The first of the major cross country championships took place at Wolverhampton on Saturday 07 January. The club was represented in all age groups both male and female in this first championship of 2017. On a relatively warm calm day there were many outstanding individual and team results.
A total of 8 of our athletes returned with individual medals consisting of 5 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze. Standout performances came from our senior women in the form of our Great Britain international Kate Holt and senior man Alex Brecker.
In the senior women’s race, which was run in conjunction with the U17 men, Kate made her intentions clear from the gun pulling rapidly away from the opposition and concentrating her effort on competing with a group of U17 men. At the end of the first of two laps Kate and Cassey Maddox, Stoke’s promising U17 man, were running shoulder to shoulder well clear of all the opposition. Kate continued to compete strongly to the finish, crossing the line in 19:31 to Cassey’s 19:22. Kate’s time was one and a half minutes clear of the nearest female athlete and a personal best on this course by some 2 minutes, demonstrating that Kate is in excellent form going into the major championships of 2017.
Cassey finished 23 seconds clear of his nearest rival and again shows his class in the U17 mens age group.
Alex Brecker led the senior men’s race from gun to tape crossing the line 13 seconds clear of Tipton’s Ben Gamble in a time of 29:52 for the 10km course.
Veteran Dean Richardson completed the 10Km course in 31:42 to take 5th place in the senior men’s race and the veterans gold medal.
Closest race of the day went to the U13 boys in which Stoke’s Gianni Loska prevailed to take gold over Tyler Francis ( Wolverhampton) by the slim margin of 1 second.
Silver medals went to Joshua Lally (U15 Boys); Lauren Gregory (U17 women) and bronze to Jake Barber(U13 Boys).
In the team events gold medals went to our U13 boys packing tightly for a total of 8 points, Gianni Loska(1), Jake Barber(3), Sebastian Rowe(4) and our senior women scoring 42 points, Kate Holt(1), Sarah Lovewell(4), Louise Dawson vet(16) and Georgia Rafferty U20(21).
There were 4 silver team medals in the U15 boys, U15 girls, U17 women and senior men with our U17 men taking bronze, bringing the total number of team medals to 7.
On an individual and team front a successful championship , congratulations to all who took part and thanks to all who came to support the athletes and Club at this event.
Full results can be found at staffs-athletics.org.uk.
Coming next – Midland Cross Country Championships 28 January 2017 at Loughborough.