THE ANNUAL Worcestershire Athletic Association Cross Country Championships were again held on the traditional first Saturday of the new year at Warley Woods, which proved to be a happy hunting ground for Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club’s top talents.
The undulating course provided particularly good underfoot conditions despite the recent wet weather and, on what was a bright and sunny day, B&R athletes revelled in the conditions to bag many individual and team medals.
The U13 boys set the tone in the day’s first race when Will Pridden took individual gold, Sam Hembry silver and Willem Hembry bronze, so it was unsurprising the trio took a well deserved team gold.
Hot on their heels was Nathan Sanders who finished fifth, with Joshua Bevins a close sixth, before Spencer Mayne completed a good race in 20th position.
Determined not to be left out of the glory were the U13 girls in the next race who also took an excellent team gold as Hannah Dale finished fourth, Philippa Taylor fifth and Amelie Ranger sixth.
Also having good runs were team-mates Tola Kustra and Megan Charles in 11th and 14th positions respectively.
Up stepped the U15 boys and girls who both came away with team silver. For the boys, Owen Alenka took individual bronze for finishing third and was backed up by Seb Purvis in ninth and Harry Hughes 15th.
The U15 girls had Esme Ranger taking individual gold, while Lucy Hatfield and Lauren Coates came fifth and seventh respectively to cement the team’s silver. The fourth U15 girl, Emily Dyer, finished well placed in 11th.
There were no team prizes for the U17 and U20 women but individual gold went to Beth Sykes in the older age group before younger sister Lauren took bronze in the U17 age group. Also in the U17 group, Rebecca Newland ran well for sixth place.
It was then back to team success and silver through the U17 trio of men as Harrison Mayne picked up an individual silver and Luke Richardson and Harry Williams finished fourth and ninth respectively.
Having been shown the way by the juniors, the club’s senior and masters athletes just had to then deliver their own medals to round off a successful day’s racing throughout the club.
Firstly, the trio of Caroline Warrington, Natasha Newton and Liz Vaughan carried the women’s senior/masters team to bronze, with Warrington taking individual gold and Vaughan bronze in the W40 age group. In the same age group Jo Hounsel-Hardy ran well for a 12th-placed finish.
In the W50 group Jane Anderson finished sixth and Charlotte Ball, in the W60 group, was just outside an individual medal in fourth place.
Although there were no individual medals for the senior/masters men, the club’s first six finishers earned a great team bronze as Mark Appleton came 21st, Gareth Richardson 26th, Peter Ball 31st, Andy Freeman 34th, Calvin Scoltock 40th and Malcolm Duff 47th.
In a field of 84 runners, Kevin Lanckham finished 49th, Scott Beverley 54th, Dean Hartshorne 57th and Anthony Warner 59th. Report compiled by B&R chairman Len Quartly.