County Cross Country Championships, 5th January 2019

Tamworth AC was well represented at the County Cross Country Championships over the weekend with athletes competing at the Staffordshire and Warwickshire events.

A strong turnout for the Tamworth junior team at the Staffordshire Championships underlined what has already been a promising season for the green and whites.

Despite ideal cool and dry conditions, the uneven course at Stafford Common presented challenges underfoot. The Under-13 Girls and Boys set out together for the first 3.6km race of the day; each fielding teams of four that have shown impressive form in the league.

Lotttie McLaren was the first Tamworth girl across the finish line in a remarkable 7th place with a time of 13:55. Phoebe O’Connor completed the race in 15th with 14:44 and Natasha Lee was hot on her heels in 17th with 14:48. Freya Cole stepped up from the Under-11s for the first time, and although recovering illness, still managed a performance to be proud of with 24th place in 15:42.

The results propelled the team into third place, picking up well-deserved bronze medals for their efforts.

For the Under-13 Boys, Luca Bradley continued to impress with a 3rd place bronze medal finish and a time of 12:25; dropping from second only in the final stages of the race. Toby Wooton was next in 7th with 12:39, maintaining his consistent placing at the top end of the field. Jesse Bradley, another athlete competing in his first under-13 race, showed that age is just a number, taking an outstanding 8th place in 12:42. Aedan Mason completed a very satisfying day out for the boys in 12th place with 13:15.

Matching the girls, the boys team also walked away with the bronze medals, building up high hopes for the future of athletics at Tamworth.

Ben Edwards and Tegan Vickery lined up for the Under-15 Boys and Girls respectively, taking on the 4.8km course. Ben finished strongly in 12th place with a time of 17:20 and Tegan came through the line in 20th with 21:16.

The good fortunes of Tamworth continued into the 6.2km Under-17s race. For the men, Max Kent again showed what he can do with 7th place and a time of 20:16. In the women’s race, last year’s winner, Hannah Brayer did well to take 4th place with a time of 21:36.

For the Veteran Women, Sarah Jemmett finished the 6.2km race in a very respectable 30th place with a time 26:13.

Meanwhile, over at Newbold Revell, Charlotte and Sophie Perry were competing in the Warwickshire Cross Country Championship. In an event that combined with the Worcestershire Championships, both sisters did really well in the 5km Under-17 Women’s race. Charlotte made a well-deserved top ten finish, crossing the line in 9th place with a time of 23:57. Sophie then followed in an impressive 12th place with 25:57.

Commenting on another great day for the juniors, team manager Ben Evans said “Nobody could ask for anything more from our athletes today. I watched them coming over the finish line and it was clear they’d given everything to the cause. It’s a beautiful place to be when you’re enjoying your running and getting the results, and I hope they all went home hungry for more. The bronze medals are fitting rewards for the hard work they’ve all put in this season.

Luca’s result speaks for itself, but Jesse deserves a huge amount of credit too. He’s performed really well for the Under-11s, so I had a chat with him before the start to manage his expectations in the higher age group. Maybe he went out to prove me wrong, or he was chasing down his brother, but in any case, it was an incredible run and I’m delighted for him.”

The junior team will be back in league action again at the weekend for the penultimate fixture at Abington Park, Northampton on Sunday 13th January.

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