of 4.97m won her the silver medal in the U20 women’s long jump.

Nick Butler went home with the bronze medal in the U20 competition with a best of 12.79m.

Harry Sugden finished fifth with a best jump of 12.38m while Millie Leighton took fourth spot with a jump of 10.90m.

Alex Powell (5.68m) finished just six centimetres away from qualifying for the final in the U20 men’s long jump.

Williams and Powell also lined up in the 60m hurdles, both finishing their heats with PBs of 7.25s and 7.43s respectively.

Meanwhile, Evie Lowe and Faye Gourlay jumped 1.50m and 1.40m respectively in the U17 high jump.


Midland Women’s Cross Country League

AFTER a spirited display in the final fixture of the Midland Women’s Cross Country League season, Stratford AC’s women’s team finished just above the relegation zone in 14th place, reports Paul Hawkins.

The fourth and final match of the league was held at Newbold Comyn. Sophie Dobedoe (50th, 27:07) paced the race well to be first home for the Stratford AC team.

Next home was U20 Daisy Musk (79th, 29:08) and enjoyed a battle with Emma Bexson (84th, 29:20, 38th master) throughout the race.

Next back and close behind was Suzie Ross (88th, 29:55) to complete the scoring team for the club.

In the masters’ competition, Liuba Pasa (105th, 31:01, 51st Master) was closely followed by Eleanor Morris (109th, 31:25).

Another ten seconds back, Clare Weatherhead (114th, 31:35, 58th master) completed the masters’ team while Sarah Vernon (117th, 31:52) was also running well and in the mix.

Rebecca Pridham (140th, 34:18), Hannah Bexson (141st, 34:27), Kate Sergent (154th, 38:07) and Catherine Wiggins (160th 44:53) completed the team.

Following these results, the women’s team confirmed their place in the top division for next season while the masters’ squad held on to tenth place.

In the individual standings, pride of place went to Musk who was eighth U20. Dobedoe (19th) and Vernon (29th) were the top Stratford runners in the senior category while Pasa (43rd) and Pridham (61st) were the club’s leading athletes in the masters’ category.


Birmingham & District Cross Country League

TWO full teams from Stratford AC made their way to the Lilleshall Sports Centre for the final Birmingham & District Cross Country League fixture of the season.

Rich Shephard (5th 32:54) moved steadily through the field to end the season with his third top five placing to finish as fourth individual overall.

Matt Burdus-Cook (33rd, 35:21) has performed consistently well and finished inside the top 25 overall.

Tim Hutchinson (61st, 36:52) turned in another solid performance while Drew Sambridge (72nd, 37:28) showed the benefits of his training as he prepares for the London Marathon.

Behind them were John Raby (78th, 37:49) and Rob Minton (37:50).

The Stratford AC A team scored 328 points to finish tenth on the day and eighth overall, which equalled their position from last year.

The B team were led home by Richard Liggatt (114th, 39:18) who continues to impress in his first season.

There was a good battle behind as Max Ross (135th, 40.27) showed good form to turn the tables on Malcolm Bowyer (144th, 40:55) who just managed to catch Owain Jones (146th, 41:03) close to the finish.

Jones struggled through the pain barrier towards the finish, but his gutsy effort rewarded him as eighth junior overall. Mike Sheppard (188th, 47:37) gave his all while James Deacon (195th, 53:29) epitomised the team spirit with his determined attitude.

The B team finished eighth place on the day with 922 points.

This meant they completed the season fourth overall.