When the going gets tough the Harriers get going

Megan Ellison (left) finished second.

Megan Ellison (left) finished second.

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Nene Valley Harriers ‘ cross-country team were one of the star attractions at a soggy Wicksteed Park on Saturday.

The North Midlands Cross-Country League fixture held in Kettering was run on the first proper mudbath of the season as the rain that had set in early in the morning continued to fall throughout the afternoon.

Philippa Taylor.

Philippa Taylor.

However, when the going gets tough Nene Valley get going, and there were many fine performances across the age groups.

Philippa Taylor is just as at home on mud as she is on tarmac and the 49 year-old produced a hugely impressive performance finishing fourth in the senior ladies race.

Taylor was ably supported by Ruth Jones (24th) Louise Blake (25th), Laura Grimer (29th) and Sophie Wilkinson-Hargate (31st.)

The Under 15 and Under 17 girls won their team race, and after two rounds the Under 17s are sitting top of the table.

Megan Ellison led the Under 17s home in second place with Isabelle Spindle and Josie Fortune both making the top 10. The scorers for the Under 15s were fifth-placed Ella Robinson, Amber Park in eighth and Olivia Mead who finished 15th.

The Under 13 girls were led home by Lottie Hemmings, while Nora Brill and Lilley McCann also scored for the Under 11s , who were joint winners along with Corby AC.

Nene Valley’s Under 15 boys were the club’s highest placed male team in third position. Matt Church, Sam Garner and Harvey Hancock made up the scoring team, each with top 20 finishes.

Jack Haunch impressed finishing 13th for the Under 11 boys and Jacob Bush was the highest placed Under 13 in 15th place.

Brad Allan was another inform Harrier placing eighth in the Under 17 men’s race. Allen received good backing from Codi Leigh-Middleton and Ollie Oakley, who came home 14th and 15th respectively.

Alex Hampson is running into form and his hard-fought 23rd place finish for the senior men was a fine performance in a high quality field.

Michael Channing was six places further back and Niamh Payne placed 36th. Five runners score for the senior men, rather than three in the other races, and Mike Chapman along with Austin Herbert completed the team.