Grant bidding for double in Northants Cross Country Championships

DOUBLE DELIGHT? Rory Grant (left)
DOUBLE DELIGHT? Rory Grant (left)

The last three winners of the men’s race will clash on Saturday at Abington Park when Rugby & Northampton AC host the Northants Cross Country Championships.

Last year’s winner Rory Grant, now representing Birchfield Harriers, will be attempting to become the first junior to win the men’s race twice, but he will be up against two men who have won six titles between them.

Mathew Almond the 2009 and 2010 winner will return this year to go for a hat-trick and he leads a strong Kettering Town Harriers team, while Tom Bark the four-time champion from Corby will try to emulate Hughie Boyle from 24 years ago and win five senior titles.

Corby will also be looking for their third consecutive victory in the team race, a feat they have never before achieved.

R&N have never been defeated in the men’s race at Abington Park, but as well as Corby and Kettering, there will be teams from Wellingborough, Silson Joggers and Team Balancise to contend with.

Their best individual hope will come from junior Jacob Allen who moves into the age group this year after two victories in the under-17 category.

Sian Edwards will defend her title in the senior women’s race. The 24-year-old, who now lives in Swansea, will also be going for her hat-trick after first winning in 2010.

She will once again have opposition from Birchfield’s Nicole Roberts.

Rugby & Northampton will be relying on club champion Jo Pulsford and last year’s under-17 winner Sarah Bennett to try to clinch their 20th team title as Phoenix/R&N.

In the under’17 men’s race R&N’s Tom Charteress will be hoping to turn last year’s bronze into gold, while Kayli Walford of Kettering hopes to go one better than her silver from 12 months ago in the u-17 women’s event.

Defending his title in the u-15 boys race will be Kettering’s Josh Cara, while Charlotte Murphy could be a good bet in the corresponding girls race, representing Campion School.

Both under-11 champions from 2012 have moved up to the u-13 category, which sees the R&N pairing of Cole Mason and Amy Walker going for another title. In their absence, this opens the way for Corby’s Morgan Potter in the u-11 boys race to try and add gold to last year’s silver with R&N’s Abigail Pearce trying to do likewise in the u-11 girls after bronze in 2012.

The first race starts at 12 Noon with the final race, the senior men at 1.35pm.