Nene Valley Harriers made a flying start to their cross-country season at derby on Saturday.
Competing in the quality North Midlands League meeting, Russ Prosser’s talented squad made their mark with one individual win and two team successes.
Megan Ellison maintained her fine form from an outstanding track season to win the Under 17 girls race and the local club were first team in the Under 15 girls and Under 17 boys age groups.
The victorious girls Under 15 squad were led home by Amber Park in seventh position and just one place behind came team-mate Jose Fortune. The fast-improving Ellie Piccaver completed the scoring team with a 12th-place finish.
Hana Ray, Kelsi Ellis, and Paula Naylor all provided fine support with top 20 finishes.
First Nene Valley runner home in the Under 17 boys race was Ollie Bowling in third spot with Rio Chilvers (11th) and Nathan Davies (17th) making up the scorers. Brad Allen ran well to finish 18th.
The senior men’s team, considering three of their five scoring runners were under 20, did well to take runners-up honours behind Notts AC.
Seventeen year-old Alex Hampson led them home in 11th position, covering the 9.5-km course in a time of 33.29.
Lloyd Kempson battled with Hampson for much of the race before crossing the line in 15 place, with teenager James McCrae (20th) not far behind. The scoring team was completed by Drew Warnes (33rd) and 18 year-old Michael Cawood (81st). There were 291 finishers.
Hurdler Sean Reidy led the race early on, but with a lack of obstacles to leap dropped back quickly.
Flo Brill led the Under 13 girls to a fine second place finishing third on the day, with Calypso Priestley and Katie Taster coming home ninth and 13th respectively.
Megan Ellison’s fine run was well supported by Alice Callant (19th) and Beth Glamour (20th) as the Under 17 girls claimed fourth place.
The senior ladies finished well down the rankings, but the race was notable for an outstanding run by Nene Valley veteran Nicky Morgan. Having fought her way back from a career threatening injury, the 45 year-old finished 15th and first veteran in a field of 135 athletes.
There was a combined race in the under 11 age group and Harriers were fourth. Best for the boys were Freddie House (5th) and Joe Garner (11th) while for the girls Lily Melam (37th), Josie Knight (67th) and Lottie Hemmings (72nd)showed well.
Ethan Ellison was first Harrier home for the Under 15 boys in 15th place and helped the club into fifth place.
Nene Valley’s Under 13 boys grouped excellently with Sam Oakley (11th), and Matt Church (15th) ahead of 19th-placed Cemal Korkmaz and Sid O’Connell in 20th. This was enough to secure third place for the youngsters on a highly encouraging day for Nene Valley.