Flo strikes gold for Nene Valley with a brilliant run at St Neots
Nene Valley Harriers were champions in Cambridgeshire and top of the listings in Lincolnshire as their athletes excelled in the county cross-country championships on Sunday.
Flo Brill had an outstanding run at St Neots, finishing a minute ahead of the field in the under 15 girls race.
Brill was one of three individual winners for the Harriers. Ellie Piccaver won the Cambridgeshire under 20 women’s championship while Megan Ellison was first over the line in the Lincolnshire under 20 race.
In addition to individual medals team prizes also came thick and fast. The under 15 girls bagged Cambridgeshire gold, a feat matched by the boys under 11s and the men’s under 20 teams across the border in Lincolnshire. Plenty of minor medals were also won.
Brill covered the undulating 4.3km Cambridgeshire course in a time of 18.42. Chelsie Bole in third and 12th-placed Lottie Hemmings helped to secure the top prize for the speedy trio.
Piccaver ran 24.00 over 5.8km for her first place, and was joined on the podium by third-placed Josie Fortune.
Despite missing a number of key runners the under 17 girls took the 4.8km course in their collective stride earning team silver. Katie Tasker was fourth in 20.45 and received strong support from Olivia Mead (7th) and Katie McLaughlin (9th).
Nene Valley’s under 13 girls had six athletes in the top 15. Eliza Mardon led them home in third place, clocking 10.49 for the 2.9km circuit, and then came Aoife Glasswell (4th) and Matilda Halford (9th) as the girls earned team silver. Halford was followed home by Elizabeth Eames and with Lola Fletcher 11th and Isla Fullock-Hines 15th the B team finished fourth.
Alexandra Braid was under 11 runner-up with a time of 7.26 over the 1.7km lap.
In the senior ladies race, Ruth Jones, who now competes in Helpston Harriers colours, came home 20th, one position behind Yaxley’s Kayleigh Draper. Claire Peircey, also of Yaxley, won over 45 silver.
Ramsey’s Lisa Marriott ran superbly to finish second in the ladies race.
Peterborough-based Edgars Sumskis, who has recently joined Newham and Essex Beagles after a stint with Nene Valley, won the 10.8km men’s race in a time of 34.44.
Alex Hampson led the current Nene Valley contingent home in third place in 35.52. Lee Harthill, Luke Myers and Mike Chapman all made the top 40.
Simon Mead of Ramsey Road Runners was 19th and Yaxley duo Steve Lomax and Will Duore were 26th and 28th respectively.
The under 15 boys won team silver with third-placed Sam Hughes covering the 4.3km course in 17.54. Kai Chilvers, Dylan Tomaselli and Sam Oakley were ninth, 10th and 11th respectively.
Sixth-placed Owen Wilkinson led the Nene Valley under 17 challenge as the boys won bronze. Wilkinson went round the 4.8km circuit in 19.49 and next came Harvey Hancock (11th) and Sam Garner (17th).
Alex Roberts was fifth under 13 and James Loosley was first under 11 Harrier, finishing 17th.
The Lincolnshire course at Biscathorpe in the Wolds is an old-fashioned cross-country course, containing hills and a stream which the runners cross several times.
The daunting circuit suited many young Harriers, and in addition to Ellison’s under 20 gold, there were several other medal-winning performances to celebrate.
Under 17s Molly Peel and Hannah Knight were on the second and third steps of the podium, and the under 15 trio of Ellie Rainbow, Josie Knight and Alexis Boole collected team bronze.
Evie Hemmings was fifth under 13 and Tammy Rainbow finished as fourth veteran with Alison Staines eighth.
Aaron Hunt in second place and Bradley Allan in third were joined by fifth-placed Robert McAndrew for under 20 gold, and the under 11 boys achieved their gold thanks to Rhys Buswell (3rd), Fraser Boole (6th) and Toby Staines (7th).
The under 17 boys collected silver thanks to Archie Rainbow (6th), Matt Dowling (7th) and Sam Staines (8th) while Harry Hewitt was the leading under 15 boy in fourth spot with Isaac Fell finishing the under 13 race in 14th.
Paul Parkin squeezed into the top 20 of the veteran men’s race.