Tamworth AC was well represented across the counties at the weekend with athletes competing at the annual cross country championships in Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire.
Blessed with good weather on the day, the Staffordshire championships had to be relocated from Stafford Common due to heavy rainfall before Christmas leaving the ground waterlogged and unsuitable for running. The alternative venue at Betley Court Farm near Crewe is new to the cross country circuit this season and is rapidly becoming a favourite with athletes.
The Under-13 girls and boys set off together over 3km of undulating and scenic farmland. Jessica Salt continued her excellent season in her new age group to finish in 4th place with a time of 14:03; securing her place at the Inter-Counties championships in March. Chloe Purkis started strong, but despite struggling and feeling unwell, refused to drop out of the race and finished with sheer determination.
Dominic Harper, having just turned 11 in December, and chomping at the bit to make his championship debut impressed with 10th place and a time of 14:29; putting him on the inter-counties reserve list. Joseph Gorst followed in 14thplace on 15:11 and Ben Godber in 21st with 16:36. The combined placings were enough to clinch the bronze medals for the team event; a just reward for three athletes who have consistently worked hard this season.
In the Under-15 4km race, Natasha Lee also took an inter-counties reserve place with 10th place in the Girls event and a time of 19:59. Tegan Vickery ran another solid race to finish in 18th place with 21:05. For the Under-15 Boys, Oliver Goldsworthy ran solo again to take 19th place with 19:12.
The 6km Women’s race saw Hannah Brayer finish in 23rd place and as 4th Under-20 with a time of 28:17. Sarah Jemmett was 43rd and 19th in the Veteran Women placings with 33:22.
For the Men, David Brayer finished the 3 lap 10km course in 40:14 to take 58th place and 17th in the Veteran Men. Max Kent continued his transition from the junior ranks this season with a 72nd place finish and 10th for the Under-20 Men with a time of 41:28.
The Warwickshire championships was once again combined with the Worcestershire county event at the infamously tough Warley Woods course. Aedan Mason ran in the 4km Under-15 Boys event and did well to take 24th place with a time of 15:26.
For the Under-17 Women, Charlotte and Sophie Perry once again paired up for the 5km race. Both did very well with Charlotte in 6th place with a time of 19:16 and Sophie in 10th on 20:51.
Burbage Common in Hinckley played host to the Leicestershire & Rutland Championships where William Newman ran in the 3km Under-13 Boys race; finishing in 26th place with a time of 22 minutes. For the Senior Men, Stephen Parkes continued his return from injury to take 12th place with a time of 40:13 over the 10km race.
This coming weekend will see the Tamworth Senior Men head to Stoke-on-Trent to resume their quest for promotion back to Division 2 of the Birmingham Cross Country League. The Women go to Coombe Abbey Park, a new venue near Coventry, for their Midland League Division 2 fixture and the juniors will also be back in league action at Nuneaton on Sunday.