McCrae just outside the Midlands medal placings

The Eye Community Runners contingent at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
The Eye Community Runners contingent at Rockingham Motor Speedway.
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Nene Valley Harrier James McCrae secured an impressive fifth place in the Under 20 men’s race at the Midlands Cross-Country Championships at Prestwold Hall near Loughborough at the weekend, writes Barry Warne.

McCrae, who is part of Bud Baldaro’s training group at the University of Birmingham, completed the 8.8k course in 30:21, finishing just half a minute outside the medals.

The 19 year-old is now targeting a top 15 finish in the National Championships.

Top performance for Harriers at the South of England Championships at Parliament Hill Fields in London on Saturday came from Sam Oakley.

The Bourne Grammar School pupil finished 26th in the boys Under 13 race out of a field of over 300.

Two local athletes finished the senior men’s race in the top 100 with pride of place going to Peterborough AC’s Ben Heron.

He finished the 15k course in 68th place out of field of more than 1,000, outsprinting one-time club member and now GB international Dan Watts. Both were given the same time of 53:48 but Heron was given the nod.

Only two athletes have finished higher in a PAC vest in the past 20 years, Andy Barber and Ashley Allen.

Nene Valley’s Chris Wright, who achieved a top 10 finish in the championship as an under 20 back in 2009, came home 100th.

Other local placings in the senior men’s race were 121st James Mogridge (Yaxley), 318th Simon Mead (PAC), 552nd James Sadlier (PAC).

Amittai Ben-Isreal was Peterborough AC’s sole representative in the Under 20 age group and he certainly flew the flag as he finished in a creditable 38th place.

Other Nene Valley placings:

Under 17 Girls: 67 Megan Ellison; 68 Ellie Piccaver; 77 Josie Fortune.

Under 20 Women: 59 Hannah Randle.

Under 20 Men: 52 Jevan Robertson.

Under 15 Girls: 44 Amber Park; 74 Katie Tasker.

Under 13 Girls: 122 Lottie Hemmings.

Senior ladies: 191 Ruth Jones.

n The Rockingham Motor Speedway was awash with the green vests of Eye Community Runners on Sunday as 64 members descended on the circuit to run The Brass Monkey 10k and junior 2.5k races.

Rob Brownlee of Nene Valley Harriers was first local home in third place in 34.53. Thorney Runner Kirk Brown came in ninth with a 37.25 clocking. Peterborough AC’s Steve Hall was three places further back.

The race incorporated the Eye Runners 10k club championship, and Martyn Fox led the sea of green finishing in 22nd place. Cathy Threadgold was the first Eye lady across the line finishing 59th.

Terry Fone placed 103rd and Peter Ridley 116th in the 370-strong field - fine achievements given that the evergreen pair are 73 and 70 respectively.

Eye’s Isaac Ellard won the junior race at a canter while Yaxley’s Amelia Devine was comfortably first girl home.