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Stratford athletes get back into cross country action at Betley



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STRATFORD AC’s senior athletes were out in force for the first cross country fixture of the season.

Stratford AC's men's cross country team.
Stratford AC's men's cross country team.

The first venue involved a long trek to Betley, Stoke, where all the divisions of both the men’s and ladies’ leagues competed, making an excellent atmosphere and very competitive racing involving some of the Midlands’ top athletes.

There was a 12-strong group representing Stratford in the ladies fixture and they set out for two laps of the 6.3km course in a field of 340 runners.

First home was Justine Lynch (51st, 26:17) and she was followed by Emma Bexson (61st, 27:38). Vicky Sharpe (81st, 28:51) and Hannah Osborne (82nd, 28:52) completed the A team which finished 11th with 265 points.

Making her senior cross country debut, Jess Sheppard (84th, 28:58) led the B team home. Next was Amy Rowe (124th, 32:03) and she was followed by Julia Brookes (131st, 32:56) and Susan Hunt (138th, 33:27) who completed the B team that finished tenth with 477 points.

Sarah Dichard (141st, 33:40), Philippa Paddock (142nd, 33:44), Emily Adams (154th, 36:20) and Sue Mothersaw (160th, 38:28) also ran.

Justine Lynch was first Stratford woman to finish the course.
Justine Lynch was first Stratford woman to finish the course.

Meanwhile, the men’s team had 13 runners competing over three laps of the course. First back was Matt Burdus-Cook (16th, 34:10) and in second for Stratford was Drew Sambridge (87th, 38:21).

Sambridge was followed by Adam Linforth (99th, 38:54), Ben Jordan (101st, 39:04) and veteran Wayne Vickers (106th, 39:23). Last home for the A team was Richard Dobedoe (117th, 40:05).

He was closely followed by the first runner home for the B team, David Smyth (120th, 40:19).

Next over the line was Nick Cooper (151st, 43:54) closely followed by stalwart Mike Shephard (162nd, 44:46), with Paul Longford (165th, 45:12) completing the B team.

David Wolstencroft (190th, 54:25) brought Stratford home with a strong finish.

Despite the best efforts of those who ran, the absence of a couple of key runners meant the A team finished a disappointing 14th with 526 points. The B team finished in seventh with 879 points.

Matt Burdus-Cook was the first man home for Stratford.
Matt Burdus-Cook was the first man home for Stratford.


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