Dominic Jones made a phenomenal Birmingham Cross Country League debut in the Division One meeting hosted at Sandwell Valley on Saturday.
The 23-year-old led Rugby & Northampton in 14th with an impressive 31 minutes and 47 seconds, following a battle with team-mate William Gardner (31:56) who was nine seconds behind in 19th spot.
Adnan Haq clinched his best finish in this competition, 73rd, with a time of 34:08, while junior Ben Musgrove (34:39) was the next to finish – in 87th overall and 17th in the under-20 standings.
Rounding off the six scoring athletes were Robert Male (35:01) and veteran Mike Andrews (35:50) in 99th and 120th respectively.
The team secured ninth place in the A team standings which helped the club move up into 12th overall. Meanwhile, the B team finished 12th on the day and now stand 12th in the overall standings thanks to a strong run from Daniel Williams (37:22) in 156th.
U20 runner Joe Childs (37:56) recorded a personal best position of 171st – 29th in the U20 division – and just two seconds and one place adrift was Jonathan Taylor in 37:58.
The B team was completed by Nigel Roberts (38:09) in 177th, 196th-place finisher Vince Carroll (38:54) and Joe Lantsbery (39:20) in 201st.
Three other athletes turned out for the club with Max Chippington (39:24) finishing 202nd, Ian Wright (46:39) with a best of 260th and John Saw (51:24) four places further back.
On the same day, Rugby & Northampton competed in Round Two of the Midland Women’s League at Stratford on Avon with another depleted side.
Three weeks ago, in Round One, R&N finished ninth with a team compiled of a junior and several masters athletes.
This past Saturday, R&N were again under-strength as they claimed 12th place.
First across the line was Rebecca Leadbetter, who completed the course in an impressive 28 minutes and six seconds to claim 34th place.
Following the junior over the line was Angela Copson (32:09); the 69-year-old world record holder sealed a very impressive 75th.
Finishing within five places of each other were masters pair Catherin Williams (33:24) and Minerva Chesser (34:10) for 87th and 92nd respectively, and completing the team were Tilly Lea (36:16) in 107th and Gemma Knight (36:24) one place further back.
Zara is the Pick of the bunch for Silson
Round three of the Chiltern Cross Country League took place on Saturday at Stopsley Common in Luton.
Silson AC were out in force once again to brave the chilly conditions and have some fun running around muddy fields with some hills thrown in along the way.
There were a few notable ones with Zara Pickwick (U11 girls) who had a little wobble on the way to the start line – it’s scary enough being a ‘grown up’ on the start line, imagine what it is like for a junior runner – but she was brave, got herself to the start line and then ran her socks off and finished with a sprint and a smile.
Edward Johnson (U13) and Frieda Keegan (U15) ran their debut cross country races for Silson, while Amy Jelley finished as a point scorer for the first time for the Silson ladies team.
Silson AC prides themselves on being a ‘Not for Profit’ club, which enables them to provide their members with value for money and also allows them to support local good causes.
This year the club was delighted to be able to present DISC with a cheque for £300. DISC stands for Disability Inclusive Sports Club (http://www.disc-northants.org/) and is a voluntary group, run by parents and carers of people with disabilities for the enjoyment and benefit of its members.
The contribution from Silson AC will help towards some of the running costs of this fantastic club. On Sunday, several Silson members went along with Brian Keers (Silson’s chairman) to hand over the cheque to DISC’s chair, Dean Dixon, and to sample DISC’s Christmas sports session.
Also on Sunday, several Silson (senior and junior) Santas took on the various Santa Runs around the County.
Georgia Corcoran (u13) flourished in her Santa suit at the Nether Heyford event, when she was the first runner back for the one-mile distance and was awarded a trophy, in addition to her finisher’s medal.
Silson’s Julie Long and her son Alfie took part in the Run for Chocolate 5k Fun Run at Emberton Park.
This unique event encourages its participants to walk, jog or run the 5k distance and their reward will be a steaming cup of hot chocolate at the end. Alfie obviously couldn’t wait for his reward as he had a storming run which saw him finish first!