Athletics: Race to the finish in Cross Country League

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MILTON Keynes Athletic Club halved the deficit on Chiltern Cross Country League leaders Bedford & County with a superb overall win at the penultimate race in Luton.

Finishing a convincing 221 points clear of Chiltern Harriers, with Bedford a further 110 points back, the city club are once again in striking distance of the league title, but it will be a tough contest in the final round at Wing next month.

Once again there were excellent individual runs from Owen Seamark (M15) who won his boys race, 2nd place for Alfie Yabsley (M13), and Tom Comerford leading the men’s team to victory.

The Senior Women grabbed a fine 2nd place finish, with 3rd places for the M20, M15, M13, F17 and F13 teams, while the first three finishers in each age category secured podium places in the Club Championships.

Taking 8th spot, Comerford won the Club Championship in 30m 27s, with 15th Steven Tuttle 31m 29s taking the Club Silver and 19th Sam Deathe 31m 49s the bronze.

In 21st place was Matt Clarke 31m 59s, followed by 26th Stephen Green 32m 22s, 31st Steve Herring (M40) 33m 06s to win the Club Veteran prize, 38th Mark Dowson 33m 40s and 42nd Gary Blaber 33m 58s, while the Club Junior race saw 49th Sam Redding (M20) 34m 23s hold off 53rd Luke Elton (M20) by 22s to take the title.

Despite being a man short, the Junior team managed to come 3rd overall, and the Veteran’s – thanks to 67th Ian Van Lokven (1st M50) 35m 43s, 91st Adrian Cox (M40) and 107th David Hall (M40) – finished 4th.

Not quite on top form, the small Senior Women’s team took a fine 2nd place finish, while the Veteran’s were 5th, with 6th Lara Bromilow leading the way home in 23m 41s position followed just over a minute later by 12th Charlotte Harris 24m 59s, 1st Veteran Fran Malin (F45) 26th 26m 33s and just a minute later came 32nd Diane Baldwin (1st F55), then 37th Sophie Gibbens 28m 04s, 45th Maria Calleia (F35) 28m 55s and 66th Ursula Ghaleb (F55) 33m 24s.

Third place awaited the U15 Boys thanks to a great run from winner Owen Seamark in 16m 21s, aided by 15th Toby Herdman-Smith 17m 16s and 16th Dominic Murphy 17m 19s taking the prizes, with 28th Jacob Tresham 18m 02s rounding off the team.

It was also 3rd place for the U13 Boys led home by 2nd Alfie Yabsley 11m 00s followed by 4th Harvey Green 11m 15s, 14th Jake Cox 11m 47s and 27th Ed Jennings 12m 25s.

Still not quite hitting the form of previous years, the U20/17 Women also finished in a creditable 3rd, with 6th placed Sophia Cliffe (F17) taking exactly 22m, chased all the way to the line by 7th Ellie Hemming (F17) 22m 13s, 10th Fern Yull (F17) 22m 32s and 11th Jessica Hall (F17) 22m 49s.

The trend continued when the U13 Girls took 3rd spot as well courtesy of 7th Emma Mears crossing the line first in a time of 12m 33s, followed by 25th Charlotte Moyse 13m 31s, 28th Anna Radford 13m 37s and 29th Jessica Nuttall 13m 37s.

However, it was 4th for the U15 Girls with 8th position for Amy Radford 14m 59s, 10th Sophie Botham 15m 06s, 27th Isabella Thornton-Bett 16m 33s and 37th Jade Brown 17m 08s.

It was not so good for the club’s youngest competitors with the U11 Boys coming 10th, with 33rd for Alfie Lane 10m 16s, 39th Leon Cooper 10m 23s, 51st Alex Meijer 10m 45s and 54th James Dowsett 10m 54s, while for the U11 Girls only Montana Edghill finished in 53rd place taking 11m 01s.

As usual in cross country competitions, the non-scoring runners helped by pushing opponents into higher scoring positions and the club’s teams were again well supported.

>> At the England Athletics Indoor Pentathlon Championships in Sheffield, Devon Byrne (7th F23) finished 13th overall after recording a personal best in the 60m hurdles 9.93s, clearing 1.47m in the high jump, 4.91m in the long jump, putting the shot 10.17m and running the 800m in 2m 27.42s for a total of 3115 points.

In Northampton at the Northants Cross Country Championships, Matt Clarke came 8th taking 39m 12s while M13 Alasdair Grant was 15th in 11m 56s and F13 Rhona Grant was 14th in 12m 41s.

On the roads at the Ely 10k it was 103rd for Diane Baldwin (1st F55) who crossed the line in 44m 20s, with 192nd for Maria Calleia (F40) taking 47m 34s.

While in Coventry, over five miles Jeremy Vick was 22nd in 29m 13s. Di Baldwin (1st F55) 68th 34m 38s, Kelvin Smith (2nd M60) 75th 35m 33s, Geoff New (M45) 82nd 36m 35s and Johann Vick (F35) 89th 37m 46s.