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Midland Counties XC Championships

31 Jan 2022 | BY Ross Connor

The Midland Counties XC Championships took stage in Berry Hill, Mansfield on Saturday 29th January where representation of Stoke AC athletes were as strong and as gusty as the wind. A beautiful day with a firm ground brought out many positive performances throughout all the ages and group.

In the 3km U/13G, all four athletes finished in the top twenty with Darcy Cowden, Lexy Rose Dundas, Lara Smith & Zara Bratt also finishing 2nd in the team results. It was also a same result for the U/13B’s team with Arthur Elliot, Lino Goodwin, Mason Cook & Aiden Simmons who all showed a spirited performance. Sadly there were no representation for the U/15G in the 4km run.

The U/15B proved to be an all inspiring occasion for one Nathaniel Rowe whom stomped his way to the front of the pack, controlling the race at every stage. With only three athletes (Lewis Smith/Jack Jones) from Stoke in this age group, Nathaniel swept away any challenges, pulling away with every stride and the odd glance behind him, but over the two laps of the 4km course Nathaniel dominated the race to the line, winning by 9sec for the Midland gold title.

The U/17W was brought home by Aria Aberley-Barker, Kate Williams & Tia Grace Walford pushing each other in the 5km course finishing in 5th place in the team. It was a difficult but inspiring performance for our only two representatives in the U/17M- Cameron O’Neil & Alfie Sheldon who finished close to each other. Again in both the U/20’sW/M was one representative, Fynn Churton ploughed his way through the field of runners to hold his own finishing and achieving a fantastic 17th placing overall in the 8km x 2 course.

The senior women’s race was a loaded pack of talent, but our star athlete Kate Holt stamped her authority over the large field from the start. It was a commanding & dominant run from Kate, smashing her lead with every stride, stringing the field out behind her as she cantered through the woods, making it look effortless. In the home straight it was a distant country mile with her nearest rival a minute behind on the horizon as Kate cross the line to take the Midland Counties title and gold medal. Not only did Kate take the honours in winning, but the other lady athletes Donna Sherwin, Kelly Butler & Mandy Vernon added to the Stoke AC team triumph as they stayed close to each other through the gruelling course & over 169 athletes to finish in the top three to claim the team bronze medal. Mandy Vernon claimed the V50 Midlands Masters gold medal along with Victoria Hughes in the V45 category taking the gold medal also.

Results of the men’s race narrowly saw the men’s team miss out on a bronze medal to finish fourth overall. There were some brilliant individual performances with our squad from such a large field of athletes, but some consolation to Chris Morgan who claimed a bronze medal in the V35M category. A fantastic day out with a limited amount of athletes made for a great day at the races…well done all! Images & videos will follow soon.

Myvision4reel Photography – City of Stoke