Race Report by Linda O’Connor
With the Warwickshire County Championships unfortunately cancelled, all eyes were on the Staffordshire athletes to fly the flag for RSCAC this year.
Travelling to Betley Court Farm, Crewe, the team arrived to very wet and muddy conditions, at what is always known as a challenging course. With 10 athletes representing RSCAC this year, it was by far the biggest club entry in recent years.
Having warmed up in driving rain, RSCAC was first represented in the U15W by two athletes, Amber Hoey and Grace Beasant. Both girls fought bravely round the course in very difficult conditions.
With the U17M, U17W, U20W, Senior W & Masters W all in the same race, it provided an added challenge for the athletes to know how to pace the race and, with no way of knowing where they were in their respective age groups. With 5 RSCAC athletes in this combined race it also provided added challenge to the spectators as the field spread out over the two-lap course!
By half way round the 1st lap, George O’Connor had caught up with the early leader, in the U17M race, and from that point onwards he pushed on relentlessly, winning his 1st Championship in style with a 1min 15 sec lead over the 2nd place athlete by the finish.
Two medals were achieved in the U17W race. The three RSCAC athletes battled hard round a course which was far longer than they’ve raced over so far this year. First home for the club was Sian Duval who placed a clear 2nd and she was ably supported by Beatrix Whistance who finished 7th and Jess Hales in 20th. These performances meant the team placed a very pleasing 3rd.
It was also great to see Caitlin O’Connor back to racing after injury and illness have restricted her training and she added another medal to the club’s total, finishing 3rd in the U20W race.
The senior men were returning to the venue of the first league cross country race of this season back in November, though this time with much muddier conditions contributed to by the preceding three races earlier on the day.
Three athletes represented the club in this race with an excellent performance from Dan Floyd finishing in 14th place followed by Sam Crawford (25th) and John Hayman (40th).
Photos credit – Bryan Dale