Staffordshire Schools Cross Country Championships 5th February 2022

RSCAC were well represented in the Cannock and District Team at the recent Staffordshire Schools Championships. The races were held in windy conditions over the challenging Bentley Court Farm course near Crewe. The senior and inter girls started together before the senior girls peeled off to do an extra loop of the small field. Grace Bessant was first home for the club in the Inter Girls, finishing in 12th, closely followed by Amber Hoey in 15th with the team achieving 2nd place. In the senior women’s race Sian Duval ran strongly throughout, winning comfortably and finishing 44 seconds ahead of the 2nd placed athlete. Jess Hales also worked hard round the undulating course, finishing in 5th.

Sian Duval in the Under 17 Women

It was great to see the Staffs Schools Championships back on and the RSCAC athletes representing their districts again!

Final West Midlands Young Athletes League Cross Country – Pingles Stadium Nuneaton 20th February 2022

It is the final cross country league race of the season on the 20th February at Pingles stadium Nuneaton. It will be great to see as many RSCAC athletes out as we can for the last of the 5 races. As it stand RSCAC are competing for a number of individual and team medals. The course map and time are outlined below as well as directions to the venue. Please remember your club vest, spikes and race number if you have competed in this event before.

Directions to venue:

From M6 Exit M6 at junction 3, signposted Nuneaton and follow A444. After approximately 2.5 miles you will pass the George Elliott Hospital on your left (also footbridge over road). Continuing along the A444, after the large island get in the right hand lane as you go down the hill. Taking the 2nd exit onto the A4254 (signposted Hinckley). After approximately 300m you will approach a set of traffic lights, with a public house called the Cedar Tree to your left, also signposted the Pingles Leisure Complex, turn left. The car park is at the top of the drive, in front of the Stadium. From the M1 Exit M1 at junction 21, turn onto the M69 (signposted Coventry). At Junction 1 exit motorway to the join the A5 (signposted Nuneaton) / Hinckley), taking the exit off the island towards Nuneaton. After approximately 2 miles you come to a T junction with a set of traffic lights, taking the filter to the left joining the A47 (the Crest Motel will be on your left), continue on to the next island, taking the 1st exit joining the A4254, signposted to Coventry. Continue for approximately 2 miles along this road, you will approach a set of traffic lights with a public house named the Cedar Tree diagonally in front on you and also signposted the Pingles Leisure Complex, turn right. The car park is at the top of the drive, in front of the Stadium. From A5 from the West After travelling along the Atherstone bypass continue along the A5 approximately 3 miles you will come to a T junction with a set of traffic lights, turn right joining the A47 (the Crest Motel will be in front of you left). Then follow the directions as above.

MIDLANDS CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS Berry Hill Park, Mansfield – 29th January 2022

It was great to see our athletes competing in the Midland XC Championships at Berry Hill Park – Mansfield –  29th January 2022.  We had athletes competing across the age groups from under 13 to Seniors.

The event was set over a strenuous course with elements of hills, down hills, mud, and grassed areas.  The conditions added to the demand with a strong cross wind.

We achieved 3 runners in the top 10 with a notable performance by Bethan Homer picking up the silver medal in the Under 17 Women’s race just 12 second behind the winner Isabelle Price of Wolverhampton and Bilston.  The race saw a pack of 7 move away from the others over the short lap slowly reducing as the race went on.  Bethan took up the lead part way through the 2nd lap where 4 eventually moved free of the rest of the field.   Bethan managed to hold off the 3rd placed athlete Iris Downes of Shrewsbury AC to finish 2nd in a time of 19:29 for the 5km course. Martha Wood also ran well achieving 34th place.

Bethan Homer and other medal winners Under 17 Women

The under 13 boys was a competitive race with only 20 seconds separating the top 4.  Noah Homer had a great race just missing out on the medals in 4th place with a time of 10:30 for the 3km course.  Christian Neal had a very impressive run finishing in 37th.

George Hope had a fantastic race achieving a top 10 place finishing 9th in the Under 17 boys.  Ethan Patel also had a good run in 19th.

Other performances include, Under 13 Girls Tiffany Latham 50th & Imogen Neal 58th. Under 15 Girls with Amber Hoey 39th & Eva Cartwight 61st. Under 15 Boys with Isaac Cartwright 48th & Joel Cartwright 69th.Under 20 Women  – Lucy Carey 20th  and Under 20 Men Tom Lloyd in 37th.

