Leamington C&AC Ladies showed their strength at the Midland Cross Country Championships at the weekend, finishing second overall and claiming the silver medal. The ladies, who have seen some brilliant results in recent months, fielded a strong team with Kelly Edwards holding her own finishing 8th on the new course at Newbold Comyn. Megan McDonald crossed the line in 17th place with Natalie Bhangal in 30th despite the fact that she ran in road shoes. The slippery course, with two sharp inclines and a stream crossing per lap was tough for athletes donning cross country spikes but Bhangal took her lack of appropriate footwear in her stride to finish just in front of fellow team mate Zara Blower (31st).
The new course, hosted by Leamington C&AC, seemed to be a success to most although Phil Gould, who had been at the venue at the crack of dawn to set the course up, found himself busy throughout the day and was understandably tired by his race at 2.30pm. Despite the fatigue he had a strong race finishing 59th overall. Lacking some of his stronger team-mates, the men finished 9th on the day with Richard Hood second counter in 85th place and John Knibb in 98th. Dean Mawby placed 119th, Joshua Hough on 177th and Marc Curtis 18th.
The younger club athletes also had the opportunity to compete against the midland clubs with a good turnout in most races. Jai Sispal was the higest scorer of the day in the under 15 boys race, finishing 8th with Ruben Siemon-Kelba in 51st and Ruairc Wintston in 76th. The U15 girls were unusually separated in their race with Emily Lovett having another strong run finishing 39th with Mel Gould chasing her down to finish 10 places behind her. Ana Lovett crossed the line on 62nd and Eva Fitzpatrick who has struggled with injury in recent months, was glad to be back, and finished in a respectable 83rd.
The first race of the day saw the under 13 girls run a 3km course which missed out the steeper of the two hills on offer but nevertheless saw them face a long climb and the infamous ditch crossing. To most, it was their first experience of a truly muddy course. Marielle Proctor finished 82nd with Ila Lane close behind in 87th place. Ilsabelle Goold was 104th with Megan Marsh in 120th place. James Gould had a strong race in his debut in the Midlands event finishing 59th and was joined by team mates Harry Bailey (91st), Johnathon Ingram (98th), Diarmuid Winston (106th) and Finnley Newey (107th). The under 17 girls saw a strong race by Rosie Cale finishing in 39th place with Rositsa Gugutkova in 43rd and Georgina Hurt in 48th.