Saturday 21 October saw the first of the traditional cross country relay events of the winter season. Held at Wolverhampton in bright but very windy conditions the event marks the start of the 2017/2018 cross country season. With teams from across the midland region competing for their clubs good competition across the age groups was expected despite being programmed so early after the end of the track season and at the start of the half term weekend.
Stoke fielded three teams in the under 13 girls category, 1 team in the under 15 girls and two teams of senior men.
First underway were the under 13 girls with 3 legs of 3k over a wet and windy course. Aria Abberley-Barker spear headed our ‘A’ team quickly establishing herself at the head of the race. She maintained a strong pace throughout the leg crossing the line in first place in a time of 12:19 for the leg. Katie Williams running for the ‘B’ team returned in 4th place (13:03) within 3 seconds of second and Lauren Guderis for our ‘C’ team in 9th (14:15).
Niamh Bould took up the batton for the ‘A’ team covering the 3k leg in 13:21 to maintain a healthy lead for the team and handed over to Libby Mae Andrzejewski. Libby battled hard (13:19) but an outstanding run from the Charnwood 3rd leg runner saw our ‘A’ team take a very creditable silver in this their first cross country competition. Millie Holding (14:10) and Megan Dunn (13:53) ran consistently to bring the ‘B’ team home in 5th place with Phoebe Dawson (14:30) and Courtney Warren (14:28) giving the ‘C’ team 10th. Aria was rewarded with the fastest lap of the day with Katie taking the 5th fastest lap.
The results bode well for the future as the majority of these youngsters are in their first year in this age group and have quickly formed into a very promising squad.
Our under 15 girls team of Amy Condliffe (14:09), Abigail Jones (13:26) and Maddison Evans (14:10) complete the same 3k course in 41:45 for 6th place finish.
In the senior mens race two teams of 4 took part with our ‘A’ team of Jamie Arnold, Dean Richardson, James Condlyffe and Korey Hallet-Blanch recording 1:28:00 for 5th and the ‘B’ team of William Neil, Carl Platt, Chris Gidlow and Dave Bethell recording 1:29:14 for 8th place.
The season moves on to the NSCCL on 28 October at Parkhall and the National Cross Country Relays on 04 November at Mansfield.