City runners head for the hills at Parliament

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THE weather was fine and the going good, but it wasn’t exactly a stroll in the park for Marshall Milton Keynes Athletic Club at the National Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill in London.

However, for the first time in several years the club fielded a strong senior men’s team, finishing in a creditable 24th place. But that was the only complete team to complete the testing course.

The senior men actually finished 24th twice – in both the six and nine man team competitions, thanks to fine running from 172nd Tom Comerford finishing in a time of 41m 03s, 251st Steve Tuttle 42m 20s, 260th Matt Eager 42m 27s, 315th Paul Erwood 43m 13s, 321st Steve Herring 43m 16s, 336th Chris Hearn 43m 28s, 666th Gary Blaber 47m 28s, 759th Robin Dowswell 48m 30s and 881st Andrew Wasdell 50m 00s.

The highest individual placing came in the U17 women’s race with 23rd for Rebecca Marshall as she finished in a time of 19m 43s, and in the same event Jasmine Finlay was 34th, just 24 seconds behind.

There was also a very good run by senior woman Rachel Pearson for 32nd taking 30m 20s, with 114th for Wendy Webber 32m 52s.

Other top 50 finishers were U13 girl Lauren Murphy taking 36th spot in 12m 38s and U20 woman Elle Roche who was 42nd in 24m 56s.

U15 girl Amy Radford finished 53rd in 15m 24s and U20 man Chad Lambert 34m 50s was 57th, while for the U13 boys it was 176th place for Jacob Tresham 12m 45s and 222nd for Cameron Beazley-Clarke 13m 05s, and U15 boy Harry Morton 17m 00s was 130th, with 153rd for Owen Seamark 10 seconds later, and Toby Herdman-Smith 18m 04s was 223rd.

In the London Colleges’ League at Bushy Park, a great run by Tom Comerford (26m 52s) placed him in 6th, with 34th for Sam Deathe (30m 11s).

At the NIA in Birmingham there was a bronze medal in the England Athletics U20, U17 and U15 Indoor Championships for U15 boy Archie Rippin as he crossed the line at the end of the 800m in 2m 10.03s.

It did not turn out quite so well for U17 Daniel Oderinde who twice set a personal best in the heats and twice finished 4th in the finals, first in the 60m with a PB of 7.08s, slowing a bit in the semi-final where he was again 2nd in 7.09s, before taking 7.11s in the final.

Next he lowered his best in the 200m to 23.14s but struggled a bit in the final, crossing the line in 23.32s. U20 Tom Purton ran 52.16s to finish 5th in the 400m.

For U17 woman Rebecca Davies it was almost a perfect day. Having set a PB in the 60m heat at 8.03s for 2nd place, she again lowered her target in the semi-final to 7.98s for 3rd spot and in the 60m hurdles she again improved her best to 9.21s to set a new club record, however could not repeat that in the semi-final, going out with 9.95s.

A silver medal was Sophie Wilkins’ reward for a 5.63m leap in the long jump at the British Universities’ Indoor Championships in Sheffield.

At the same meeting there was a 5th and 3rd respectively in the 200m and 400m heats for Hannah Bushell, recording 28.75s and a PB of 63.58s, and in the 3000m heats it was 6th for Sam Deathe 9m 17.36s.

On the roads Ian Van Lokven (M50) won the Althorp 10k in an excellent 37m 11s while at the Wellingborough 10k it was 10th for Ian Pheasey 40m 19s, 20th Sean O’Sullivan (M50) 42m 32s and 25th for Lauren Cripps 42m 51s.

Over a long 15k at Wellingborough, David Hall (M40) was 16th in 60m 29s, with 43rd for Jess Hall (F17) 67m 20s, and over at the Winslow 10k George Ashdown took 36m 01s for 7th place, with 134th for Malcolm Kidby (M40) 50m 46s.

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