Plenty of positives for Stratford athletes at national championships
THERE was plenty to cheer about for Stratford AC at the 2020 National Cross Country Championships held at Wollaton Park in Nottingham, reports Paul Hawkins.
The team, although fewer in numbers than in some years, had a fine day with the highlight a fourth place from Alex Adams in the U15 boys’s race, despite being amongst the youngest in the race.
First up was the U17 women’s race of 5.5km over two laps and Georgie Campbell, having started with the leading group, slipped back to 27th, finishing in 23:19.
After suffering an early fall in the race, Ellen Taylor (160th, 27:01) recovered well.
The U15 boys’s race over a 4.8km course was next and there were just two Stratford athletes involved.
Last year’s U13 bronze medallist Adams finished fourth in 16:55 while Taylor Stubbins, in his first season with the club, crossed the line in 199th in a time of 20:00.
The U13 girls’s race was run over a 3.7km course and Stratford’s girls made real progress from last year to finish as 24th team, up from 39th last season.
County champion Niamh Hillard (101st, 17:36) was first home for the team and she was followed by Maddie Linfoot (164th, 18:21), Caitlin Boyle (258th, 19:43), Charlotte Skinner (306th, 20:46), Tilly Campbell (324th, 21:18) and Harriet Black (348th, 22:33).
The U17 men’s team ran over a 6.7km course and finished inside the top 20 positions.
Josh Dobedoe (211st, 28:15) just held off Ned Campbell (214th, 28:20) while Cameron Black (262nd, 31:12) and Fin Hutchinson (270th, 31:36) completed the team.
Next up were the U13 boys and following late withdrawals, there were just two Stratford runners taking on the 3.7km course, with Joe Lewis (265th, 18:04) finishing just ahead of Seb Hillard (291st, 18:39).
Expecting a 4km course, the U15 girls actually ran 4.8km. First home for Stratford was Olivia Robinson (173rd, 22:47) and she was followed by Abigail Skinner (331st, 26:12) and Holly Newton (370th, 28:25).
Daisy Musk was the only club runner in the 6.7km U20 women’s race where she came home 113th in 34:56.
Then it was the turn of the senior women who ran over 9km, despite expecting an 8km race.
Cadie Hibberd (101st, 39:06) led the team home and she was followed by Vicky Sharpe (398th, 46:47), Sarah Vernon (651st, 53:12) and Rebecca Pridham (696th, 54:49).
Overall the team finished in 57th place.
The final race of the day was the senior men, who competed over a 12.9k course of four different distance laps and first home for Stratford was Tim Hutchinson (677th, 57:23).
John Raby (796th, 59:20), Seth Turner (1,074th, 63:40), Malcolm Bowyer (1,080th, 63:45), Mike Sheppard (1,506th, 74:10) and James Deacon (1,711th, 96:08) completed the team who finished 104th overall.