Midland Champs

Leamington C&AC’s Megan Rothman finished in a spectacular 20th position at the Midland Counties Cross Country Championships at the weekend. Fighting through the muddy course around the grounds of Prestwold Hall in Loughborough, Rothman made easy work of the 8km course to cross the line in a time of 32:52.

The Leamington C&AC ladies fielded 8 runners on the day, sadly Megan McDonald had to pull out after a fall in the wooded section caused her to suffer an injury to her ankle. Zara Hadfield finished in 40th place with Monica Williamson closely behind in 43rd. Jenny Jeeves finished in 53rd with Laura Gould (158); Carol Blower (179) and Louise Marsh (196) also running. 

Dom Preist had a fantastic run finishing 8th in the U20 race. Despite it being a depleted field of just 27 runners, Priest held his own in a competitive finish. 

The Senior men faced a gruelling 3 lap, 12k course which had been made even more muddy and challenging by being the last race of the day. John Muddeman (second claim for LCAC) finished in 53rd with Phil Gould in 80th. Raymond Charlton and Josh Hough had a battle throughout the race, with Charlton just coming out stronger on the day finishing in 150th place, 10 places ahead of Hough. Craig Bower finished in 193rd with Marc Curtis in 202nd. Steve Howes (also second claim) finished in 222nd with Paul Caruana (261); Steven Roberts (288) and Mark Marsh (345) also running. 

A number of the youth section made the trip out to Loughborough with the usual stoical U17 girls fielding the most runners. Ana Lovett was first over the line this time in 40th place with sister Emily only 3 places behind. Rosie Cale finished in 45th with Lucy Green in 57th. Emily Wilson, faced a shorter course than she is used to, having been able to compete in the senior womens league races this season.

Wilson crossed the line in 65th place. Sam Morrey was ecstatic after his run, in fact the only runner for the club that seemed to be smiling at the finish. Morrey has had a difficult season and was not expecting much from himself on Saturday but surprised himself and ran well to finish in 114th just behind team mate Harry Bailey (98th) Oliver Wetherall finished 56th in the U13 boys race with James Gould in 100th place.

In the U15 girls race Mel Gould was first hime in 73rd with Eva Fitzpatrick (91) and Megan Marsh (105) also completing the 4km course. 

Cross Country Reports

Young Athletes Cross Country 

The Fourth round of the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League took place on Sunday. A new venue, running around the outside of the Pingles Athletics Track in Nuneaton, the course made the most of what was available and did not seem to disappoint. With mini inclines and lots of mud, the course was certainly a lot tougher than it first looked. 

Leamington C&AC U17 girls started the day off in their usual fashion, fielding 7 runners to finish 4th overall. Molly Minshull was first home in 16th place, one place ahead of team mate Ana Lovett. Sister Emily Lovett crossed the line in 25th place with Rose Cale in 31st to complete the scoring team. Lucy Green was 33rd followed by Rositsa Gugutkova (36) and Saffie Chiba (39). 

The only other complete team was the U15 girls who finished the day off with Emma Dobson coming 16th. Mel Gould finished 49th with Eva Fitzpatrick (60) and Megan Marsh (75) helping the team come 13th overall.

The U11 girls showed promise with Rosa Wetherall finishing 11th and Caitlin French in 14th, the girls were however lacking further team members to qualify for a team position. Brothers Ishan and Nimal Carson ran in the U11 boys race finishing 24th and 43rd respectively. 

Ruairc Winston was 57th in the U15 boys race with Harry Bailey not far behind in 62nd. Oliver Wetherall finished 41st in the U13 boys race ahead of James Gould in 72nd whilst Kimmy Burton found herself running solo in the U13 girls race, finishing in 84th. The young team now face the last round on 9 February. 

Women’s Cross Country 

Hannah Thorne of Leamington C&AC finished 10th in the Midland Women’s Cross Country League at the weekend, finishing the hilly 4.4 mile course in an impressive time of 28:01. Thorne has only recently joined the club and Saturday was only her third cross country race. 

Thorne was joined by another 8 Leamington C&AC ladies who made the 1 and a half hour drive North to ParkHall Country Park near Stoke-on-Trent. Zara Hadfield finished 33rd, with Jenny Jeeves in 52nd place and Courtney Depala in 87th to make the scoring team. The ladies finished 9th on the day and sit in 6th place overall with one race to go.

The masters team were lacking the normal scoring team with only Jenny Jeeves a regular scorer on Saturday. Courtney Depala and Judith Hanlon (109) helped the masters team finish in 8th place after the third round. Other runners were: Emily Wilson (101); Laura Gould (114); Carol Blower (119) and Louise Marsh (128) 


Men’s Cross Country 

Despite holidays and illness, Leamington Cycling & Athletic Club mens squad proved that they are in a very health overall condition in fielding 27 runners at the third race of this seasons Birmingham XC League (Div 1).