There was a great turn out by our Senior Men again in a very competitive race which included 279 athletes.  The top-quality field saw the winner, Douglas Musson (a 2:20 marathon runner) edge away from Jack Gray also a 2:20 marathon man.  Well done to the first RSCAC runner Ollie Harradence who continued his great recent form , finishing in 33rd place. Great running also from Daniel Floyd 53th, Alex Seabright 74th, Barry Lloyd 77th and Sam Crawford 140th.

Well done to all involved.

Pole Vault Record

Charlotte (Charlie) Prince has set a new club pole vault record yesterday at an indoor meeting at Manchester. Charlotte (under 17) achieved a height of 2.81m beating her previous personal best of 2.70m set by her last year. This is a fantastic foundation for the coming track season.

See the source image

West Midlands Schools XC Championships

Warley Woods 22nd January 2022

Another great day for RSCAC at the West Midlands Schools XC Championships at Warley Woods. 26 athletes from the club competed for their school boroughs which was a fantastic turn out.  Several of our athletes achieved medal places and automatic selection to represent the West Midlands in the English schools XC Championships in Kent 19th March.  The first 6 athletes in each race from year 8 upwards are automatically selected with 2 discretionary places to be selected on league race and Midland Championship performances.

A notable performance was Bethan Homer in the Inter girls.  The race was run combined with the senior girls.  Bethan had a terrific run achieving silver place in the Inter girls and was 3rd overall in the combined race.  Francesca Allen was the next place RSCAC athlete positioning 5th in the inter girls.  Both Bethan and Francesca are automatically selected for the English Schools Cross Country Championships.  The combined race saw Zara Buchanan finish in 11th place which was 3rd place in for the Senior girls.  Lucy Carey also achieved automatic selection for the 19th March.

George O’Connor continued his fantastic season by achieving 3rd position and picking up the bronze medal in the Senior boys again achieving selection to Kent in March.

Noah Homer also had a fantastic race in the year 7 boys achieving a silver medal.  A great result.  Gabrielle Daly also had a great race in the year 7 girls achieving 3rd place and picking up a bronze medal.   Year 7 pupils are not able to compete in the English Schools but can run in the National Primary School Championships.

More of our athletes may well be selected due to excellent performances over the cross-country season.

Well done to everyone who competed and good luck for those running in the English Schools XC Championships.

WMYACCL Race 4 Walsall Arboretum 16th January

Race report by Jo Homer

There was some great racing at a new venue for the 4th WMYACCL race at Walsall Arboretum on the 16th January.  The race was jointly organised by RSCAC and Birchfield bringing lots of volunteers from both clubs to help support the race. The weather was kind to the organisers, volunteers and athletes and enabled many of our athletes to have fantastic runs with some great top 10 finishes.

The under 17 girls kicked off the event with Sian Duval finishing with a great 2nd place, closely followed by Bethan Homer in 3rd.  Supported by another good run from Beatrix Whistance in 14th, the team were 2nd on the day and currently in 1st place over the 4 races.

Under 11 boys saw a close-run battle with Will Seager taking the win again.  This makes 4 wins out of four and has secured Will first overall across the league races.  Yuvan Sidhu ran a very gutsy race to finish in 10th place.  The under 11 boys are over 100 points clear of the next best placed team across all the races so far.

The under 17 boys saw 2 athletes achieve top 10 places.  George O’Connor worked his way up the field to finish in 3rd with George Hope the next best finisher in 6th place.  Again, RSCAC are overall in first team position for this age group across the 4 races.

The Under 11 girls Isla Daly was in 10th place just edging out Sophia Potocka who was 11th with the same time for the course of 06.47.  Another impressive win for the girls who were best team on the day and overall.

The under 15 saw Will Stead returning his best performance of the season so far in 15th. The under 13 girls were closely packed with Willow McCarthy-Brown first back closely followed by her teammates.  Christian Neal was in first position for the club for the under 13 boys.  Both under 13 boys and girls teams are currently in 4th club position over the races so far.

In the under 15 girls the first finisher for RSCAC was Francesca Allen in 16th place.

Overall RSCAC were the 2nd best team on the day and currently are 2nd best team with all to place for at the last race at Nuneaton on the 20th February.

