Joy for James as mens and ladies teams also win

Gloucestershire Echo - - RACING -

THERE was a race win for Dom James as Chel­tenham Har­ri­ers mens and ladies teams en­joyed vic­to­ries at the open­ing fix­ture of the Glouces­ter­shire Cross Coun­try League at Old Down Coun­try Park.

The 22 year old placed him­self in the lead pack early on, be­fore fol­low­ing Uni­ver­sity of Bath ath­lete Alex Lawrence who took the pair clear of the chas­ing pack on the sec­ond of the four laps.

On the third cir­cuit James pushed the pace on and es­tab­lished a small gap of about 30 me­tres over his ri­val, be­fore real­is­ing that he wasn’t on his fi­nal lap and eas­ing back as Lawrence again drew level.

The two ath­letes then re­mained locked to­gether on the fi­nal lap be­fore James won the sprint for the line by two sec­onds.

Eliot Tay­lor ran well for fifth place as he fin­ished four sec­onds and two places clear of the re­ju­ve­nated James Bing­ham who was the first vet­eran home.

The bat­tle be­tween the next four Har­ri­ers was a close af­fair, with po­si­tions con­stantly chang­ing through the race as Dave Aubrey paced it per­fectly for 11th place.

Alex Lind­field ran well for 13th be­fore Dave Tom­lin com­pleted the scor­ing six as he fin­ished as first V45 ath­lete in 14th po­si­tion.

Bid­ding for a 10th con­sec­u­tive league ti­tle, this gave the Har­ri­ers a 33rd con­sec­u­tive league win as their score of 51 gave them a 46 point mar­gin over ri­vals Team Bath.

The Har­ri­ers B team then packed well with Jamie Harper (16th), debu­tant Chris Booth (24th), Nick Brown (29th), vet­eran Dan Mi­nors (34th), Iain Devlin (49th) and Si­mon Critch­ley (51st) com­bin­ing for a score of 203 that earned them third place, two points clear of Team Bath B.

Dave Ran­tell (56th) com­pleted the four-man vet­eran team that which also en­joyed an em­phatic 137-point team win be­fore Martin Soakell (64th), Ian Giles (66th) and sec­ond V60 run­ner home Mike Ede (120th) com­pleted the 16-strong squad.

The Chel­tenham ladies were also start­ing the de­fence of their league ti­tle and like the men they be­gan with a win.

By the end of the first of three laps Jes­sica Gib­bon (Uni­ver­sity of Bath) had es­tab­lished a huge lead at the head of the field, whilst Naomi Ea­ton and Hi­lary Mott moved through to sec­ond and third place re­spec­tively. As

Ea­ton ran a lonely race, Mott looked as though she was un­der threat from be­hind be­fore she ral­lied and re­duced the gap to her team­mate to just 12 sec­onds by the fin­ish­ing line as the po­si­tions re­mained un­changed.

Han­nah D’am­bro­sio ran a well paced race to com­plete the win­ning team in 13th place as a team score of 18 gave them an eight-point mar­gin over sec­ond placed Team Bath.

Rachel See (16th), Ni­cola White­man (29th) and Joan Shaw (66th) en­sured the B team fin­ished 12th whilst the vet­eran team of White­man, Shaw and Christina See (133rd) also claimed 12th place in their com­pe­ti­tion.

Dom James

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