ATHLETICS: Caulfield leads the way for Rugby & Northampton at national championships

Amy Walker finished 54th in the Under-17s raceAmy Walker finished 54th in the Under-17s race
Amy Walker finished 54th in the Under-17s race
Rugby & Northampton produced a strong turnout at the English National Cross Country Championships over the weekend, with 52 athletes representing the club at the Nottingham event.

The highest placing of the day came from Midland champion Adam Caulfield, who finished in 20th place in the Under-15 Boys’ race. He recorded a time of 15 minutes and nine seconds over the four-and-a-half kilometre Wollaton Park course.

Ben Hope was the next across the line in 139th spot with a time of 16:41, followed by Tobias Heayns (207th – 17:22) and Cian Hutton (248th – 17:45) to hand the squad 18th position in the team race.

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The best team performance came from the U13 Boys who finished seventh overall, with Noah Bennett leading home the quartet in a 3k time of 13:02, securing 27th place. Aidan O’Brien (51st – 13:17), Louis Buttrick (75th – 13:30) and Lewis Panter (176th – 14:07) completed the team.

The U17 Women were one athlete short of completing a team, but Northants champion and Midland top-10 athlete Amy Walker finished in a creditable 54th spot, recording a time of 21:15 over the 5k route.

Walker’s club colleagues Hollie Moore and Olivia Sheehan finished in 214th and 222nd respectively, with times of 24:50 and 24:56.

Adam Searle recorded 22:24 over 6k in the U17 Men’s competition, which put the county champion in 70th position, and he had back-up from Joe Musgrove (114th – 23:09), Matthew Chronicle (116th – 23:10) and Finn Hutton (193rd – 24:06), which put the squad in 12th place.

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The U20 Men had to cover a 10k distance and Ben Musgrove led home R&N with a time of 37:18. the club champion finishing in 103rd spot.

Haydn Arnall, who has made a return to the sport, finished 154th in 39:16, and a good team performance was completed by Joe Childs (195th – 42:39) and Oliver Munns (202nd – 44:02) for an excellent 15th place.

For the U20 Women, junior ladies club champion Rebecca Leadbeater finished a superb set of races this season by placing 72nd over the 6k course, coming home in 27:06.

The two female age groups able to turn out a full team were the U15 and U13s, and Molly Williams claimed 97th spot in the first of those categories with a 4k time of 18:19.

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Abigail Pearce followed Williams over the line in 18:48 for 150th, and the team finished 21st overall thanks to the contributions of Isabelle Ripon (155th – 18:50) and Holly Walker (223rd – 19:25).

The U13 Girls’ team finished just one place lower and the 3k distance was completed by Claudia Searle (79th) in 14:38 to lead the R&N squad home. Just six seconds behind was Olivia Williams in 100th, before Alice Bates (184th – 15:21) and Elspeth Unitt (279th – 16:04) rounded off the scoring.

The Senior Men were led home by Robert Male for the second year running, a time of 45:52 over 12k handed him 251st position.

The team finished 68th overall in a huge field, and the six-man scoring team also consisted of Joe Lantsbery (51:32 – 705th), National debutant Jonathan Taylor (720th – 51:43), Brendan Moen (746th – 52:06), Nigel Roberts (832nd – 53:00) and Vince Carroll (1122nd – 57:04).

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The England Athletics Indoor Championships also took place at the weekend, and Eleanor Broome was one of R&N’s athletes in action at the the event, held at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

A GB and England representative, Broome took bronze in a tense U20 long jump contest, jumping 6.10 metres and finishing just five centimetres behind gold medal winner Holly Mills in a competition of high standards.

There were strong performances around the track too, with R&N duo Aidan Leeson and Josh Faulds both reaching the semi-finals of the U20M 400m.

Faulds registered a personal best of 50.16 in his heat, and Leeson narrowly missed out on a place in the Final despite registering a very competitive 48.87 in his semi-final.

Williams claims fourth in nationals

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EMILY WILLIAMS claimed an excellent fourth place in the English National Cross Country Championships.

The event was held at Wollaton Park in Nottingham, and the course was a testing one with plenty of standing water.

Running in the under-15 girls race, Northampton School for Girls student Williams, who was celebrating her 15th birthday, enjoyed a terrific start, getting herself into the leading pack in the challenging uphill start.

As the race progressed a trio of athletes managed to open a small gap on Williams at the start of the second 2km lap and eventually the medals were decided within this breakaway pack.

Williams, who was representing Kettering Town Harriers, was a comfortable fourth in 16:31.