ATHLETICS: Rugby & Northampton claim Midland Championship medals

SO CLOSE - Adam Searle finished fourth in the under-17 race
SO CLOSE - Adam Searle finished fourth in the under-17 race

Rugby & Northampton AC were among the medals in an impressive display at the weekend’s Midland Cross Country Championships in Loughborough.

Adam Caulfield of Rugby & Northampton took home the U15 boys title in the Prestwold Hall event, covering the four-kilometre course in 12 minutes and 58 seconds to edge out Charnwood’s Ethan O’Shea by six seconds.

For good measure, the youngster picked up a silver medal in the team race with backup from Ben Hope (11th - 13:53), Cian Hutton (27th - 14:20) and Myles Martin (52nd - 15:13).

Adam Searle won the very same title two years ago and, now in his first year in the U17 age group, was just four seconds away from adding another medal to his tally.

Searle claimed fourth position in 18:54 over 6k, but that did help the R&N squad in gaining another silver medal. Joe Musgrove produced a fine run to secure 13th place in 19:56, and he was followed by Matthew Chronicle in 16th (20:03) and Muss-Ab Hassan in 28th (20:17).

A third silver was achieved by the U13 Girls team when Claudia Searle led them home, finishing 10th with a time of 14:02 over the 3k course. Her medal-winning team-mates were Olivia Williams (15th - 14:15), Alice Bates (27th - 14:45) and Elspeth Unitt (52nd - 15:41).

It was bronze for the U15 Girls over 4k, with Molly Williams finishing in 19th place on 15:44 to lead home yet another medal-winning squad. Georgina Woodward (27th - 16:05), Holly Walker (29th - 16:07) and Isabelle Ripon (31st - 16:10) ensured a place on the podium.

Rebecca Leadbeater is the R&N Junior Womens club champion for the second time, after clinching ninth in the U20 Women’s 5k race in 20:44.

Over the same distance, Amy Walker recorded 19:53 to finish 10th in the U17 Women’s section and her club colleagues included Olivia Sheehan (45th - 22:19), Hollie Moore (46th - 22:23) and Lauren Nash (58th - 25:07).

Aidan O’Brien crossed the line in 12th spot, recording a time of 12:59 in the U13 Boys event over the 3k route. Louis Buttrick was next over in 13:30 for 26th, and hot on his heels were Lewis Panter (31st - 13:43) and Michael Corbett (40th - 13:59).

Ben Musgrove became the Junior Mens club champion when he finished 21st in the 8k U20 Mens race in 33:05, with Joe Childs recording 36:38 for 35th.

In the Senior Mens competition, William Gardner became only the second R&N athlete to make the top 30 when he placed 25th in 53:24 over a distance of 14.4k. In doing so, Gardner became the club champion for the first time.

Veteran Paul Birch was the next man over the line in 57:29, and completing the six-man team were Daniel Williams (139th - 61:37), Nigel Roberts (193rd - 65:01), Adrian White (276th - 70:54) and John Saw (355th - 81:48).

Also this weekend, the club’s athletes were competing in multiple indoor events at Lee Valley, Loughborough and Sheffield.

In the latter, Ellena Ruddock broke the British F40 indoor record over 60 metres, the multiple medalist sprinting home in 7.96 seconds, while there was plenty of success to report from the Students Open in Loughborough.

Caleb Downes recorded a 60m sprint time of 6.93 in the U23M event, while Brittany Wood and Milan Clues impressed over the hurdles. Wood crossed the line in 9.64, while Clues - competing in the age group for the first time - set a personal best time of 9.89. Abbie Draper, new to the U17W category, picked up a PB of 9.80.

Last but not least, at the London U20/Senior Games, Zachary Stapleton had a good season opener recording 6.99 over the 60m sprint, with Simone Ager also starting well - she was timed at 8:03 in the 60m sprint, and added a long jump distance of 5.10 metres.