It was a weekend to remember for Rugby & Northampton AC, who dominated the Northants Cross Country Championships at Abington Park in Northampton, coming away with 15 titles out of the 22 on offer.
In the Senior Men’s event, which was successfully defended by Kettering Town Harriers’ Jonathan Goringe, William Gardner duplicated his bronze medal from last year in 33:30 and had the honour of leading home R&N, who won the team competition for the 20th time as either Phoenix or R&N, dating back to their first victory in 1985 at the same venue.
The scoring six consisted of Gardner, Dominic Jones (fourth - 33:47), Phil Melling (sixth - 34:45), Robert Male (10th - 35:22), Adnan Haq (13th - 35:58) and Ben Musgrove (14th - 36:35). Musgrove took silver in the U20 Men’s race behind new champion Edward Cannell of KTH (35:42), with defending champion Jack Hope (KTH) in third on 36:47.
R&N’s Adam Searle had a great win over Kettering’s Fynn Batkin in the U17 Men’s race over 6k, finishing 25 seconds ahead when he crossed the line in 19:51. Joe Musgrove (20:46) and Muss-Ab Hassan (20:48) in third and fourth ensured the club took the team title.
The host club had more success courtesy of Amy Walker in the U17 Women’s event. Her time of 23:50 for 6k was the biggest winning margin of the day, leaving the Corby pairing of Eloise Coombs (24:54) and Selina Scott (25:17) trailing in her wake.
Expected victories came in both the U15 races, with Adam Caulfield of R&N recording 16:50 over the 5k route to lead the boys home by 30 seconds. The team triumph was secured with Ben Hope (17:59) and Tobias Heayns (19:34) closely behind in fourth and sixth.
Schools International representative Emily Williams of KTH and Northampton School for Girls won the Girls race with a time of 19:14, but she was followed home by the winning team of Rugby & Northampton’s Molly Williams (second - 20:10), Holly Walker (third - 20:49) and Lucy Stevens (fourth - 21:00).
The host club also swept the board in the U13 and U11 events, winning all eight titles.
A clean sweep of medals was achieved in the U13 Boys 3k race when Noah Bennett clinched the title in 9:34, narrowly ahead of Louis Buttrick (9:42) and Aidan O’Brien (9:44).
Claudia Searle won the corresponding Girls race in 10:10 and was backed up in the team by sixth and seventh-placed Olivia Williams and Alice Bates, who recorded respective times of 10:53 and 11:13.
The U11 Boys favourite Arthur Tilt duly won his event in 6:01, from Kettering’s Lucas Rogers on 6:22. The winning R&N team over the 2k course was completed by Lewis Robson in third (6:39) and Louis Starr (fourth – 6:46).
Alice Bennett made no mistake in winning the Girls event by 18 seconds from Silson’s Ella Darby in 6:37, with bronze medal winner Olivia Willison (7:01) and Amelia Cebak just one second behind in fourth, sealing the team victory and capping a fantastic event for R&N.
Silson runners shine at County Championships
Saturday saw Silson AC storm the County Cross Country Championships at Abington Park in Northampton.
A terrific number of runners turned up to race against the big clubs of Northamptonshire, on what was a tough and longer than usual course. There were so many great Silson performances on the day.
Luke Harris (U15) was the only Silson runner in this age category and had to run a greater distance than normal in this race. This didn’t hinder Luke’s performance whatsoever, he looked strong all the way round and crossed the line in fifth place.
Ella Darby (U11) and Emily Hinton (U13) won individual silver medals for their efforts in their respective races.
The Silson U11 Girls team (Ella Darby, Amber Salkeld and Eryn Haynes) and U13 Girls team (Emily Hinton, Katy Mannix and Abbie Burnett) each came away with team silver medals.
The tremendous spirit in the U13 Boys team (Edward Johnson, Liam Cowley and Jake Storer) won them a team bronze.
The Silson ladies team (Gemma Hinton, Claire Corcoran, Fiona Storer and Susan Gilkes) all proved what strong stuff they were made of when they took on the new 10K distance. They left nothing on the course and finished smiling!