The National Cross-Country Relays at Mansfield on Saturday were illuminated by a brilliant display from the aptly named Flo Brill and her Under 13 girls team-mates.
Not only did the Nene Valley Harriers trio of Brill, Calypso Priestley and Katie Tasker come home in a club record-equalling 11th place at an event featuring the cream of England’s cross-country talent, but a Nene Valley vest was leading the field in a national championship for perhaps the first time.
Wearing that vest was Brill as she led the way round the first leg, completing the 2k circuit in a hugely impressive 7:17.90. And that turned out to be the fastest individual time of the day among all 65 Under 13 girls teams.
Priestley and Tasker provided excellent support, completing their legs in 8:17.80 and 8:11.05 respectively.
Nene Valley were strong in all the girls age groups.
The Under 15 ‘A’ team of Amelia Monaghan, Josie Fortune and Amber Park finishing 16th out of 85 teams with Monaghan the sixth fastest runner overall on the day.
Megan Ellison put in a good opening leg to finish 17th as the Under 17 girls ‘A’ team came home in 24th spot, while the senior women’s ‘A’ team of 20 year-old Grace Mullins, Cat Foley-Wray and Nicky Morgan finished 33rd out of over 100 teams with the recently married Foley-Wray impressing with a 10:50.85 clocking on a demanding 3k circuit.
Best performance by a Harriers team in the male races was by the junior men’s trio of James McCrae, Alex Hampson and Jake Richardson. They were 21st and Hampson gained 20 places on his leg.
Sam Oakley ran well for the Under 13 boys with a time of 7:18.10 and the Under 15 boys also had a pair of talented teams. Nandeli Palembe was quickest for the ‘A’ team, and Harry Burchnell put in an excellent first leg for the ‘B’ team, recording a time of 6:46.00 which was quicker than all three of the club’s first string.
The seniors men’s ‘A’ team comprising Joe Turner, Lloyd Kempson, Drew Warnes and Andrew Jakeman were 49th out of 149 finishers.
Ollie Bowling, Austen Herbert and Bradley Allen performed well for the Under 17s as they placed 38th in a particularly strong category.
Werrington Joggers were represented in the senior races. Jade Watson impressed on the first leg for the ladies in 12:12.70 while Anthony Johnson starred with a first leg of 16:42.20 for the men on the 5k course.