City of Stoke’s very own Super Saturday
Saturday January 27th, Wollaton Park, Nottingham. A dull, wet and windy day was made much brighter by four fabulous individual gold medals for City of Stoke athletes at the 2018 Midlands XC Championships.
First to cross the finishing line in gold medal position was Gianni Loska in the under 13 boys race. Gianni has been in fine form all winter and showed his class finishing 9 seconds clear of the 114 strong field.
In the under 17 mens race Connor Bentley, a very recent addition to club ranks powered away from a class field to break the tape 12 seconds clear of Mansfield’s Luke Duffy. With a background from Triathlon Connor looks to be a force to be reckoned with in the future over the country and on the track.
The senior women’s race promised to be a tight affair with the annual battle between our own Kate Holt and the Potter twins. Kate has been the filling in a Potter sandwich finishing in 2nd place for the previous 3 championships. From the gun Juliet Potter made her intentions clear charging to the front over the first 2km loop. Kate followed Potter at a distance of some 20metres with a large gap away to 3rd. Coming back into sight at the end of the first of two 3km loops Kate had pulled right up onto the back of Juliet and was looking strong and determined. On the first of the long climbs entering the final lap Kate made her attention clear as she turned the screw opening a 15 metre gap up the climb. Running much more comfortably than Juliet at this point Kate continued to pull out the distance down the hill and into the second long climb. Negotiating the very muddy section back to the finish cautiously Kate raced to the finish to take her first Midland XC title 13 seconds ahead of second and 1 minute ahead of 3rd.
Kate Holt in a determined mood.
In the final race of the day Alex Brecker was set to defend the title he had won in the two previous years. The 12km course would provide a stiff test given the increasingly muddy section at the bottom of the course and the two fallen tress which the athletes were forced to negotiate over each lap. It was business as usual for Alex who quickly established himself at the front of the race and raced away from the field to win by some 37 seconds, by far the largest margin of the day.
This was indeed an outstanding day for our Club four individual gold medals out of the ten on offer. Congratulations to Gianni, Connor, Kate and Alex on their achievements.
In the team positions our U13 girls finished in the highest team position of 4th.
Full results can be found at http://midland athletics.org.uk
Many other photos can be found on our Facebook page and Morris’s website.