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Stratford juniors shine at Warwickshire County Cross Country Championships

Tessa Parkin, Maddie Linfoot and Niamh Hillard of the winning U13 team.
Tessa Parkin, Maddie Linfoot and Niamh Hillard of the winning U13 team.


GEORGIE CAMPBELL successfully defended her title for the fifth consecutive year at the Warwickshire County Cross Country Championships since she first won as an U13 athlete.

The event was held at Warley Woods this year and Stratford AC had their most successful outing ever with three individual golds, one silver and two bronze as well as five team medals.

The club also came second in their bid to win the Heeley Trophy, which is awarded to the best club overall.

The U17 and U20 races were run together over a 5k course and in the U17 women’s race, Campbell (1st, 16:49) successfully defended her title to win by over a minute.

Georgie Campbell is all smiles after retaining her title once again.
Georgie Campbell is all smiles after retaining her title once again.

Remarkably, this was her fifth consecutive title since she first won as an U13 athlete.

Ellen Taylor (5th, 19:02) started conservatively, but worked her way through the field in the second half of the race.

The only Stratford runner in the U20 women’s race was Daisy Musk (5th, 20:05).

In the U13 boys’ race, William Mayes (10th, 10:53), continued his fine league form and looked good as he finished strongly.

Close behind were James Day (14th, 11:08) and Henry Wheeler (17th, 11:19), and, with the first three finishers constituting the team, this was sufficient to give the team third place overall.

The squad also comprised Seb Hillard (18th, 11:22), Joe Lewis (24th, 11:35) and Ben Herbert (27th, 11:51).

The Stratford U13 girls fielded a large team of 11 athletes.

Maddie Linfoot (3rd, 11:05) and Niamh Hillard (1st, 10:36) were part of a small group that made much of the early running on the first lap, before Hillard made a stunning move on the hill at the start of the second lap to accelerate into the lead where she stayed.

Maddie Linfoot.
Maddie Linfoot.

Tessa Parkin (9th, 11:31) had a fine outing to make up the team which placed first overall.

The next three Stratford runners, Abbi Cooper (10th, 11:47), Caitlin Boyle (11th, 11:48) and Annie Silvers (12th, 11:49), all worked well together round the course and illustrated the strength in depth of the squad.

Also competing were Martha Paters (21st, 12:34), Tilly Campbell (29th, 13:01), Harriet Black (33rd, 13:09), Ruby Edwards (38th, 14:33) and Kate Pridham (41st, 15:02).

In the U15 boys’ race run over 4km, last year’s U13 winner Alex Adams (1st, 12:53) successfully won his new age group by leading from the front and looking in excellent form as he has all season.

Adams eventually won by 20 seconds over his rival Finlay White from Birchfield Harriers.

Theo Skirvin (16th, 14:25) and Taylor Stubbins (26th, 15:37) both ran well to make up the team finished third and were followed by Joe Warner (32nd, 16:36).

Alex Adams.
Alex Adams.

The U15 girls’ race saw fine teamwork from Charly Marshall (2nd, 15:11) and Olivia Robinson (3rd, 15:18) who ran together throughout.

Poppy Fox-Rowe (23rd, 18:31) completed the point-scoring team which came third, closely followed by Molly Bullock (24th, 18:44), Martha Hodgson (26th, 18:52) and Georgia Pridham (32nd, 23:48).

The U17 and U20 men ran together, but over a three-lap 6k course. Stratford’s U17 team claimed the club’s fifth team medal of the day, led by James Mucklow (12th, 21.31) followed by a fast finishing Josh Dobedoe (17th, 22:27) and Ned Campbell (19th, 22:35) in probably his best race yet as he comes back from injury.

Fin Hutchinson (26th, 24:33) and Cameron Black (27th, 24:41) completed the team. Strattford had two runners in the U20 race, with Owain Jones (11th, 21:30) and Seb Hopper (14th, 22:12) competing well.

The day’s events concluded with the senior women’s and men’s races which both incorporated a separate masters’ race.

Stratford entered a team in both women’s competitions, with Sophie Dobedoe (22nd, 24:25) leading the seniors team home.

Suzanne Ross (27th, 27:47) and Sarah Vernon (34th, 28:34) also ran well to help the team to a sixth-placed finish in the team competition.

In the masters’ race, Emma Bexson (18th, 25:19) showed her excellent level of consistency and was followed by Yvonne Ganjy (32nd, 27:27).

Niamh Hillard.
Niamh Hillard.

Liuba Pasa (47th, 28:24) was the final team scorer and overall the team finished seventh.

Rebecca Pridham (59th, 29:59) was the final finisher from the club.

Josh Newman (15th, 31:49) was the only Stratford runner in the senior men’s race following several withdrawals due to injury.

Matt Burdus-Cook (9th, 32:41) continued his fine form by leading home the masters’ team.

Behind him was a hard-fought battle which ended with Tim Hutchinson (21st, 34:15) just getting the better of Neil Wickes (23rd, 34:29) after running close together for the whole race.

A solid run by John Raby (35th, 35:29) completed an excellent team performance that saw the team finish just outside the medals in fourth position.

Behind them came Malcolm Bowyer (50th, 37:20) and he was closely followed by David Smyth (52nd, 37:37) and Max Ross (53rd, 37:39).

Mike Sheppard (93rd, 41:42) and Phil Marshall (119th, 46:27) both enjoyed their runs as they brought a very successful afternoon for the club to a close.

Report compiled by David Parkin, Tony Jackson and Paul Hawkins.

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