Harriers provide quality as well as quantity
Nene Valley Harriers were one of only a handful of clubs to field teams in every race at Mansfield on Saturday at the National Cross-Country Relay Championships.
As well as quantity, there was plenty of quality on show as the Nene Valley athletes took on the nation’s top clubs.
The Under 17 women enjoyed a fine result finishing 14th out of 59 teams, even coming home ahead of Aldershot and Farnham AC and Tonbridge AC, two of the top clubs in the land.
Molly Peel got the team off to a cracking start finishing 12th over the 2.5km circuit in a time of 9:05. Ella Robinson went round in 9:32 and Katie Tasker with 10:00 continued the good work.
Flo Brill ran a fast opening leg for the Under 15 girls coming in 15th, covering the 2km course in a time of 7:18. The girls dropped to 46th place after the later legs, but still finished in the top half of the teams. Nene Valley also had a B team in action who finished 88th .
The junior women acquitted themselves well with Megan Ellison the fastest runner with a 2.5km time of 9:17..
Nene Valley’s senior women were 35th out of 116 teams, the best performance by a Nene Valley senior squad for some years. Ruth Jones ran the 3km circuit in 11:25 and was followed by Jordan Foster and Emma Randall who ran 10:59 and 11:47 respectively.
The Under 13 girls finished 75th, but Lottie Hemmings ran a good first leg, handing over in 61st position.
There were two boys Under 17 teams on display with the A team finishing 44th, and the B team 66th out of 75. Owen Wilkinson was the star turn for the A team completing his 3km leg in 9:59.
The Under 15 boys A team came home 53rd out of 93 with a B trio finishing 77th.
The junior men placed 36th out of 42 teams and the Under 13 boys finished 79th out of an 88-strong field.
One of the highlights of the day was provided by the senior men who fielded three teams. The A quartet finished 52nd out of 153 clubs with James McCrae clocking 16:17 and Alex Hampson 16:21 which left them 36th after two legs.
The Nene Valley teams were well spread throughout the field with the B team 104th and the C team 135th.
Under 13 girls (2km): E. Hemmings 8:17; N. Hodgson 9:17; B Gray 9:34.
Under 15 girls (2km): A team - F. Brill 7:18; C. Bole 8:10; E. Rainbow 8:25. B team - J. Knight 8:32; L. Hemmings 8:30; L. Hart 8:57.
Under 17 Girls (2.5km): A team - M. Peel 9:05; E. Robinson 9:32; K. Tasker 10:00. B team - O. Mead 10:10; H. Knight 10:14.
Junior Women (2.5km): M. Ellison 9:17; E. Piccaver 10:22; I. Woodward 10:11.
Senior Ladies (5km): R. Jones 11:25; J. Foster 10:59; E. Randall 11:47.
Under 13 Boys: F. Bowling 8:17; J. Smith 8:41; K. Warner 9:03.
Under 15 Boys: A team - S. Hughes 6:47; D. Tomasselli 7:11; J. Reindell 7:18. B team - H. Hewitt 7:13; S. Carew. 7:36; J. Garner 7:45.
Under 17 Men (3km): A team - A. Rainbow 10:01; O. Wilkinson 9:59; H. Hancock 10:28. B team - B. Roberts 10:13; S. Staines 10:51; S. Garner 11:05.
Junior Men (3km): A. Hunt 9:14; B. Allan 9:55; O. Bowling 10:28
Senior Men (5km): A team - J. McCrae 16:17; A. Hampson 16:21; L. Harthill 18:23; M. Chapman 18:37. B Team - H. Miles 18:31; A. Todd 20:19; L . Myers 19:14; S. Parkes 20:27. C team - J . MacDonald 18:46; S. Beard 20:38; G. Dunn 27:39; P Parkin 21:49.
Peterborough AC fielded four teams at the event - Under 15 boys, Under 17 men, senior women and senior men.
The Under 15 boys finished 92nd led by Oliver Beasley who ran the squad’s fastest time of 7:47. The other two in the team, who have only been running for a few weeks, were Joshua Spencer (9:09) and Caleb Topping (8:40).
It was a similar story in the Under 17 men. The team finished 72nd and featured three middle distance runner making their first cross-country appearance. They were Benji Davies (9:58), Rory Bello-Matthews (11:50) and Tyler Smith (12:42).
The senior women produced their best performance for many years, placing 52nd. Sarah Caskey (11:15) led the way with Louse Morgan (12:17) and Sophie Watson (13:42) supporting and they will start as medal contenders in the East of England Cross-Country Championships later this month.
The senior men’s team of Shaun Walton (17:31), Dominic Moszkal (17:02), Simon Fell (17:55) and Nathan Popple (19:05) were 62nd and now, like the women, will have eyes on Eastern Cross Country glory.