Stratford AC youngsters impress at latest West Midlands Young Athletes Cross-County League fixture at Newbold Ravel
A STRING of fine performances across the age groups has left Stratford AC third in the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross-Country League table following the second fixture of the season at Newbold Ravel.
First off were the U17 women with in-form Niamh Hillard (15:50) finishing in eighth place followed by Maisie-Joy Spriggs (12th, 16:28) and Olivia Robinson (13th, 16:28). Then came strong performances from both Abbi Cooper (21st, 17:27) and Lucy Thomas (22nd, 17:54). Emily Cottam (33rd, 19:17), Abi Skinner (43rd, 20:30) and Tilly Campbell (44th, 20:49) finished the complement of Stratford runners. The U17 women are one point behind league leaders Wolverhampton & Bilston.
Next were the U11 boys and there was a battle royale for the first Stratford finisher, with Eli Ford (35th, 6:49) and Toby Ledgard (37th, 6:49) continually swapping places until the former claimed top slot. Arthur Chadburn (70th, 7:16) was next to finish and he was followed by Callum Linforth (79th, 7:27), Henry Thomas (106th, 8:21) and Tyler Li (107th, 8:35).
Alex Adams asserted his dominance to win the following U17 men’s race in a convincing 16:41.
He was followed by Milo Cullimore (25th, 18:54) and then Jaicob Ford (26th, 18:58).
It was then the turn of the U11 girls and battling from start to finish were Amelie Marshall (17th, 6:56) and Jasmine Mothershaw (18th, 6:56). Maggie Silvers (27th, 7:03) was followed by Martha Edwards (44th, 7:18) and just behind her was Emily Lambert (48th, 7:20) who gave Edwards a run for her money all the way round. Next over the line were Evangeline Harris (80th, 7:53) and debutant Ruby Whyman Bean (109th, 9:00) who put in a confident performance.
The U15 boys’ team saw Zak Lambert (7th, 10:08) maintain his top slot for Stratford. Then came the yellow vests of William Mayes (14th, 10:19) and Sam Lambert (15th, 10:23). Thomas Fisher (23rd, 10:42) and James Day (25th, 10;52) were followed by Charlie Clayton (45th, 11:22) and James Mayes (49th, 11:27).
Luca De Freitas Pires (59th, 11:47) in his first cross-country race of the season was followed by triathlete Josh Harrison (65th,12:04). Ewan Sparrow (86th, 14:21) completed the boys’ team.
Stratford’s U13 girls saw six of the seven moving up positions from the previous race.
A delighted Marijke Tear-Verweij (10:39) finished in a superb second place followed by Lois Ford (11th, 11:12). Next to finish were Ava Sheppard (21st, 11:39), Portia Nabney (25th, 11:51) and Amelia Peeke (31st, 11:55). Rachel Sparrow (54th,12:47) improved by 19 places from the first race with Georgia Sharpe (79th, 13:40) completing the girls’ team who moved up to second in the league.
There were more exceptional team performances for the U13 boys with Stratford having five of the top 12 finishers. Will Hovell led the boys home in third place in 9:46 but pushing him all the way were Aran Cooper (4th, 9:49) and Joel Ledgard (5th, 9:49) just three seconds behind.
Then it was Sam Plumb (7th, 9:55) and Kipp Stevens (12th, 10:11) followed by the close trio of Alfie Musk (28th, 10:51), Arthur Mansbridge (31st, 10:55) and Morgan Nabney (33rd, 10:57) who confidently secured his first finish of the season.
Toby Spriggs (66th, 12:01) was next to finish and making his debut appearance was Jamie Dewhurst (76th, 12:55). After two races, the U13 boys are top of their league.
Finally, it was the U15 girls. Annie Silvers (20th, 12:29) led the girls home and she was followed by Tessa Parkin (35th, 13:03), Bo Algate (38th, 13:18) and Martha Peters (50th, 13:54).
Hannah Wilkinson (64th, 14.35) was a late addition to the team and ran superbly, while Charlotte Skinner (67th, 14:45) got her season off to a solid start.
Meanwhile, there was a close finish between Bayleigh Stubbins (72nd, 15:16) and Brooke Rossney (73rd, 15:18). The girls moved up a place to fifth in the league.