N. Staffs XC League Race 2 @ Parkhall 29/10/2016

Saturday saw the second fixture in this years North Staffordshire Cross Country League take place at a grey and dull but thankfully dry Parkhall Country Park, Weston Coyney. Following the first fixture at Winsford at the beginning of the month we had lots of juniors who were aiming for individual and team honours. For those who haven’t run at Parkhall it is best described as undulating (i.e.. theres not much flat!) with a mixture of stoney and grass pathways.

First race of the day was the U/11 Girls who were running 2 small laps (~1800m ). First finisher was Beatrice Wakefield (20th) closely followed just 4 seconds later by Georgia Balderson (22nd). In 34th position was Mathilde Wakefield, Lucy Brownsword and Keira Kesic were 40th and 41st respectively, and Vesna Drezova completed our team in 51st position. The girls finished in 7th position on the day.

In the combined U/11 Boys and U/13 Girls race they raced over 1 small and 1 large lap (~2300m). The U/11 Boys were 1st at the last fixture in a very close competition. First back in this time was Jack Loughnane in 9th beating teammate Lucas Bowden by just 1 place and 1 second in 10th. Jamie Betteley finished in 28th with Daniel Jones finishing 1 place back in 29th. Jamie Brown competed for the first time and finished in 37th, with William Loughnane finishing 3 seconds further back in 40th.Stephen Hobson was 49th and another debutant Thomas McHugh was 58th. The Boys finished in 5th on the day but because the league positions (like the races) are so tight there is all to play for with just one race remaining they should be aiming for team medals. In the U/13 Girls race, Aimee Brown was once again our only competitor but she improved her finishing position since the first race to come in, in 37th place.

Next race was the U/13 Boys and U/15 Girls who ran 2 equal laps totalling ~2700m. First finisher in the U/13 Boys race was Louis Wakefield, coming home in 20th position. Vlad Drezov finished in 49th position and CJ Hobson  finished just one place behind in 50th. The boys had enough for a team at this fixture finishing in 10th place on the day. In the U/15 Girls race we had five athletes, with Charlotte Moore again being our first finisher in 6th position. Misha Twardochleb was in 8th, Elizabeth Clarkson was 14th, with Holly Nixon 17th and Scarlett Cotton 20th position. This meant that the girls finished in 2nd place on the day with just 28 points and also moved up into 2nd place overall  with just 1 fixture remaining.

The next race saw the U/15 Boys and U/17 Women compete over 2 laps totalling ~3000m. In the U/15 Boys Lewis Nagington continued his progress finishing in a fine 3rd place just 2 seconds behind the winner. Thomas Wood was our next athlete finishing in 35th position. Unfortunately as we only fielded two runners the U/15 Boys now drop out of contention in the Team competition, however unofficially Lewis is in individual 4th position – just 1 point behind 3rd! The U/17 Women won the first fixture and produced yet another dominate performance with all three athletes finishing tightly packed in 4th, 5th and 7th positions. First finisher was Alysha Balderson, followed by Grace Ranford and Alex Oakley. Unofficially that puts them in 4th,5th and 6th positions overall going into the final fixture, so maybe individual medals are up for grabs too?

The U/17 Men competed once again with the ladies race over 2 larger laps of ~5200m. This time Jordan Nixon was our first finisher in 5th position (again unofficially this puts him in 4th place overall), next back was Jacob Droogmans in 15th, with Callum Mitchell in 25th and Ryan Wood in 27th position. The U/17’s again finished in 3rd position but are just 7 points clear of the 4th placed team after two fixtures so will all need to run their best at the final fixture to ensure a team medal. Our Junior women were again to the fore in the Seniors race, with Rebecca Twardochleb finishing 7th (3rd JW), Sophie Goodfellow finished 34th (11th JW) and Gabby Trotman 79th (12th JW). These 3 Junior Ladies helped our Senior Ladies to another team 3rd position and the Ladies remain 3rd Overall after two fixtures.

Following the cancellation of the next fixture which was due to be held at Keele University there is now just one league fixture remaining on Saturday 17th December at Stafford Common. The club really needs everyone to compete at this final league fixture as we go for individual and Team awards in many age group categories.

Remember even if you don’t make the counting team you help push members of other teams further back so EVERYONE is a valuable member of our team. If you’ve competed in all the 3 fixtures or been in the count then we will order you a trophy too. These fixtures are also key to our own club awards which will be presented next summer so even if your not going to get an individual or team award from the league every place at every fixture counts to our awards! Good luck to all our juniors competing at Stafford next month. Full results from the league and Details of the final fixture can be found HERE and our results can be found HERE Photos thanks to Ben Bewley/Kat Saunders.