Last Race of the Leagues

Women’s Cross Country League

The last race of the Midlands Womens Cross Country league took place on Saturday. Hosted by local club Leamington C&AC, runners were faced with two laps of Newbold Comyn taking in the infamous water crossing in each lap. LCAC ladies team were boosted in number due to the locality, fielding 17 ladies on the day.

Hannah Thorne maintained her run at being first home, crossing the line in 10th place, leading the team across the finish line to place 5th team on the day. Thorne was supported by Nathalie Bhangal (16th) and Megan Rothman (20th) with the ever present Zara Hadfield being the team’s fourth counter in 26th place. Monica Williamson made it 5 ladies home in the top 30, finishing in 30th place and scoring as first counter in the masters team.

The masters team placed an impressive fourth on the day with Jenny Jeeves (48) and Courtney Depala (83) counting for the masters team. The club finished 6th overall in the season with masters team coming in at 8th place. Other runners: Aneta Radaczewka (68); Sara Price (92); Emily Watson (97); Shamira Naidu-Young (103); Laura Gould (122); Carol Blower (134); Louise Marsh (145); kate Hipkin (153) and Tejay DeKrester (157).

Mens Cross Country League

Race day was definitely the calm before the storm (CIARA) BUT Leamington C & A C men’s team “stormed” to their best race performance for many years at their home venue of Newbold Comyn.

Now able to utilise the old golf course but still include the water ditch, which quickly turned to mud, and the Beacon Hill two laps of 5k greeted 236 finishers on a warm sunny day of 11 degrees. This was the final Birmingham League race of the season and the club had been clawing away from the relegation drop zone after the first race back in November and went into the race 190 points from safety to retain their first division status for a fourth year in a row.

The Club rallied with officials and help of marshals and refreshment “ladies” and still managed 27 runners young and old to finish the day in 7th of 16 clubs with a season’s best score of 316, leading to an 11th position for the year.

Callum Hanlon was again the man to lead the Red, White and Blues home with a strong performance throughout in 12th in a time of 34.48, one and half minutes behind the runaway winner Omar Ahmed from Birchfield Harriers. Fielding one of the strongest ever teams LCAC had another 7 runners in the top 100 which is believed to be the best ever in the top division. Callum was joined by Dom Priest in 39th (36.50) just managing to stay ahead of Andy Savery in 41st (37.07) and supported by Greg West, making a welcome return, in 69th (38.31), Paul Andrew 72nd (38.36) and making a final sprint to the line Guy Allen 83rd (39.08).

This meant, for the first time since taking up XC running for Leamington and his previous club, Club Captain, Phil Gould finished outside of the scoring A team, he did on this occasion lead the B team to 3rd place on the day and 3rd for the season. Gould  was just one place and 2 seconds off Allen and the following five runners packed into the next 40 places, again confirming the strength in depth being experienced at the club at this moment. Jack Savage again was in the mix with 92nd (39.22), Dean Mawby 104th (39.52) and new member for this season, Frazer Knowles 113th (40.25). Frazer was also 16th junior for the season. Chris Rawcliffe 119th(40.40) and Dominic Hull 124th (41.01) led to a 636 pts total on the day.

A further 15 runners also finished and even though they didn’t make the two team scorers their strong turn out will have helped the overall positions by knocking other clubs runners down the list. Steve Hundal 137th(41.53), just held off Jeremy Coward who travelled up for the day from Chippenham, 139th (41.59) Pierre Le Marquer 142nd (42.06), Birthday boy Ray Charlton was next in 148th (42.21), Josh Hough 160th (43.12), Jason Hill 171st (44.03), and Mark Curtis 176th (44.40). Also running was Craig Bower 183rd (45.13), Paul Okey 189th(45.49), Simon Perkin 199th (47.31), Steve Roberts, having one of his best seasons for many years, 206th(47.31), Paul Caruana 211th (48.23), Andrew Higgins 213th (48.37) Pete Taylor 224th (50.29) and Mark Marsh 233rd (59.05).

Mens Team

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