Leamington C&AC showed their continued strength in depth at the Warwickshire County Cross Country Championships on Saturday with both the men and ladies taking the gold trophy for the masters’ team and the seniors picking up silver and bronze.
In addition to the team prizes, Kelly Edwards was awarded gold for being first masters’ lady home with clubmate Monica Williamson second. Captain Phil Gould took silver for the men’s masters race with clubmate Paul Andrew in third.
Racing alongside the Worcester Championships at Warley Woods in Smethwick, Leamington turned out in force under the guidance and cajoling of team manager Jimmy Atkins.
“The club has seen a large uptake in the past couple of years and it is nice to see the club growing in number and stature,” said Atkins.
“Everyone counts and the athletes have a really positive team spirit.”
The ladies’ race consisted of three laps around the park involving a long, steady climb and Edwards was the fifth Warwickshire runner and first county master in 23min 11sec.
Williamson was third master in 24:10, with Jenny Jeeves fourth in category to complete the scoring trio in 24:49.
The senior ladies were boosted by new recruit Lauren Woodwiss who was ninth senior in 25:04, with Megan McDonald (25:33) 12th and Courtney Thornberry (26:52) 14th.
The men ran a longer lap than their female team-mates which they had to do battle with four times.
Callum Hanlon took it in his stride, however, running well to finish seventh senior overall in 32:05.
Dom Hull and Jamie Langley came into the finish straight shoulder to shoulder with Hull just pipping Langley to the line to take 20th in 35:15, with his clubmate awarded the same time in 21st.
Jack Savage (36:08) made up the silver medal seniors’ team in 26th position.
Gould took advantage of a fall and subsequent injury to Andrew to claim second place in the masters’ race behind Royal Sutton Coldfield AC’s Oliver Harradence in 33:51, with Andrew holding on well to claim third in 34:21.
Tom Foulerton was just a second back in fourth, with Richard Merrell tenth master in 35:51.
Kenilworth Runners were well represented, with Patrick Roddy running an excellent race to finish sixth men’s senior in the Warwickshire Championships in 31:53.
Their ladies’ masters’ team were runners-up behind Leamington, with Laura Pettifer (6th in 25:14), Stef Lunn (15th in 26:39) and Rachel Miller (16th in 26:45) counting, while Mellissa Kennedy (26:57) finished 16th in the seniors’ race.
Their masters’ men’s team finished fifth while the ladies’ senior team were seventh.
Spa Striders, depleted by the rescheduled Telford 10k, were the eighth-placed senior ladies’ team courtesy of Clare Hinton (29:02), Amanda Wiggins (30:50) and Lorraine Parsons (31:10).
Young athletes from Leamington C&AC and Kenilworth Runners were in action at Warley Woods ahead of the senior races and there were several medal near-misses.
C&AC’s Kieran Chahal ran confidently from the start to finish an excellent fourth in the under-20 event in 20min 40sec. Dean Mawby gave strong support for eighth in 21:28, while Kenilworth Runners’ Stanley Doxey (21:08) was sixth.
Kenilworth’s under-15 boys’ team finished just outside the medals, with top-ten finishers Billy Doxey (15:33) and Sam Croutchley (15:49) joined by Ryan Hill (16:32).
Leamington C&AC’s under-13 girls’ team also finished a good fourth on their 3k course thanks to a strong run from Mel Gould (9th), well backed up by Eva Fitzpatrick (14th), Hannah Cooper (20th) and Megan Marsh (33rd).
The only medal of the day came for C&AC’s Cian McKeaney in the under-17 men’s event.
Undeterred by stepping up to the 6k course and running alongside the under-20s, McKeaney ran superbly for the bronze medal in 21:13.
Dom Priest finished strongly for seventh in 21:54 and Sam Lubrano worked hard for 25th in 27:00 as the team came home a place outside the top three.
Kenilworth’s Bella Doxey was sixth in the under-20 women’s race in 21:57.