Leamington athletes impress at school level

A number of Leamington C&AC young athletes attended the Warwickshire Schools Cross Country Championships at the weekend. The event, held at Moreton Morrell College, saw athletes compete in the hope that they would be selected to represent Warwickshire at the English Schools Championship which will be held in Leeds in March.As athletes were competing in school colours the club members found themselves competing against their team-mates, despite this the Intermediate girls race saw the usual close race between Molly Minshull, Emily and Ana Lovett who fought for their places all the way round the course. Emily had a stronger race on the day and finished 5th, with sister Ana in 6th and Minshull in 7th position. Team-mates Rosie Cale and Rositsa Gugutkova, found themselves joining the trio, finishing in 9th and 10th place respectively. Georgina Hurt, running as a senior girl, ran in the same race as the intermediate girls placing 8th on the day. Jai Sispal,  despite being in the younger year of his age group, maintained his fine form, finishing 2nd in the intermediate boys race, whilst brothers Ruairc and Diarmuid Winston found themselves up against each other in the junior boys race finishing 15th and 34th. Harry Bailey joined them on the start line, but sustained injury in the tussle as the gun went off and limped off the course half way round, whilst Sam Morrey who had only just returned from injury was happy with a 40th place position. Mel Gould ran her strongest race of the season finishing 7th in the junior girls race with Eva Fitzpatrick finishing in 23rd place and Megan Marsh in 38th. All athletes finishing in the top 8 of their races are now waiting to hear if they have done enough to qualify for the prestigious English Schools Event in March. 

Seniors and Juniors impress

The third round of the Midland Ladies Cross Country League saw Division 1 ladies facing the hills of Burton Dassett on Saturday. Hosted by Spa Striders, the new course was a 2 lapped “undulating course” which saw steep climbs, tricky descents and sharp cambers to test the strength of even the toughest athlete. Leamington C&AC ladies fielded 15 athletes with Kelly Edwards running a strong race, despite coming back from injury, to finish first for the club, 12th overall and taking master’s gold. Megan McDonald came 19th (28:46) with the ever-present Jenny Jeeves continuing her fine form in 26th (29:19) and taking third place in the master’s race. Zara Blower was 37th in a time of 30:19. Sue Harrison was 67th and third master home for the club putting them in first place for the third race in a row for the masters team. Courtney Depala (84th, 33:19) and Charlie Mitchell (86th, 33:26) made up the senior team which finished 6th overall. Other runners: Shamira Naidu-Young (34:15); Sarah Price (34:15); Judith Hanlon (35:42); Sara Atkins (35:56); Laura Gould (38:54); Carol Blower (39:00), Louise Marsh (40:01) 

Leamington C&AC men travelled to Abington Park, Northampton for their third fixture which saw them facing four laps of a deceptively hilly course. Callum Hanlon finished in a strong position in 23rd place (32:25) with Paul Andrew in 58th place (33:41). Baljeev Kandola was third counter for the team in 81st place (34:57) with Phil Gould (96th, 34:57) Dominic Priest (117th, 35:50)) and isaac Rothman (119th, 36:00)) making up the A team which was placed 14th overall on the day. The team are currently 12th in the league with 1 race to go. The B team had a stronger finish, placing 8th on the day with Vassilis Andreoulakis (125th, 36:08); iain McLaughlin (127th, 36:12), John Knibb (136th, 36:55); Dean Mawby (148th, 37:20); Jason Hill (177th, 38:30) and Jeremy Coward (184th, 39:05) making up the scoring team. Other runners: Howard Roden (39:20); Joshua Hough (39:42); Craig Bower (39:52); Marc Curtis (40:09); Paul Okey (40:35); Robert Wilson (41:37); Simon West (41:38); Nick Tawney (41:54); Andrew Higgins (42:22); Paul Caruana (43:25); Graham Donoghue (43:45); Peter Stockbridge (44:29); Steven Roberts (44:40); Alex Montgomery (48:53); Mark Marsh (49:40) 

