ALEX Adams picked up Stratford AC’s second ever medal from the National Cross Country Championships in Leeds after taking bronze in his race, report by Paul Hawkins.
Adams finished 76th in 2017, 36th last year and an impressive third this year to show his remarkable growth.
At the top of the hill Adams had a small lead, but fell back to third in the final 800m, as Ben Peck and last year’s winner Will Rabjohns pulled clear.
The other two Stratford athletes in the race, James Day (313th, 12:54) and Ollie Hemming (358th, 13:31) were among the youngest racers in the field.
Georgie Campbell started strong in the U17 women’s age group race and was part of the leading group in the 5km race over two laps.
At the halfway mark, Campbell was in the top-20 but dropped down to 28th in a time of 19:20.
Imogen Sheppard (128th, 12:51). Daisy Musk (134th, 21:57) and Abbie Wootton (144th, 22:14) completed the team, who finished in 13th overall, a big improvement after finishing 26th last year.
The next race was the U15 boys over 4km, with Cameron Black (271st, 16:42) finishing more than 150 places better than last year while Harry Gravelsons (315th, 18:00) made a similarly impressive improvement on his 2018 result.
In the U13 girls’ race over 3km, Stratford finished 39th overall.
First home was Caitlin Boyle (227th, 13:08) followed by Holly Newton (343rd, 14:05), Niamh Hillard (356th, 14:14) and Tilly Campbell (412th, 16:22).
Owain Jones (236th, 24:46) was the only Stratford athlete in the U17 men’s race.
Edie Hutchinson (128th, 31:23) was making her first appearance in the U20 women’s category while Cadie Hibberd (314th, 37:16) and Emily Adams (520th, 40:45) were the only two Stratford athletes competing in the senior women’s 8km race.
In the U20 men’s race, Oscar Barbour (68th, 31:34) ran well having cycled 37 miles before the race while Seb Hopper (110th, 32:49) arguably ran his best cross country at that level.
The senior men’s race was the final event of the day, with more than 2,000 men competing. First home for Stratford was Tim Hutchinson (820th, 47:55) and he was followed by Malcolm Bowyer (1,304th, 52:43), David Smyth (1,484th, 54:46) and Mike Sheppard (1,676th, 57:57).