Nene Valley Harriers’ cross-country team manager Russ Prosser hailed this season’s North Midlands League Campaign as the club’s most successful in years.
Harriers finished the 2014/15 season as league champions in the mixed Under 11 and Under 17 men’s tables, and saw the ever-improving Alex Hampson crowned Under 17 men’s individual champion at the final fixture at Wollaton Park, Nottingham, on Saturday.
Prosser was full of praise for his athletes, stating: “It was another great day of achievement and a great end to a wonderful season.
“Overall we had 105 athletes compete for the club and they all deserve a big pat on the back. It was a privilege to team manage during our best season for many years.”
Wollaton Park provided suitably testing conditions for a day of traditional cross-country racing, with plenty of mud, strong winds and near-vertical hills pushing Harriers to the limits of their fitness and mental strength.
The mixed Under 11 team excelled to hold onto their top position in the table when they took maximum points on the day, with Sam Oakley, Flo Brill and Sam Hughes placing third, seventh and eighth amongst a very competitive field.
Oakley also placed second overall individually, while Hughes’ performance deserves extra credit for having come to the race straight from playing rugby.
Hampson led the Under 17 men to overall victory by winning the final race by a 19-second margin, while Bradley Spurdens, Austin Herbert and Michael Cawood completed the team in seventh, eighth and 11th places respectively.
Cat Foley produced one of the performances of the day in the senior women’s race when she narrowly missed first place by a mere two seconds. However, her consistency across the league earned her an individual silver medal, a fine achievement considering the number of clubs from a large area who compete in the competition.
Foley received strong support from Ruth Jones in 17th and Nicky Morgan in 27th to ensure the team came third overall for the season.
Megan Ellison once again led the Under 15 girls home with her highest position in the league so far when she stormed across the line in second place, a position she held overall to receive an individual silver medal. She also helped her team to third place overall.
Also running well was young Amber Park in the Under 13 girls’ event. She returned to racing after an illness to place a fine fifth on the day, boosting her team to an excellent second place overall in the league.
Matt Church was first for the club in the Under 13 boys race, finishing 19th and helping Harriers finish second overall in the standings.
Nathan Davey led the Under 15 boys home in 12th spot, leaving the team third in the table at the end of the season, while the Under 17 girls finished a strong second after Beth Goymour took eighth place and Jaz Oldfield 11th in the final race.
NORTH MIDLANDS CROSS-COUNTRY LEAGUE
Wollaton Park, Nottingham
Nene Valley Harriers placings:
Senior Men: 18 Jake Richardson; 71 Olly Slater; 204 Mark Spurdens.
Under 17 Men: 1 Alex Hampson; 7 Bradley Spurdens; 8 Austin Herbert; 12 Michael Cawood; 17 Jack Weddup.
Under 15 Boys: 12 Nathan Davey; 17 Kielen Spurdens; 19 Ollie Oakley; 22 Ollie Smith; 24 Mapesho Mutumka.
Under 13 Boys: 19 Matthew Church; 23 Tom Wright; 24 Sam Garner; 27 Elliott Bellamy; 31 Joshua Goodwin.
Under 11 Mixed: 3 Sam Oakley; 7 Flo Brill; 8 Sam Hughes; 19 Joe Garner.
Senior Women: 2 Cat Foley; 17 Ruth Jones; 27 Nicky Morgan; 69 Karen Spurdens; 77 Amy Gibbons.
Under 17 Women: 9 Beth Goymour; 11 Jaz Oldfield.
Under 15 Girls: 2 Megan Ellison; 15 Ellie Piccaver; 17 Josie Fortune; 23 Paula Naylor; 26 Imogen Woodward; 28 Alice Hardy; 30 Anna Warrington.
Under 13 Girls: 5 Amber Park; 11 Calypso Priestley; 13 Katie Tasker; 15 Hana Bay; 22 Ffion Lewis; 28 Eden Oldfield; 31 Zoe Cawood.
Peterborough AC placings:
Under 13 Boys: 12 Harvey Hancock.
Under 11 Mixed: 49 Charlotte Dunstone.
Senior Men: 185 Joe Howells; 194 Richard Houghton.
Under 17 Men: 9 Cameron Everist.
Under 15 Girls: 29 Molly Bennett.
Under 13 Girls: 14 Elin James.