The National XC Championships
2018 English National Cross Country Championships
Parliament Hill Fields, London.
An iconic triannual venue, but this year drier and faster than since 2006, brilliant sunshine, but with a sharp breeze in parts, made for a great days racing.
I had entered a strong squad in the under 13 boys and they did the club, their coaches and themselves proud, with bronze team medals to go with their Northern team gold and were first Northern team. The race itself was extremely exciting and very closely packed, with the Sale squad all near the front up the long starting hill climb to the first turn. Two seconds could cover 15 to 20 runners, right up to the finish. Evan Savage had a great race in 11th place, just 30 seconds from 1st place. Jack Spark was not too far behind, as was Luke Chinoy and Eliot Savage, packing well for the team. Interestingly if there was a “B Team” they would have been 1st National and 2nd Northern to our “A Team”. There was very little between the four of them packing closely.
Led by Charlie Tittensor, a couple of strides behind Eliot, and with Harry Edmundson close and right behind him Archie McCarron and Will Parker. Chasing them in closely, were Josh Colquhoun-Lynn and James Kelly, after James had suffered a fall which ruined his chances of being up at the front with Evan. There were still more than 350 runners behind them. A great and proud result from the coaches involved.
The Under 13 Girls couldn’t quite match the Boys high positions as a team and individuals, but were still 1st Northern club in 11th place overall. Olivia Nolan led them, but all packed well together, seconds apart with Isabelle Burke, Niamh Boyd and Katie Stringer. Another 350 runners behind them also.
And although not in with a chance of medals, the under 15 boys ran well and enjoyed themselves and will go forward next year in the same age group, boosted by some U13’s moving up in age group. Robbie Rigby had an inspiring run, with Alex James, Zac Gaillemin and Ben Dargan close to each other.
Lara Crawford went one better than her U13 Bronze of two years ago, and repeated the Northern dual with Sian Heslop of Macclesfield Harriers, one second closer and in a faster race, which was great to watch unfold. The team were 16th and 2nd Northern club, Maisie Wiseman, Laura Hole and Emily Hall the scorers.
The Under 17 Men and Under 17 women both had runners missing, so were never going to feature in the medals, but many performed well, with Sam Heyworth, Kian Lindsey and Anthony Armstrong - Bond in the men and Holly Jackson, Stephanie Moss and Allysa Davey in the women.performed.
The Junior Women are also a strong squad and of those I could enter a few strong runners were missing, but they still comfortably matched their Northern gold team win. Behind winner Harriet Knowles-Jones, Cesca Brint was a great 4th, Juliet Downs 11th and Claudia Cowan 16th. Alice Bruce also having a solid run. Some will move up to strengthen the Seniors, but we will have a strong squad next season also.
I didn't send a Junior Men's team as some are at college in USA, others are injured or have been ill, but we will come back strong next season.
The Senior Ladies matched the Juniors with great a win also, the first since 2001. A great result. Georgia Taylor-Brown 4th and Katie Hewison 5th great runs from both, also Danielle Fegan 19th and Ellen Downs 48th. There were also good runs from Emma Tilley, Jenny Evans, Anne Chinoy, Emma Finney, Helen Armitage, Sinead Ferguson and Sarah Goulden.
They will go on in November to compete against Welsh Champions, Swansea and Scottish Champions either Edinburgh University or Shettleson. The winner will compete for Britain in the European Clubs Cross-country Cup next February 3rd, when we can send a team of six. Sadly GB don't enter a Junior Team, but many other countries do. Good to see ex Sale Harrier, Katie White up near the front again at the Scottish Champs in 10th, I think first LV35.
Despite there being many good runs, we only finished 10th team, a few points behind first Northern club Salford Harriers in the Senior Men’s race. Our Welsh Castles Relay nemesis club, beat us to the Nine Man Trophy, that we won last year. Disappointingly we were not able to compete effectively for 6 & 9 man team medals, as there were too many potential team scorers who pulled out a few days before the race. Very disappointing and depressing for me personally in my last season as Team Manager after 28 years, but positively uplifting to see U13 Boys Bronze, also Junior and Senior Women Team Golds.
A thunderous ground shaking feeling and with a deafening cacophony of cheering, whistles, horns and cow bells ringing in your ears, 2500 plus, sweaty runners charged up the first hill. It was the fastest and driest I had seen the course in quite a few years, but they had at the last minute changed it into a three lap course, adding more hills but also less mud, shortage of marshals a problem.
Jaimie Roden had another run at the top of the field, also Dan Kashi was running a great race, also in the top 100 and chasing him rapidly, was Gaz Raven, one of the leading Vet's. Callum Rowlinson, Phil Robertson and Joe Vis all ran well making up the scoring six. Alex Bradford, Alan White and Paul Green, worked hard making the a good scoring 9 man team, to be the 1st Northern club.
There was an encouraging run from Dave Marsh after sorting out the young athlete squad he coaches. Running well also were Ben McIntyre, Glenn Savage, Olly Gaillemin, Richard Edwards, Pete O’Neill, Paul Barratt, Matt Spragg, Elton Davies, Craig Bradbury, Ash Lindsey and Pete Shipley.
Posted 02/03/2018 09:24