Senior Womens Midlands Cross Country League
The team was pleased to be back at Betley Court Farm which is a good but tough course. It started cold and windy but did improve as the day went on. The first race always brings out the most athletes and it was nice to see Sarah McDonald back doing a league race although still moaning. Huge plaudits have to go to Bryony Gunn who has been consistently the most outstanding Birchfield athlete on the country, women or men for the last few years and this race was no different.
This race is a two lap course on hilly farm land and an uneven surface. Undaunted by this the usual cavalry charge ensued as they disappeared into the distance. As often is the case Bryony was 3rd followed closely by Sarah McDonald, the other ladies were nearly all in the first 50 or so. Bryony overtook in the closing stages to move into 2nd place, with Sarah fading slightly. Carli Baldwin had a super run moving right through the field after a cautious start. It was a really good and successful day as the team was able to overcome Loughborough University to finish 2nd to Birmingham University. There were 148 finishers in total.
Bryony Gun -2nd, Sarah McDonald - 9th, Carli Baldwin -19th, Ella Shirley - 29th, Lizzie Watters - 32nd, Rae Nicolls - 33rd, Victoria Bradbury - 35th, Frances Vickers - 37th, Laura Crick - 40th, Ejiro Okoro - 46th, Amelia Taylor - 49th, Samatha Watters - 55th, Robyn McDowall - 117th
Birmingham Men's Cross Country League
This was also held at Betley Court and we were faced with some strong University teams. A good turn out of 13 athletes gave us a competitive team. Tom Beasley was first home in 12th followed by Jason Bennet 16th, Shaun Evans 20th, Max Walk 28th, Ed Banks 32nd and Matt Scarsbrook 38th as the team scorers. A number of athletes were close to the scorers as Adam Day was 43rd, Max Price 47th, Jonathan Bradford 53rd, James Vaughan 54th, Dan Swain 56th, Joe Heathcote 56th. Our final athlete was Matt Briggs who finished in 135th place. There were 272 finishers.
Young Athletes Cross Country League - Newbold Revel
This was the second league fixture for our young athletes and we had a few new faces in the team which was good to see. We continue to build up our youngsters and more will join as the season goes on, as a result of the hard work of coaches and the development programme.
Following his excellent first place last month Ash Burgess continued his good form to finish in second place. Jan Malecki in 11th had his best ever cross country race improving by six places from the October race, Luca Bradley was 19th, Charlie Smith 20th, Zac Yates 27th and Tom Adams 35th. The team are lying in 2nd overall.
With three athletes in our U17W team the team fared much better this month. Emily Symes in her first outing finished in 6th place with Hana Meagher not far behind in 9th. Jenny O'Rourke had a solid run to finish in 30th.
This is a strong age group although we were missing a few key athletes. First home was Paul Harrison in 5th with Jesse Bradley 11th, Simeon Swain a much improved 28th, Dan Wood 41st and Patrick Shiner 63rd. The team stands in third place overall.
We are very lacking in the U15G age group but Cassie Pearson had her best ever run to finish in 7th place. Erin Wright battled round to finish in 75th place.
This is an age group where we are steadily improving as we are able to recruit more athletes. Ellen Curley was our top scorer in 12th position, with Tilly- Mae Matthews 49th, Lola-Mae Oury 51st, Phoebe Sharma 53rd, Scarlett Hobbs 62nd and Grace Young 64th. Most of these girls are just starting out racing cross country and we will no doubt see improvements as the season goes on. Unfortunately our top athlete Trinity Conway had to pull out through illness. The team is lying 7th overall.
The boys had a good performance with James Longworth improving his position from last month to take a top ten place in 9th, Rohan Child was 21st, Sam Greaves in his first race was 37th, Noah Kesterton-Kearney 40th, Oliver Evans 63rd and Methab Singh 68th. The team is currently in 5th place.
The league allows U11s and it is one of the most competitive age groups with big fields. For the first time in many years we have complete teams in both the girls and boys races so that bodes well for the future.
Caelan Yardley was first home in 14th, with Luke Pearson 22nd, Ira Mackenzie-Spence 26th, Asher Hinds 29th, Joe Bailey 30th, Isaac Kesterton-Kearney 41st, Leo Nott, 50th, Zach Powell 53rd, Archie Spiers 95th and Joban Hayre 102nd. Well done to all the new boys in this race; Joe, Isaac, Leo and Archie, who all ran very well in their first race. The team is 4th overall.
The U11 girls had an excellent day finishing in second place in the day and are now 4th overall. Finley Brady ran very well to take 6th place with Sophie Longworth 10th, India Holt 21st, Zara Bayliss-Buckley 25th, Niamh Mulligan 30th, Millie Freshwater 31st, Jia Mattu 97th and Phoebe Mitchell 118th.
There is a lot of potential in these young athlete and we look forward to seeing how they progress as the season goes on.