Senior Men’s Cross Country Report – By Steve Marklew
Twenty-one of the clubs senior men faced a waterlogged and muddy course at Arrow Valley Park in Redditch on Saturday (19th Feb) in the wake of storms Dudley and Eunice. Sitting in a strong 2nd place in Division 2, a further strong performance would see promotion to the top tier of the Birmingham and District cross country league.
Superb running by the first six RSCAC athletes home saw the club finish in first place on the day with Ollie Harradence first home in 4th place followed by Dan Floyd (15th), Barry Lloyd (22nd), David Sutton (29th), Alex Seabright (37th) and Richard Naylor (38th). This was enough to confirm 2nd place at the end of the 4 race series and secure promotion. In addition, Ollie finished in 2nd place overall over the season, winning the individual silver medal for his seasons efforts.
The next six home also showed great consistency with Chris Taylor (47th), Andy Bradley (63rd), Tony Davies (67th), Russell Simpson (70th), Mark Rickards (75th) and John Hayman (86th) completing the B team scoring. This was again sufficient for RSCAC to win the B team competition on the day and completed a clean sweep of victories over the four fixtures.
This strength in depth was further shown by the fact that RSCAC were the only club to have all 12 athletes over both A and B teams to finish in the top 100 in all four races, something no other club in the division could achieve even once.
Other athletes home were Alex Blackham (103), Martin Clutterbuck (119), Ed Stead (123), Simon Corker (129), Paul Terleski (133), Steve Marklew (157), Tom Lloyd (165), Subodh Davé (178), Callum Thomas (184), Josh Hughes (195) and Paul Jenkins (205).
Over the season a total of 33 different athletes represented the club which again shows the growing strength over the two senior squads. Next season will see RSCAC compete against the strongest clubs in the league and it is hoped that a similar turnout will be experienced as we seek to maintain a presence at the top table of what is widely considered the biggest and strongest cross country league in the country.
Senior Women’s Cross Country Report – By Linda O’Connor
The final race of the season saw the women’s team tackle the wet, muddy and windy course at Newbold Comyn, Leamington. The recent storms resulted in a course change to bypass the dreaded ditch! This was met with mixed feelings across the team, with some having been excited at the challenge, whilst others had been dreading it. Once again there was strong representation with 9 athletes on the start line. Olivia Harris once again lead the team home in 40th, supported by U20 Caitlin O’Connor 58th, Ellen Humpherston 75th & U20 Lucy Carey 90th. Sky Mileto and Jennie Lloyd showed great teamwork to finish in 98th & 99th respectively, with Dale Lyons 116th, Georgia Delaney 123rd and an admirable run from Annette Belcher, who having lost a shoe in the mud, finished in 137th to cheers from the team.
The women’s team finished a fantastic 13th overall in their first season in Division 1. With 12 athletes competing across the season we had between 7 & 10 athletes on the start line for each race. The season also saw the team welcome U20’s Lucy & Elsa. Six ladies that competed in all 4 races were rewarded with a Top 100 in the individual standings.
It was an honour to be the Team Manager this season to such a committed and enthusiastic team and I know that Roy would have been proud and delighted with the performances across the season and the growing numbers in the women’s team. With some new talent joining next year from the current U17 age group the women’s team continues to go from strength to strength.