A dominant Rugby and Northampton AC extended their lead in the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League in Leicestershire last weekend, sealing a fourth consecutive victory in the competition.
Adam Searle’s outstanding form in the under-15 boys continued at Burbage Common, maintaining a 100 per cent record with his third league success.
Searle crossed the line in 11 minutes and 33 seconds to take first place, 12 seconds ahead of club-mate Joshua Lay in the runners-up spot.
Joe Musgrove took fourth with a time of 12.09, while Tom Hughes (12.28) and Matthew Rushton (12.45) rounded off the scoring by finishing eighth and 14th respectively, securing a 69-point victory over second-placed Solihull & Small Heath.
Molly Williams guided the under-13 girls to success with an impressive time of 11.50 giving her a nine-second victory over Tamworth’s Eve Clawley.
Georgina Woodward was just three seconds further back, securing a place on the podium and putting the team in a strong position. Zoe Morling (12.47), Holly Walker (13.01) and Gabriella Peck completed the scoring for the girls with respective finishes of 20th, 25th and 26th, ensuring a comfortable 35-point triumph over their nearest rivals Royal Sutton Coldfield AC.
The under-17 men’s team also triumphed with Jack Bond (17.16) pipping RSCAC’s Shaun Evans to the post by just one second. Ben Musgrove crossed the line in fourth with a time of 17.48 while Oskar Potomski was the team’s third and final scorer, finishing 13th in 18.40, handing R&N a narrow six-point victory over Evans’ team.
The under-17 women were not to be outdone as they produced an outstanding display to secure a hard-fought success over Birchfield Harriers.
R&N’s three scorers all placed in the top six with Kirsty Goddard grabbing a podium place, finishing third in 18.53. Ella Bromley (19.35) followed her over the line in fourth, before Lily Carmichael took sixth with a time of 19.43 to ensure a six-point victory over their nearest rivals.
Adam Caulfield fended off the big-hitters of Birchfield and Wolverhampton & Bilston to seal his third win of the league season, speeding around the course in 10.34 to earn a four-second victory.
Caulfield’s club-mates crossed the line in succession just over a minute later, with Gus Stapleton (11.41), Edward Faulds (11.44) and Ger Supple (11.46) coming 11th, 12th and 13th. Cian Hutton was the final R&N scorer, placing 17th with a time of 11.59, but it wasn’t enough to overhaul Birchfield for first place, as the Birmingham-based club triumphed in the under-13 category by 12 points.
The under-11 girls finished as runners-up to a strong Wolverhampton & Bilston team, who had three runners among the top four places. Claudia Searle produced a strong run to take fifth spot, getting around the course in exactly seven minutes, and Grace Hughes joined Searle in the top 10, grabbing eight place with a time of 7.14. Olivia Williams was 15th, 10 seconds behind Hughes, while Zoe Gardner was a further three places back in 7.29. Xcena Pasqualin finished 32nd in 7.50 to ensure R&N held off RSCAC in the battle for second.
It was the same story in the under-15 category with the girls again finishing second, this time behind Halesowen A&CC who boasted four top-10 finishers.
R&N had two athletes among that group, with Amy Walker (13.31) and Hollie Moore (13.35) placing in seventh and eighth. Poppy Carmichael crossed the line 16 seconds later, earning 12th. The scoring was completed by Charis Hayes (14.41) and Olivia Sheehan (15.02), who finished 25th and 32nd respectively.
The boys took third in the under-11 event as Noah Bennett impressed with a seventh-placed time of 6.37, while Louis Buttrick squeezed into 10th after clocking 6.40.
Jake Hope broke the seven-minute barrier to secure 22nd in a time of 6.59 and the scoring was rounded off by Louis Starr (35th) and Finbar Myers (40th) with respective times of 7.10 and 7.13.
The results mean R&N’s lead at the top of the division is increased to 2325 points ahead of round 5, which takes place next month at Perry Park, Birmingham.