Su­perb re­sult as ladies take Mid­lands League third place

Gloucestershire Echo - - ATHLETICS -

CHEL­TENHAM Har­ri­ers ladies team pro­duced their best ever Mid­land Women’s Cross Coun­try League re­sult as they fin­ished third at the divi­sion one fix­ture in Strat­ford.

Else­where, the men en­joyed a fine third place fin­ish in their Birm­ing­ham League divi­sion one fix­ture at War­ley Woods.

Hav­ing won the divi­sion two ti­tle last year, the ladies fin­ished ninth in the open­ing match of the sea­son, but with a stronger squad avail­able they were hop­ing to break into the top half of the 15-team divi­sion.

Naomi Ea­ton again ex­celled on the chal­leng­ing ter­rain and with new re­cruit Rachel Un­der­hill and Laura Smith not far be­hind the trio re­mained in rel­a­tively close prox­im­ity for race.

Ea­ton came home in an ex­cel­lent 13th, with Un­der­hill one place and nine sec­onds adrift as she fin­ished four sec­onds clear of 16th-placed Smith.

Lough­bor­ough (33) and Birm­ing­ham (44) were head­ing the team stand­ings and the bat­tle for third team was com­ing down to the fourth scorer in a close three-way bat­tle.

Wolver­hamp­ton had their fourth lady home in 38th place to score 81, be­fore Fee May­cock crossed the line in 36th to give the Chel­tenham team a score of 79 ahead of Birch­field whose fourth run­ner gave them an ag­gre­gate of 80.

The re­sult moved the team up into sixth in the over­all stand­ings.

Leah Hop­ton and Rox­anne Jones pro­vided vi­tal backup in 96th and 106th re­spec­tively, al­though the day was tainted by Kathryn Mor­ton tak­ing a nasty fall and frac­tur­ing her shoul­der in the early stages of the race.

The men were hop­ing to con­sol­i­date their top five po­si­tion in the Birm­ing­ham League fix­ture.

Dom James found him­self in 13th place at the end of the first of the three large laps then moved into ninth with a lap to go be­fore pass­ing two more ath­letes on the fi­nal cir­cuit to lead the team home in an ex­cel­lent sev­enth place.

Luke Pol­lard moved through from around 20th at half­way to cross the line in 17th and the bat­tle to be third Har­rier home was a close af­fair, with Richard de-camps and Dan Owen run­ning side by side.

Owen kicked three sec­onds clear in the fi­nal straight as they fin­ished in 28th and 29th re­spec­tively.

Ja­cob Pick­er­ing was 39th and Doug Wight fol­lowed two sec­onds and three places later to com­plete the six man scor­ing team.

With a to­tal of 162 the Chel­tenham squad claimed third place be­hind Birch­field (48) and Birm­ing­ham Univer­sity (112), whilst fin­ish­ing clear of ri­vals Tip­ton (169) and Lough­bor­ough Univer­sity (214) in the 16-strong divi­sion.

The re­sult means the club re­mains fifth in the over­all stand­ings at the half­way point.

The B team were led home by Mar­cus Eng­land in 56th po­si­tion be­fore Ge­orge Wat­son and

James Bing­ham crossed the line to­gether 10 sec­onds later for 62nd and 63rd re­spec­tively.

Alex Lee then fol­lowed in 68th be­fore Dave Aubrey in 78th and Dan Thomas in 80 th com­pleted the team.

Their cu­mu­la­tive score of 406 earned third place be­hind Birm­ing­ham Univer­sity and Birch­field, as they also re­tained third po­si­tion in the over­all stand­ings. Out­side the scor­ing teams, but pro­vid­ing great sup­port in a field of 293 fin­ish­ers were Chris Booth (113th), Andy Gore (130th), Dan Schofield (187th) and debu­tant Phil Brush (188th). Caro­line Cotterell and Nick Hol­l­i­day com­peted in the Bromham Pud­ding 10km road race where Cotterell had her best run for more than six years fin­ish­ing as sixth lady and first LV45 run­ner in 43:51 whilst Hol­l­i­day fin­ished as sec­ond V60 run­ner with 40:42. There were parkrun first places for Liam Roarty (17:03) at the Malahide event in Dublin, Alex Do­herty (17:21) in Eve­sham and Dave Tomiln (18:43) in Newent. Kait­lyn Shep­pard (20:28) was first lady and fourth over­all in Tewkes­bury whilst there were sec­ond places for Si­mon Critchley (18:18) at the Lake Divonne parkrun in Geneva and Gareth Ed­wards (18:45) at the Glouces­ter City event. The Chel­tenham parkrun in Pittville Park re­verted to its four lap win­ter route where Matt Lam­bourne (18:38) came home fourth and Oliver Do­herty (19:38) had a run out.

The Har­ri­ers ladies’ team

Naomi Ea­ton

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