Per­fect 10 James leads charge to an­other crown

Gloucestershire Echo - - SPORTING INDEX -

DOM James took in­di­vid­ual hon­ours as Cheltenham Har­ri­ers men’s team won the Glouces­ter­shire Cross Coun­try League for the 10th con­sec­u­tive sea­son.

Cheltenham’s ladies team and Naomi Ea­ton also clinched league ti­tles at Pittville Park.

The in-form James es­tab­lished a lead in the open­ing half mile of the 10k race and came home 45 sec­onds in front of a tight bat­tle for sec­ond.

Dan Owen won his bat­tle ahead of Army ath­lete Kevin Shep­pard and Bris­tol’s Jed Bartlett.

The Har­ri­ers packed well with Alex Lee and Ja­cob Pick­er­ing sixth and sev­enth re­spec­tively, Jamie Harper and Eliot Tay­lor com­plet­ing the six-man A team in 10th and 11th po­si­tions.

The em­phatic win clinched the ti­tle and made it nine sea­sons and 36 fix­tures un­beaten.

Such was their dom­i­nance, the B team of Dave Aubrey (13th), Richard Dare (15th), Marc Fal­lows (17th), James Bing­ham (19th), Chris Booth (20th) and Nick Brown fin­ished sec­ond on the day and fourth in the league.

The Har­ri­ers C team were eighth on the day through Alex Lind­field (31st), Dan Mi­nors (35th), Dan Schofield (45th), Dave Ran­tell (67th), Matt Evans (85th) and Michael Ede (114th).

And the vet­eran team of Fal­lows, Bing­ham, Mi­nors and Ran­tell headed the mas­ters team stand­ings to en­sured they topped the fi­nal ta­ble.

In the over­all stand­ings Owen took in­di­vid­ual sil­ver, Fal­lows V40 bronze, Mi­nors V45 gold, Ran­tell V50 bronze and Ede V60 sil­ver.

The un­beaten Har­ri­ers ladies had the league ti­tle al­most as­sured, but in­di­vid­ual medals were still to be de­cided.

With the ab­sent Naomi Ea­ton as­sured of at least a share of the ti­tle, Rachel Un­der­hill was hop­ing to re­peat her pre­vi­ous race vic­tory to share the top hon­ours.

But Un­der­hill’s hopes were quickly dashed as Bath Univer­sity’s Jes­sica Gib­son broke clear to win by two and half min­utes.

Un­der­hill ran well to fin­ish sec­ond, 24 sec­onds clear of the For­est of Dean’s Chloe Wheeler, and take the over­all league sil­ver be­hind Ea­ton.

Ar­guably the most im­pres­sive Har­ri­ers per­for­mance came from un­der-20 ath­lete Ella Bur­fitt, who made a sig­nif­i­cant step up in class to fin­ish sixth and hird ju­nior ath­lete.

The bat­tle to com­plete the scor­ing three-woman team was a close af­fair with Fee May­cock over­taken by Am­ber Wat­son who moved from 10th to sev­enth.

A team score of just 12 gave the Cheltenham a 29-point win­ning mar­gin over sec­ond-placed Glouces­ter.

In 10th May­cock fin­ished as sec­ond LV50 run­ner both on the day and in the over­all se­ries.

Un­der-17 ath­lete Emma Quekett (26th), Han­nah D’am­bro­sio (29th), Ni­cola White­man (33rd) and Rox­anne Jones (38th) packed well as May­cock, White­man and Jones fin­ished as third mas­ters team on the day.

Leah Hop­ton (45th), Joan Shaw (76th) and Christina See (136th) com­pleted the 11-strong squad.

Dan Owen made the trip to North­ern Ire­land for the Ar­magh 5k where he recorded a road per­sonal best of 15.00 to fin­ish 114th in one of the UK’S top races.

Dan Thomas was 13th at the Bram­ley 10 mile road race in 57.44 while Jon Barnes won the 37.5miles Rail­way Ul­tra in Shrop­shire.

Dom James and, be­low, the vic­to­ri­ous Har­ri­ers ladies team

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