Sitting in 13th of 16 clubs and the bottom three being relegated Team Manager, Alex Montgomery rallied the troops to edge further to safety with a strong performance of 12th on the day and 12th overall with the final race being at “home” on Newbold Comyn in 4 weeks time.

Dom Priest and Andy Savery making their first appearance this season set the A team up with 49th (35.04) and 73rd (36.29) over the 10 kilometre undulating course at Abington Park in Northampton. Isaac Rothman gave it all for 87th (36.55) chased by Henry Morton 94th (37.16) and Captain Phil Gould 99th (37.35). With six to score for the team it required someone to step up on the day and Jack Savage running one of his best races for some time closed the team with 120th in 38.26. This gave a total points of 522 and the finishing position was down to how the rest of the squad ran in pushing other teams runners back in the field.

Luckily, LCAC has great strength in depth and the B team (7-12 finishers) closed within 40 places led by Frazer Knowles 129th (39.00), debutant Chris Rawcliffe was pleased with his 131st just 6 seconds adrift. Dean Mawby 142nd (39.25) Scott Thomas 148th (39.44), Ray Charlton 161st (40.21) and Steve Hundal chasing them down with 169th in 40.49. This gave the B team a score of 880 pts for 8th on the day but has moved them up to 5th for the season.

A further 15 runners ran in the Red white and blue. Well Done All!  

Women’s Team

Warwickshire Championships

Leamington Cycling & Athletic Club began 2020 with a strong performance at the Warwickshire XC Championships at Warley Woods on Saturday. A full event of races from U13’s up to and including Masters for both men and women saw the Red, white and blues secure a first Senior Women’s title since 2006 and second places for the men’s U20 and Men’s Masters.

Illness, injury and holiday commitments didn’t affect the strong belief that the senior ladies would be in the mix over an undulating and surprisingly dry course at Warley Woods in Birmingham. That showed to be the case when all five ladies finished in the top 13 runners and with only three to count in the team award it was this packing which ultimately secured the “Gold” for the club. Hannah Thorne in her first County race and only third XC race worked her way through the field after a conservative start to finish 5th in 21:43 and was supported by Megan McDonald 6th in 21:59 and Natalie Bhangal 9thin 22:17. The supporting members of Megan Rothman in her first XC race was pleased with her 10th placing in 22:31 and Zara Hadfield in 13th, 22:57 helped by demoting other club runners down the field.

The day had started off with the younger age groups in which Leamington could only muster just one team, U15 Girls of Mel Gould 22nd in 20:26, Eva Fitzpatrick 28th, 21:25 and Megan Marsh 31st 24:16 for 8th team place.New member Oliver Wetherall was the first club runner to finish on the day in the U13 Boys with a strong run for 13th (11:06) supported by James Gould 28th in 12:04. U15 Boys had Rauric Winston in 28th in 16:00 and Harry Bailey just 3 places and 17 seconds back. New member Emily Wilson was the only other junior running the U17 Womens race and finished 12th in 22:04.

There were high hopes for the U20 Men’s team in returning with a medal and they duly obliged with Bristol University student Dom Priest leading the three man team to silver with a 4th place in 19:15. Recent new member Frazer Knowles worked his way through towards the end for 8th, 21:08 and final member Alex Ibbs in 10th and 21:28.

Traditionally the big spectacles in terms of number of runners are the seniors and master races and the women masters running at the same time as the seniors, were attempting to retain their winning title from last year. Illness over the holiday period ensured that this challenge was just too big but the strength in depth still ensured a 4th placing with Monica Williamson’s 4th in 23:17, Jenny Jeeves after a recent injury ran strongly for 5th in 23:47 and Sara Atkins 46th in 28:22. Again the team was supported by Laura Gould 49th (28:35), Carol Blower 65th in 31:00 and Louise Marsh 77th in 32:45.

In the senior and masters mens races 4 are required to score and again due to no shows on the day only three completed the 6 mile course, Henry Morton was the first man home in the race with 13th in 31:45, Dean Mawby 18th in 33:09 and Josh Hough 33rd, 35:11.

Finally, the men’s masters, again attempting to retain the title from 2019, had 10 members finish with the scoring team of Paul Andrew 5th in 31:52, Phil Gould 10th 32:45, Bill Andreoulakis 13th 33:18 and a brilliant run by Stephen Hundal in 28th, 34:54 secured second team place. This was Hundal’s first County medal at the age of 50 to prove age is just a number! Again the “non-scorers” are just as important in knocking other teams runners down the placings especially Iain McLaughlin in 31st and just 4 seconds behind Hundal with Marc Curtis 41st, 36:18, Brian Miller 61st, 38:12, Steve Roberts 74th in 40:03 had a fine battle with Paul Caruana 76th 40:08 and another steady performance from Pete Taylor in 82nd(40:35).