Again thanks for all the volunteers who helped set up the course and marshal on the day.

Senior Women’s and Men’s Cross Country League – 15th January 2022 – Race Report

By Steve Marklew & Linda O’Connor

Race 3 of the league saw both ladies and men’s teams travel to Burton Dassett. Arriving to a course shrouded in heavy fog, it was a while until the undulating course revealed itself. With slippery cambers and rolling hills it was more akin to a fell race!

A fantastic team of 10 ladies lined up for the gruelling 6km course. U20 Caitlin O’Connor, made a strong start for the team, in her first league XC of the season, following injury. Having negotiated the treacherous descent to the first of the big laps, Olivia Harris made her way through the field over the two big laps to finish strongly. Making their debut in the Senior League, U20’s Lucy Carey and Elsa Buchanan showed great maturity transitioning to the senior league with both having great performances.

The ladies all showed fantastic grit and determination over the unforgiving course, with the sting in the tail being the final long drag uphill to the finish.

Olivia was first home in 47th, followed by Caitlin 72nd (U20 – 16th), Gemma Sidaway 93rd and with Lucy 94th (U20 – 20th) completing the team.

Providing great support to the team and ensuring a sea of Royal Blue on the course were Sky Mileto 107th, Annette Belcher 116th, Jennie Lloyd 118th, Elsa Buchanan 126th (U20 – 24th), Georgia Delaney 134th and the always smiling Dale Lyons 153rd.

The ladies are currently 13th overall and with one race left in the league we are looking forward to a great turnout to secure a second season in Division 1.

Following swiftly on from the Ladies race, the men’s squad faced the same course but over a 10k distance in their 2nd division fixture. Sitting just outside the promotion places in the league following the first two races the pressure was on to make a challenge on the top three positions.

A frantic start saw many of the clubs runners towards the front end of the field, with just under 300 men facing the challenging course. First home was Ollie Harradence in 4th place which sees him remain in overall first position in the overall individual competition, swiftly followed by Dan Floyd (11th) Barry Lloyd (23rd) Alex Seabright (32nd) Andy Bradley (50th) and Richard Naylor (52nd) completing the A team. This meant that they finished in first place out of the 14 clubs making up the division and raised them to second place overall with one fixture remaining.

In a strong show of club strength, the next six runners home for the club, thus making up the B team were Russell Simpson ((62nd) Tony Davies (68th) John Hayman (70th) Chris Taylor (73th), Fred Tremblay (79th) and Alex Blackham (84th). This placed the club as first in the B team competition for the third race of the season and were the only club to score with all 12 scorers inside the top 100 finishers. Also in the top 100 were David Sutton (86th) Dylan O’Rourk (96th) with Paul Terleski (101st) Nick Blunt (128th) Shaun Hemmings (139th) Iain McKie (179th) Dean Lucas (182nd) Josh Hughes (213rd) and Paul Jenkins (223rd) completing the roster for another strong turnout for the club with 21 athletes competing.

With one race left in the season, the club need one final strong performance to gain promotion to the top division and to win the B team competition as well.

Huge thanks must also go to Phil Pollock who did a double-shift in his officiating duties, in very cold conditions, to officiate for both races on Saturday, recording times at the finish.

A great assortment of cakes was presented after the race by Katie and Jenny which were gratefully devoured by both squads. The only disappointment is that the men and ladies race at different venues for their final fixtures, so careful consideration will need to be given to ensuring sufficient rewards are available at BOTH venues.

West Midland Schools – Times and Course Map

Posted by Jo Homer

The West Midlands Schools Championship is tomorrow (22nd January). The event is being held at Warley Woods.

If your school has not entered you there is still an opportunity to compete by registering on the day. Below is the course map/distances. The race times are as follows.

TIMETABLE/approx. distances:

  1. 10.00am Year 7 Girls 1900m
  2. 10.20am Year 7 Boys 2500m
  3. 10.40am Jun Girls (Yr 8/9) 2500m
  4. 11.00am Jun Boys (Yr 8/9) 3200m
  5. 11.20am Int/Sen Girls (Yr 10/11 + 12/13) * 3200m
  6. 11.40am Int/Sen Boys (Yr 10/11 + 12/13) * 4800m

Staffordshire County Championships, January 8th 2022

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.

Great Running by Sian and George

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