After the disruption of the last couple of years Saturday saw the return of the National Cross Country Relays at Mansfield’s Berry Hill park. For many years Stoke has fielded a substantial number of male and female teams in all age groups.
The weather conditions were benign however the threat of rain was never far away and the course was in excellent condition for fast times.
The U17 Women got the club off to a good start finishing 28th out of a field of 60, clocking a time of 30:54.9. Niamh Bould ran a fine leg to pull the team from 41st to 19th clocking the fastest time of the trio on second leg.
The club entered 3 teams in the U13 girls race for many this was their first foray into this level of competition. The A team completed the 2k course in 24:07.6 to finish 11th in a field of 75 teams. Zara Bratt got the team off to a great start coming to the change over in 17th position, a strong run from Lexi Dundas improved our position to 12 which was ably held by Mia Hearson. The B team placed 34th and the C team 53rd after a complete mix up by the officials who held our second string runner at the change.
Next up was the U15 girls team in arguably one of the strongest contests of the day. Tilly Thursfield took the lead leg on this 2K course finishing in a time of 7:21 for 11th position. Strong runs from Darcy Cowden and Charlotte Lunt meant that the team held their position finishing the 3 legs in a total time of 23:02.8 for 10th position out of 95 teams just 1minute behind Aldershot the winning team. An excellent result and three strong performances from the girls.
139 senior women’s teams completed the 3x3k course with very strong competition on all legs. Our team of Donna Sherwin, Lucy Hayes and Sarah Mackness completed the course in a time of 33:55.3 to place 33rd.