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Young athletes produce strong performance in West Midlands Cross Country League

January 16th 2023, 9:00:00 am

The fourth round of the young athletes cross country league took place at Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton. A good turnout from the athletes ensured some good individual and team results on the day.

Jan XC

A flat fast course does not suit all our athletes, many of whom prefer a more challenging hilly course, however there was much to celebrate at the weekend.

With two second places in the U17 races from Ash Burgess, back from illness, and Emily Symes who gets stronger with every race, it was a good start to the day. In the U17 men's race in addition to Ash the scorers were Luca Bradley with his best run of the season in 7th and Jan Malecki in 10th. Charlie Smith was not far behind in 11th and Zac Yates was 16th. This team finished first on the day and lie second overall.

Although only having three U17 girls the team shows great commitment each month and following Emily home were Hana Salah Mehager (14th) and Jenny O'Rourke (34th)

Chances of a league title for the U15 boys were over in December when we were unable to field a full team due to a number of illnesses and injuries. Back to full strength in January there were some excellent performances. Paul Harrison in his first race after sustaining an ankle injury was the first home in 10th position. With a detemined sprint down the finishing straight Jesse Bradley was 16th follwed by Anton Bolding 22nd, Simeon Swain 26th and Patrick Shiner (55th) completed the counters for the team. Corin Bradley whose main sport is cycling but continues to compete for the Club was 72nd. The team finished in 3rd place on the day and is 6th overall.

We do not have a full U15 girls team and this fixture we were down to three athletes. Keira Nee had a good run for 5th place closely followed by Holly Saunders 8th and our final athlete in this age group is Erin Wright who finished in 74th place.

We are gradually building our younger age group teams after the disruption of no training base for the last three years. There was much potential on show as the young athletes showed their progression.

In the U13 boys James Longworth moved well through the field, after a poor start, for his best finish of the season in 6th place. Rohan Child was next in 15th then came Jude Morais-Trigg, a sprinter in his first cross country race (31st), Sam Greaves (34th) and Oliver Evans (39th) closed the team scoring for the team to finish in 4th place. Our final athlete was Methab Singh who continues to improve and finished in 69th place. Overall the team is in 4th but this was their best performance of the season.

It was a battle to the finish in the U13s girls race and it was Trinity Conway who came out on top to take the win. Ellen Curley had another good race for 7th and Lola Mae Oury was 20th. The other two counters for the team were Tilly-Mae Matthews (51st) and Phoebe Ray-Sharma (74th) and our final athlete Grace Young not far behind in 79th. The team finished 4th on the day.

We had the largest number of U11 boys of the season at this fixture. This is an age group we have struggled to get numbers in the last few years so it was good to see these youngsters out competing as they are the future of our teams.

Caelan Yardley had his best run for 8th place, an improving Joe Bailey was 20th. Asher Hinds just pipped team mate Isaac Kesterton- Kearney with the boys finishing in 28th and 29th place. Ira Mackenzie-Beckford (34th) closed the scoring which put the team third on the day. In his first race Theo Bent was 36th and other athletes showed their improvement with more solid runs from Max Curley (50th), Leo Nott (57th), Edward Evans (65th), Zach Powell (69th) and Joban Hayre (103th). Overall the team are 4th but this was their best performance by a long way.

FInlee Brady was the top runner in the U11 girls with her best race of the season for 5th place. Sophie Longworth was 13th, India Holt had her best run for 19th place, and Zara Bayliss-Buckley and Ava-Rose Ramos had a tough fight to the finish line to come home in 23rd and 24th place. This put the team in second place on the day. Martha Sutton in her first race was not far behind the team scorers in 27th place. Millie Freshwater was 39th, Niamh Mulligan 52nd, Rosie Young 61st, Jia Mattu 112th and finally Phoebe Mitchell 122nd. Overall the team are second in the league.