The 2017 Midland Cross Country Championships took place on Saturday 28th January at Prestwold Hall, Loughborough. The course at Prestwold is a typical demanding cross country course with a mixture of mud, pasture land and frequent changes in elevation. Coming so soon after the Christmas break the demands of this challenging course could catch many out. No so for our top senior male and female athletes Alex Brecker and Kate Holt. Both repeated their performances of 2016 Alex finishing 1st and Kate 2nd in the senior men’s and women’s races respectively. On initial examination of the results it appeared that both races were much slower than in 2016, however, it transpired that both races were not run over the expected distance with the senior men’s race run over a grueling 15k and the women’s race 8.8k instead of the billed 12k and 8k respectively. Alex defended his 2016 championship against strong opposition from Toby Spencer (Coventry) just 17 seconds adrift in second whilst Kate had a battle royal with Juliet Potter (Charnwood) with Juliet just getting the upper hand in the final 800 metres to open out a 10 second gap over Kate. Excellent performances from both Alex and Kate who continue to cement themselves into the top rank demonstrating that if you have the ability it is longevity and patience that are key to success in the senior ranks. Dave Sheldon was the men’s team second finisher in 27th an excellent performance from the youngster over this unexpected distance with the senior men’s team finishing in 7th place.
Other notable performances came from Casey Maddox finishing 6th in the U17 men’s race and Gianni Loska finishing 6th in the U15 boys race. The latter led the U15 boys team to a brilliant 3rd team place supported by Seb Rowe (19), Jake Barker(32) and Joshua Wright (35). In the u17 womens race Elizabeth Stanyer had an excellent race finishing in 16th, her highest position in this championship to lead home the team of Lauren Gregory(22), and Beth Sharpley(27) to 4th just 4 points adrift of 3rd. Our U15 Girls team finished in 8th led home by Rebecca Hargreaves in 47th.
Full individual and team results can be found at :- midlandathletics.org.uk