National Cross Country Championships, Parliament Hill 24 February 2018

A silver medal for the Under 17 Women's quartet - the first won by any club team for many years - headlined a great set of results from club athletes at the National Cross Country Championships at a bitterly cold but sunny challenging Parliament Hill course on Saturday.

The Under 17 women have been in exceptional form this winter and were always likely to challenge for medals if they could field their strongest team. South of England fourth place finisher Kate O'Neill added to her run of good results with a fine ninth place finish, to celebrate her 17th birthday the previous day. Jess Mitchell made a late decision to take part after her recent ill health and ankle injury and held on well to place 33rd, and a 48th place finish from Molly Sweetman and Sophie Rand's 75th brought the team home comfortably in the silver medal position behind Liverpool and well ahead of Guildford. Grace Dukelow's 189th place completed the line up.

Ben Davis' great cross country season carried on with another superb run to come home in 8th place in the Under 20 Men's race. Ben stayed with the leading group and put in a strong finish on the 10km course. James Stewart (128th) and Kieran O'Hara (215) both found the conditions hard but acquitted themselves well.

Natalie Sewell's 12th place finish for the Under 13 Girls in her first National was a big improvement onher South of England 20th place and Chloe Rand's 38th was also her best at this level.  Holly Bradley (309th) and Isobelle O'Connor (313th) completed the 25th lace scoring team and Ruby Lendon and Charlotte Grundy gained National experience.

The Senior Men had a scoring six for the first time in many years led home by Rob Warner in 211th with over two thousand runners behind him over the 12km course. Paul Grange was the next club athlete to cross the line in the top six hundred but his chiming chip failed to register and Matt Bland was next home in 729th followed by John Whitehead 954th and Martin Chester 1135th. Gary Atkins 1297th and Graham Hogan 1354th both made the top fourteen hundred to complete the six official scorers. Steve Walker 1662nd and Roy James 1812th completed the line up.

The Senior Women also had a scoring team as Ginte Bailey (151st), Robyn Matson (349th) and Clare Davies (448th) while Clare Rudgley completed the quartet with a hundred behind her.

In the younger age groups the Under 15 Boys were the only ones with a full team thanks to Alex Ford (179th) with Henry Lay, Lenny Houston and Timi McDaniel flying the club flag. The Under 13 Boys were one short as Shane Hart (229th), Callum Basinger (318th) and 411th placed Alex Kerr were the club trio and Alice Atkins and Rebecca O'Rourke represented the Under 15 Girls.



Under 13 Girls: 12th - Natalie Sewell 12:59; 38th Chloe Rand 13:24; 309th- Holly Bradley 15:32; 313th - Isobelle O'Connor 15:34 (team 25th) 443rd - Ruby Lendon 17:53; 450th - Charlotte Grundy 18:13


Under 15 Girls:  128th - Alice Atkins 18:04; 341st Rebecca O'Rourke 18:32


Under 17 women:  9th - Kate O'Neill 19:30; 33rd - Jessica Mitchell 20:08; 48th - Molly Sweetman 20:35; 75th - Sophie Rand 21:15 (Team - silver) 189th - Grace Dukelow 23:20


Senior Women:  151st - Ginte Bailey 34:43; 349th - Robyn Matson 38:18; 448th - Clare Davies 39:47; 981st - Clare Rudgley 50:53 (Team 58th)


Under 13 Boys:  229th - Shane Hart 13:38; 318th - Callum Basinger 14:09; 411th - Alex Kerr 14:41


Under 15 Boys:  179th - Alex Ford 17:47; 440th - Henry Lay 20:26; 454th - Lenny Houston 20:52; 482nd - Timi McDaniel 22:04


Under 20 Men:  8th - Ben Davis 33:54; 128th - James Stewart 38:14; 215th - Kieran O'Hara 46.:28


Senior Men:  211th Rob Warner 45:36; 729th - Matt Bland 51:20; 954th - John Whitehead 53:36; 1135th - Martin Chester 55:19; 1297th  - Gary Atkins 56:51; 1354th - Graham Hogan 57:21; (Team 86th) 1662nd - Steve Walker 60:52; 1812th - Roy James 63:00


Photos: Tracy O'Neill, Jane Hallam, Peter Warner

Photos: from Kevin White