First off at the weekend were the seniors with both leagues competing at Aldersley in Wolverhampton in bitter cold and frozen conditions.
Although not getting anywhere near the volume of runners out that we used to but we’re still in the top division of a quality league. Despite Sarah McDonald having to withdraw not feeling too good we still had enough firepower to WIN .
Despite initial misgivings about the course and conditions, our ladies made short work of it. At the top of the short uphill start the team was well packed towards the front with Bryony Gunn leading the charge in second place followed by Hannah Robinson, Hayley Carruthers, Rae Nicholls, Hana Mehager, Katharine Bradley and Sarah Conway.
Bryony sat in 2nd place until the second lap and sensing the leader was stalling a bit put the boot in and opened up a considerable lead which she maintained till the finish. Hannah Robinson who hasn’t raced for ages due to Covid and it’s after effects, was delighted to be up there with the leaders and she finished 4th.
Hayley Carruthers, suffers with the cold and today but fortunately she finished in fine style in 5th place. Rae Nicholls was next home with her best run for a while to finish 16th and closed the scoring.
U20 Hana Mehager also had a good run and knocked nearly ten places off her first senior run a few weeks ago to finish 52nd. Katharine Bradley had a great run to finish 90th followed closely by ever reliable Sarah Conway in 95th.
The senior men were missing two of our best runners but great runs from Ed Banks (7th) and Dan Swain (10th) made sure the team remained competitive. Dan was lying well inside the top 10 as the first Birchfield athlete for the majority of the race until Ed Banks stormed past him in the latter stages to be the first Birchfield athlete home.
Closing the scoring were Max Price with a good run in 15th, Jason Bennett 21st and Joe Heathcock in 40th. The team score meant the team was third overall on the day behind two university teams.
Also running for the Club was Shaun Evans (72), Jan Malecki (106), Thomas Smith (175) and Kelly Kipleting (183).
It was the turn of our young athletes teams to brave the conditions on Sunday at Warley Woods, this time is was in slush and rain, a complete contrast to the weather 24 hours before.
Ash Burgess continued his excellent form after an 8th place at Liverpool Cross Challenge the previous weekend. He dominated the race from start to finish and won comfortably. Next to finish was Jesse Bradley, another athletes a very good season. He timed his race perfectly to come home in 4th place. Close behind was George Astbury in 5th, so it was an empahtic team win on the day with just 3 to count. Simeon Swain had a good run for 13th place with Charlie Smith 23rd, Zac Yates 26th, Sam Hartfield 42nd amd Francis White 43rd.
In the U17 Women's race the position of the team was compromised with the loss of the top runner Emily Symes with a foot injury. However the three remaining athletes stepped up to finish in third on the day with Keira Nee 5th, Holly Saunders 10th and Cassie Pearson 21st.
This is our weakest age group and is the one which shows the greatest impact of both COVID and a lack of facilities as when these children would normally enter the sport we had nothing to offer them.
The U15 boys was a full team and finished in fifth place overall. Kody Gilbody was the top scorer in 17th place followed by Patrick Shine (40), Jude Morais-Trigg (46), Rohan Child (56) and Noah Kesterton-Kearney (60). Also racing just outside a scoring position was Methab Singh in 73rd.
We only have one U15 girl and despite this Lacey Poulton still turns out for the Club, She had her best race of the season, on the toughest course to finish in 46th place.
We have strong teams in this age group, although the boys team suffered from late drop outs due to illness, which meant we were unable to field a full team.
Fresh from a good result at both Liverpool Cross Challenge and the English Schools Cup Final James Longworth yet again held off all competition to win the race. Oliver Evans had an excellent run to finish in 14th place with Max CurleyU11 42nd and Ira Mackenzie-Beckford in 44th.
In the girls race Trinity Conway continued her dominant form with an emphatic win. Another athlete that has a fantastic run in Liverpool she is beginning to run well on the tougher courses too. Sophie Longworth was 10th, Finlee Brady 22nd, Ellen Curley 25th. Lola Ouray 26th and India Holt 3oth. This score put the team in second on the day. They were also supported by Tamika Chikwaririo (51), Zara Bayliss-Buckley (56), Jia Mattu (80), Matilda Albrighton and Preet Grewal (96). After three races the team still lies in first place overall.
We are building up this age group gradually and it is great to see these youngster competing for the Club.
Luke Pearson led the way with a strong race to finish 5th. Caelan Yardley was next in 24th closely followed by newcomer Reagan Bushell in 26th. Zach Powell was the fourth counter in 32nd and Edward Evans made up the team in 51st. There was another newcomer to the team William McGregor who had a super race to finish in 54th place.
The girls team saw two girls in the top ten. Martha Sutton continued her great form with a 4th place and Millie Freshwater had her best ever performace to finish in 6th. Ava-Rose Ramos was 13th, Freya Oury 39th and another new comer Paris Drummond 72nd. The team are lying in fourth place overall.