Tamworth AC’s juniors wrapped up their year of competition in the second fixture of the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League at Perry Park on Sunday. Apart from one particularly boggy section, the course ran much faster than the unforgiving Warley Woods fixture in November, and the athletes took full advantage.
First up as always were the Under-17 Women. With sister Sophie unable to run on the day, Charlotte Perry was left to carry the flag for Tamworth. She finished the 4km race with a time of 8:31 in 15th place; four places better than her last league outing.
The Under-11 Boys once again fielded a strong team bubbling with enthusiasm. Thomas Beales again made it home first for Tamworth; completing the 1.6km course in 12th place with an excellent time of 6:32. Dominic Harper ran Thomas close to the end, finishing just a second behind on 6:33 in 13th place. Jack Dolan also wasn’t far behind in 18th place with 6:41, followed by brother Oliver on 7:01 in 32nd place. George Haddock had another solid run to take the all-important fifth scoring position with a time of 7:47 in 68th place. Thomas Ladkin and Ellis Jones had to be separated by the finish line camera; both clocking 8:08 with Thomas given the decision in 91st place and Ellis taking 92nd. Carson Scott followed very close behind in 93rd place on 8:10, completing an excellent set of results for Tamworth. The Under-11 Boys matched their previous result last month to secure 5th place again on the day.
Tamworth warmly welcomed Reinis Baltins to the team for the Under-17 Men’s race. With Ben Edwards missing, Reinis was straight in at the deep end running solo on his debut for the team. He took the pressure well and put in an excellent opening run of 18:49; finishing the 4.8km race in 25th place amongst some very stiff competition.
The performance of the day undoubtedly came in the Under-11 Girls 1.6km race. Elizabeth Fleming was away quickly from the gun and led the race right up to the final bend where she dropped into second place under relentless pressure from Tessa Parkin of Stratford upon Avon AC. Elizabeth’s outstanding performance and time of 6:39 puts her right up in contention for a medal at the end of the season. Hannah Beales was next home for Tamworth in 17th place with a time of 7:24, followed by a strong run from Ella Moss in 34th place with 7:46. Isla Rogers came next in 51st with 8:10, and Grace Hirst completed the scoring five with a hugely improved performance and a time of 8:56 in 77th place. The girls team shows great promise, taking 6th place in the team category standings on the day; two places higher than at Warley Woods in November.
Oliver Goldsworthy was another solo Tamworth athlete in the Under-15 Boys race; running well over the 3.2km course to take 45th place with a time of 13:43.
The Under-13 Girls team were up next in their 2.5km race, with Jessica Salt first over the line on 10:54; breaking into the top 10 in 9th place. Chloe Sharman ran into difficulties during the race but battled bravely on to finish well in 16th place with a time of 11:07. Robyn Lee completed the line-up for Tamworth, coming in on 14:47 and taking 90th place. Despite their depleted numbers, the Under-13 Girls team still took a very credible 9th place on the day.
Joseph Gorst led the line for the Under-13 Boys; completing the 2.5km course in 74th place with a time of 12:09. Francis White showed a steady improvement on his last outing to take 78th place with 12:37 on the clock. Ben Godber was close behind in 79th place with 12:42 and William Newman finished things off with 15:31 in 87th place.
The Under-15 Girls waited patiently for their 3.2km race as the rain started to fall at the end of the day’s timetable. Lottie McLaren once again showed her class with another 13th place finish and a time of 13:48. Phoebe O’Connor also put in another fine performance to take 23rd place on 14:12, followed by Natasha Lee in 28th place on 14:28. Tegan Vickery was hot on Natasha’s heels in 31st place with a time of 14:33 and Daisy Smith completed the scoring five with 15:34 in 54th place. The results gave the girls another great haul of points to take 5th place in their category on the day.
In the overall standings the Tamworth AC team claimed another excellent top half finish with 10th place on the day; dropping one place from 9th in the series after two fixtures. Team Manager, Ben Evans reflected on the day’s results and said “We’ve had a few athletes missing in key age groups and I was expecting that to hit us hard in the points scoring. We seem to have ridden it well though, with everyone in the team pulling together and doing the club proud. Elizabeth Fleming in particular was outstanding today, and I’m absolutely delighted to see such a great crop of younger athletes coming through the club. Hopefully we’ll see more of our athletes back in the New Year to build on this and make a final push at the end of the season.”
The next WMYACCL meeting will be at the Pingles Stadium, Nuneaton on Sunday 12th January.