Saturday 04 November and it’s time for the first of the big races of the 2017/18 cross country season. On a mild Saturday morning at Berry Hill Park Mansfield with the course in excellent condition expectations were high for a series of high quality races. The Stoke contingent consisted of seven women teams across the age groups and one senior mens team.
Performance of the day went to senior women Kate Holt who finished in first place on leg one returning a time of 9:37.85 for the 3K course, the fastest time of the day even allowing for the 50m deficit between leg one and the other two legs. A great start to the 2017/18 for Kate who is looking stronger than ever this year. Kate was ably supported by Sarah Lovewell (10:57.9) to hold the team in 5th place at the end of leg 2 and Louise Dawson (11:38.95) to bring the team home in a very creditable 12th place out of 128 teams finishing the race. Louise did a tremendous job considering she witnessed her daughter Phoebe suffer a serious injury necessitating hospitalisation earlier in the day.
In the senior mens race Alex Brecker put the Stoke team into 3rd place with a 15:25 clocking over the 5k course. Dave Sheldon maintained the 3rd place position with a 16:27.35 run on leg 2, Sha Jannally finished in 15th place clocking 17:48.25 and on the final leg Korey Hallett-Blanch completed the race in 24th place (17:52.1) of the 179 teams taking part.
In the under 13 girls race our A team of Niamh Bould (8:13.95); Aria Abberley-Barker (8:08) and Katie Williams (8:18.55) finished in 21st and our B team of Millie Holding, Libby Andrzejewski and Molly Williams finished in 72nd. 104 teams took part in this race and as the majority of the teams are in their first year and were experiencing this quality of race for the first time the results are very promising. Unfortunately our C team did not complete the course as Phoebe Dawson suffered an horrendous gash to her lower leg early on in the first leg. The injury was so severe that Phoebe spent the night and most of Sunday in hospital receiving 50 stitches to fix the wound. We hope Phoebe recovers quickly from this set back and that she is soon back on her feet and training with the squad.
The under 15 race saw our A team finish in 71st place clocking 25:34 for the 3x 2k legs. our B team was incomplete as was our under 17 womens team.
Full results can be found on Power of 10 or the ECCA website.