Rugby & Northampton AC juniors confirm status as the midlands’ No.1

Rugby & Northampton AC’s juniors confirmed their position as the best team in the midlands after a winning the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League title for the fourth year on the trot.

There were strong performances in all age groups with two athletes picking up the overall age group title and many others in the top 10 placings at the end of the series.

R&N team director Dave Goddard was delighted with the success of the team and said: “This season, the athletes have encountered some horrible conditions and competed in ankle-deep mud, rain and snow, but hopefully, now that the series is over, all athletes can look back and say, that was actually fun.”

The under-11 girls team were just pipped into second place by Sutton Coldfield by 11 points.

The girls were competitive and gave a huge effort over the five league appearances with Abigail Pearce being the overall champion, finishing second in four races and sixth in the last race.

From the first race to the final race, the under-11 boys performed outstandingly well, narrowly missing out on winning their age group for the third successive year by just 124 points to Birchfield Harriers. Ben Hope was the top R&N runner in the series, finishing third overall.

Rugby & Northampton’s under-13 girls were the winners of the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League this year.

Top six athletes for the series were Poppy Carmichael (15th), Georgia Willix (16th), Anghara Wylie (21st), Emer Wintch (31st) Amy Walker(33rd) Olivia White (40th).

R&N had a strong boys under-13 cross country team this season.

In total they fielded 23 boys over the five west midland cross country meets, achieving the highest number of points as a team with a total of 4,788 points and winning the team title by 129 points ahead of Halesowen.

Four boys featured in the top 10 overall results with Adam Searle taking third, Rhys James fifth, Matthew Rushton seventh and Finn Hutton 10th.

Kirsty Goddard led the way for the under-15 girls, taking the overall series title.

Goddard has looked good all season and in five races has secured three third-place finished a second and a win at Perry Barr on Sunday.

Ella Bromley also ran a great series finishing third overall in her first year at under-15 level.

Ben Musgrove ran superbly over five races for the under-15 boys, consistently leading the team home to finish fifth overall in a competitive field.

Solid performances byHadyn Arnall earned him 14th in the overall standing.

R&N under-17 women started the season missing two key athletes but the strength in depth of the squad produced a third place overall in the five-race series.

Bethan Goddard finished in fourth place overall and won her last league race in the age group comfortably.

A further six athletes – Genevieve Roberts, Becky Pinto, Tilly Lea, Katy Clubb, Alison Inwood and Sian Williams –completed all five races with only 59 points separating them in the overall rankings.

The under-17 men delivered their top performance in the league so far to finish second overall behind a strong Birchfield team.

George Goodwin was never outside the top four and in his last ever race in the league before progressing to the senior team, almost produced a win.

Goodwin has an outstanding record having competed in every WMYACCL race for the past five years and he finished second overall.

There were also solid performances from Harry Hughes (joint 18th), Jack Murphy (joint 18th) and Tom Charteress (24th).

Newcomer Oliver Munns improved every race over the series and promises more to come, finishing in overall 14th place.