After their first league fixture was cancelled in October, the young athletes of Tamworth AC finally kicked off their cross country season at the national relays on Saturday.
The classic cross country venue at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield was made particularly challenging by continuous rain, and the large number of athletes taking part soon churned up the course.
A good turnout for Tamworth saw teams of three competing in both the boys and girls events for the Under-13 and Under-15 categories, with each athlete running a 2km leg.
First up were the Under-13 boys with Joseph Gorst kicking off the first leg and crossing the line with a time of 8:54. Joseph handed over to William Newman who ran 10:47 before Francis White finished off for the team in his first appearance for the club with a time of 9:56. The Boys finished in 75th place overall; a very respectable achievement amongst such tough competition.
Next came the Under-13 girls race, in which Tamworth fielded two teams. Chloe Sharman ran an impressive first leg to come in near the front of the field for the ‘A’ team with a time of 8:09. Kirsten McLaren then followed with a time of 9:11 and Jessica Salt finished the final leg on 8:37 to take a remarkable 30th place overall for the girls. For the Under-13 Girls ‘B’ team, Freya Cole put in a superb first leg with a time of 8:37. Layla Burgess ran a time of 12:07 for the second leg and Charlotte Evans clocked 13:01 in the third to finish in 84th place overall.
The Under-15 girls team took 69th place in their event with Phoebe O’Connor running 8:33 in the opening leg, Tegan Vickery clocking 9:21 in the second and Natasha Lee 9:20 in the third.
For the Under-15 Boys, Aedan Mason gave everything he had to clock an excellent first leg of 7:52. Toby Wooton followed with 8:26 in the second leg, and Oliver Goldsworthy ran 8:58 to finish and take 71st place for the team amongst some incredibly strong performances from the top clubs in the country.
Team Manager Ben Evans was full of praise for the Tamworth athletes “This was the first taste of national competition for some of them today and they’ve all done really well. The conditions made it tough going, but I hope they’ve all learned from the experience and want more of it in the years to come. We’re back in league action shortly and I think we’ve got a great bunch of youngsters who can do well for themselves and the club”