Nene Valley Harriers produced some sizzling performances at sunny Derby on Saturday at the opening North Midlands Cross-Country League meeting of the season.
The Under 13 girls got the new campaign off to a flying start on an unseasonably warm day, seeing off some quality opposition to finish top of the pile.
Lottie Hemmings led the fledgling Harriers home, finishing the 3km race in fifth position with a time of 10:49.
Chelsea Bole placed seventh and Amelia Devine was just behind in ninth as Nene Valley pipped hosts Derby AC to the top honours.
Nene Valley’s Under 17 girls also had a good day finishing runners-up behind Nottingham-based outfit Rushcliffe AC.
Ella Robinson finished fourth, and received good support from 14th-placed Elisha Foord and Hannah Knight in 19th position.
The Under 17 Girls placed fifth with Ellie Piccaver and Amber Park running strongly for ninth and 10th positions.
Ruth Jones led the senior ladies challenge, claiming 13th place in a field of 186.
There were also strong runs from Emma Randle and Sophie Wilkinson-Hargate, with the Harriers team finishing 10th.
Peterborough AC’s Sarah Caskey came in just behind Jones in 15th position.
In the girls Under 15 race Nora Brill in 9th and 16th-placed Evie Hemmings helped Nene Valley to finish sixth.
The men were not to outdone as the Under 13s and Under 17s both finished third.
Jacob Bush was 11th for the Under 13s while Alex Roberts and Freddie House both made the top 20.
The highly promising Aaron Hunt came seventh Under 17 ahead of Matt Dowling and Archie Rainbow who placed 16th and 21st respectively.
Felix Bowling was the first Under 11 Harrier across the line in 19th as his team came seventh.
The Under 15 boys took fifth place with Owen Wilkinson in 11th.
Nene Valley’s senior men were eclipsed by a strong Peterborough AC team. Ben Heron, who is relatively new to cross-country, took 12th position, covering the hilly 10k course in 34:03.
Heron received sterling support from PAC clubmates Shaun Walton (35th), Nick Stone (41st), Simon Fell (53rd) and Kirk Brawn (58th).
Peterborough AC finished an excellent fourth, well ahead of Nene Valley, who were 16th.
Despite this 51 year-old Sean Beard provided one of the day’s highlights as he rolled back the years finishing 37th and first Over 50 in a field of 283 runners.