The fourth round of the West Midlands Young Athlete Cross Country League was held at Abington Park, Northampton, on Sunday with Leamington C&AC fielding a total of 22 athletes over 8 events. First off was the under 17 girls with Rosie Cale first home for the club in 23rd place.  Rositsa Gugutkova had a strong race finishing in 30th position with Georgina Hurt,  not far behind in 33rd position. The under 11 boys saw a healthy competition between James Gould and Archie Lane, both boys pushing each other around the course. Gould was slightly ahead on the hill climb with Lane chasing him down in the sprint finish, Gould crossing the line just one second ahead of Lane in a nail-biting battle between the team-mates. Gould finishing in 22nd place in 7:54 and Lane in 7:55 (25th). Louis Proctor was not far behind in 8:06 and Ishan Carter in 53rd position. The under 11 girls saw a similar battle with Caitlin French (28th, 8:47) just beating Ila Lane (30th, 8:51) to the line,. Madeline Lim (67th, 9:33) and Chloe Lovett (86th, 10:00) also representing the club. Jai Sispal was the highest scorer for LCAC on the day, finishing 4th in the under 15 boys race with team mate Ruairc Winston finishing in 62nd place. Mariele Proctor and Megan Marsh competed in the under 13 girls race finishing 71st and 107th respectively, and Harry Bailey (38th) and Diarmuid Winston (60th) ran in the under 13 boys event. The only full team on the day was the ever present under 15 girls who showed their usual inter club team competitiveness. Molly Minshull had a strong start and maintained a good lead on her team mates to finish 30th overall (15:48). The girls maintained their tight packing with Emily Lovett in 33rd (15:52); Mel Gould in 37th (15:59); Ana Lovett in 40th (16:14) and Saffia Chiba in 45th (16:41). The girls, who train together, showed a healthy competitive streak that meant that they pushed each other around the challenging course. 

Warwickshire Champs

Leamington C&AC celebrated a number of successes at the Warwickshire cross country county championships on Saturday with 3 gold team prizes, an individual gold, 2 silvers and a bronze, with a total of 57 runners representing the Leamington based club. Runners experienced a new venue at HMP Newbold Revel, a relatively flat course with a mixture of grass, wooded areas and fields with a hill of note for some of the older runners. As in previous years runners were pitched alongside the Worcestershire Championships.

The first event of the day was the Under 13 Boys race. The team finished 7th with steady running from all runners. James Gould, an U11 in league races, was first home with a good run in 18th well supported by Harry Bailey 24th, Jonathan Ingram 32nd, Diarmuid Winston 35th and Finnley Newey 36th. The U13 Girls team finished in a creditable 5th place with Ila Lane and Isabelle Goold, two more U11’s just old enough to run in the U13 race, running together for 24th and 25th with Megan Marsh in 40th. In the Under 15 Boys Jai Sispal produced the only junior medal of the day with a strong run for Silver. Ruaric Winston was 29th. The Under 15 Girls were missing several runners but strong running from Melanie Gould 13th, Molly Minshull 18th and Saffie Chibba 20th produced a pleasing team 6th place.  

The under 20 men’s team dominated their 6k race with Baljeev Kandola finishing in 3rd position and gaining an individual bronze award. Greg West was not far behind in 5th position and Dominic Priest was 7th. Alex Ibbs took 14th place with Niall Salmon in 20th. With Kandola, West and Priest scoring for the club, the young men took an easy victory and claimed the gold team award. 

u20 Team

13 Ladies ran for the local club with Natalie Bhangal back first in 15th position (12th for Warwickshire). Jenny Jeeves was 19th, and more worthy of note was second master runner gaining her a silver medal. Zara Blower was 26th with Wendy Daniels just behind in 27th (5th masters) and Sue Harrison in 33rd (8th master). Saffia del Torre finished 38th pushing the masters’ ladies team into first place with Jeeves, Daniels, Harrison and del Torre all scoring. With such a strong masters team, it was left to Courtney Depala to finish off the senior ladies team coming in in 61st place to leave the senior team in 5th place. 

The masters men also claimed victory in the race with Paul Andrew also taking individual gold in the category. Andrew finished 21st overall with Phil Gould taking the 6th place in the masters’ league. Iain McLaughlin and Vassilis Andreoulakis finishing one behind the other to make up the winning masters team. Callum Hanlon was first home for the club, running a strong race and finishing 5th for the county, with Rich Hood in 24th and Dean Mawby (29th) and Joshua Hough (41st) putting the seniors team in 4th place.