PAC escape from Wormwood Scrubs with best-ever placing

The Peterborough AC senior mens squad at the Southern Relay Championships. From the left are Nathan Popple, James Sadlier, Daniel Mees, Danny Snipe, Stuart Haw, Josh White, Paul Larkins (coach) and Ben Heron.
The Peterborough AC senior mens squad at the Southern Relay Championships. From the left are Nathan Popple, James Sadlier, Daniel Mees, Danny Snipe, Stuart Haw, Josh White, Paul Larkins (coach) and Ben Heron.
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Peterborough Athletic Club’s distance runners took a significant step forward in terms of national rankings when finishing sixth in the South of England Cross-Country Relay Championships at Wormwood Scrubs at the weekend.

The quartet of Stuart Haw, Daniel Mees, Ben Heron and Daniel Snipe produced the club’s best ever finish in the men’s event held over four 2.8-mile legs.

Peterborough 5km Grand Prix Series champion Haw got things off to a solid start on a very competitive opening 2.8 miles handing over in 12th after a 14:28 clocking.

But it was Mees and then Heron, who was making his debut for Peterborough AC, that really caught the eye with 14:22 and 14:24 respectively.

For Mees and Heron the performances represented their best cross-country races ever, while Snipe (15:09), called up at the last moment, was very solid on the anchor leg despite a tough week training.

“It was really exciting to watch,” said team manager Elaine Larkins. “At one point we were even leading and given two of the best teams in the country – Newham and Essex Beagles and Belgrave – were in the field, that’s really saying something.”

Such is the depth in the PAC squad that for the first time ever they also fielded a B team which finished 23rd overall and third B team.

The teaam of Nathan Popple (16:15), James Sadlier (16:22), Josh White (17:19) and Jon Peet (16:25) all produced good performances to round off a great day for PAC.

Earlier, the age group races produced some solid performances from four teams, all of whom were competing at this level for the first time.

The Under 17 boys were particularly impressive as Nathan Copland (12:05), Dominic Fitzharris (12:45) and Luis Turner (12:11) finished 15th.

Elsewhere Aiden Painter, Luke Welch and Zachary Bowers finished 21st in the Under 15 boys age group, while in the Under 13 boys category Conner Cassar, Elliot Klemstine and Oliver Beasley came home in 28th place, while Finley Copland had a fine run on leg one but unfortunately due to injury and illness he had no other team-mates to complete a team.

The girls had solid runs with Elizabeth Taylor leading the Under 15 team off with a 8.39 clocking before handing over to Laura Collins (9.24) leaving Tilda Guest to complete the trio with a 10.19 clocking to finish in 35th place.

Team manager Larkins added: “All in all it was a massive learning curve for everyone who travelled to London. Many of the youngsters had never competed at this level, some even making their club debut, and not one disappointed. They had a great day and should be proud of their achievements.”

GREAT SOUTH RUN

Peterborough AC’s James Sadlier finished 150th in Portsmouth’s Great South 10-mile Run on Sunday in 61:57, a personal best by more than three minutes.