Kenilworth Runners fielded their strongest-ever team in the Birmingham League Division One at Coventry on Saturday with 31 runners enabling them to secure sixth place on the day to sit ninth out of 16 teams after three events.
Paddy Roddy (29:15) led the team home, finishing 22nd in a front end dominated by Loughborough and Birmingham University students.
The other team counters were Andy Siggers (47th in 30:15), Phil Gould (53rd in 30:35), Matt Elkington (61st in 31:00), Stephen Page (66th in 31:09) and Kev Hope (67th in 31:10).
The strength of Kenilworth’s squad meant Stuart Hopkins’ proud nine-year record of being a Birmingham League counter finally came to an end, with the veteran eighth home for the club in 32:30.
Kenilworth’s B team finished third.
In the Division Two race at Crypt School in Gloucester, Leamington capitalised on a strong turnout of 18 athletes to finish first and position themselves at the top of the division with one race to go.
Having recovered from a recurring knee injury, Andrew Savery put in a strong effort to finish fifth in 29:39, with debutant Jake Watson a fine tenth in 30:20.
Callum Hanlon (30:48) was 13th, with John Knibb (26th in 31:45) pipping clubmate Garrath Schule by a second.
Jack Savage (32:41) ran strongly to complete the scoring A team in 48th place.
Leamington’s B team also produced an outstanding series of runs to finish second on the day and take the lead in their division.
The team comprised Dean Mawby (57th in 32:58), Gavin Fowler (73rd in 33:25) and Craig Bower (34:37), Brian Miller and Eoin O’Flynn who finished within three seconds of each other in 105th, 107th and 108th, respectively. Ben Rajan was 136th in 35:38 to complete the B team.
Meanwhile, Leamington C&AC’s Mel Gould demonstrated her outstanding potential at the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League at Burbage Common, producing a season’s-best performance of third in a high-quality under-11 girls’ field.
Finishing just 15 seconds behind the winner, Gould’s run set the standard for a strong day of racing across the age groups for C&AC.
The under-17 men won their team event and lead the way with one race remaining.
Dan Wilkinson finished fifth and was well supported by Kieran Chahal (8th), Henry Rawnsley (9th) and Sam Wadsworth (13th).
Leamington had another strong turnout of nine athletes in the under-13 girls’ event where Emily Lovett finished 38th to lead the team to ninth position.
The under-11 boys showed great commitment to finish 13th, with Ruairc Winston 60th.
Following his fifth place at under-13 level in the Warwickshire County Championships last week, Kenilworth Runners’ Cameron Williams-Stein finished an excellent third at Burbage Common.
Williams-Stein along with Nathan Chapple (28th), Billy Doxey (51st), Jacob Watson (54th) and Harry Miller (83rd)helped Kenilworth’s under-13 team to fifth place.
Selected others (Kenilworth Runners unless stated):
Under-11 girls: 58, Imogen Morris (Leamington C&AC); 76, Tabitha Lunn; 82, Florence Lunn.
Under-13 girls: 43, Rosie Cale (Leamington C&AC); 44, Molly Minshull (Leamington C&AC); 48, Amber Ballard (Leamington C&AC); 65, Alice Parsons (Leamington C&AC); 66, Anna Lovett (Leamington C&AC); 87, Lucy Green (Leamington C&AC); 106, Maddy Becker (Leamington C&AC); 113, Jana Becker (Leamington C&AC).
Under-15 girls: 52, Larissa Hurt (Leamington C&AC); 77, Ciara Winston (Leamington C&AC).
Under-17 women: 21, Molly Gibbins (Leamington C&AC); 31, Bella Doxey.
Under-11 boys: 70, Harry Bailey; 92, Samuel Morrey (Leamington C&AC) ; 93, Diarmuid Winston (Leamington C&AC).
Under-13 boys: 53, Samuel Lambert (Leamington C&AC); 79, Joe Quinney (Leamington C&AC).
Under-15 boys: 34, Felix Lunn; 42, Oliver Lunn; 50, Daniel Chahal (Leamington C&AC); 60, Adam Houghton; 72, Oliver Flippance.
Under-17 men: 42, Ryan Baker.