Eight medals and two team wins for Nene Valley Harriers

Nene Valley Harriers
Nene Valley Harriers

Nene Valley Harriers had three winners and five more medallists at the Lincolnshire Cross Country Championships.

The club claimed two team wins and had four second-placed teams.

Nine athletes guaranteed places for the Inter-Counties with the potential for 13 others to join them.

The championships took place on Sunday on a sunny but chilly new course in the centre of the Lincolnshire Wolds at Biscathorpe.

Many of the older athletes described the course as a true cross country with three river crossings, muddy hills and the whole route undulating.

Veteran athlete Paul Parkin described the course as the toughest 10km he could remember running and it was a far cry from the flat parkland course used for the Cambridgeshire Championships.

The muddy hill as the athletes completed the third river crossing had its toll as many athletes struggled with it, but Cat Foley used this to her benefit in the senior ladies’ race.

She stormed the hill and into the woods to take the lead and never looked back over this tricky part of the course, crossing the line as a comfortable county champion.

Grace Mullins, in one of her first events following injury, also finished strongly, well clear in third place.

Niam Payne was another athlete who found the tough conditions to their suiting, pulling away from the field on the first lap of the under-17 men’s race and continuing to cope with the conditions to also become champion.

Austin Herbert supported him with a county bronze medal, holding on well for his third place.

This set the team up for the win with Bradley Allen supporting the leaders.

The B team didn’t hang around either with Nathaniel Taylor (7th), Nathan Davey (12th) and Will Baker (13th) taking a well deserved silver team medal.

The most dominant performance as a team and showing the strength that Nene Valley have in depth were the under-20 men.

The club had entered four athletes and they took all four top places in the race.

Jake Richardson skimmed over the wet surface, finishing strongly among the leading athletes in the race to win his county championship.

This race is run along with the senior men and vet men and, although the overall team place could not be verified, they would have been close to a silver senior team medal.

Richardson was followed in by James McRae in silver medal position and Alex Hampson with his bronze.

The course was tough on middle distance athlete Brad Spurdens but his spirited fight for fourth confirmed the team’s dominance.

Under-15 girl Hana Ray won a bronze medal again, proving the toughness of the youngster.

Her team, including Paula Naylor (7th) and Ffion Lewis (13th), won silver team medal.

Also winning team medals were the under-15 boys team of Nandeli Pelembe (8th), Ethan Ellison (9th) and Codi Leigh Middleton (11th) who were well grouped, plus the under-17 ladies team of Megan Ellison (6th), Alice Callcut (9th) and Hermoine Wright (10th).

Meanwhile, Nene Valley under-13 girls had a field day at the Cambridgeshire Cross Country Championships with Bourne Grammar School pupil Flo Brill taking the gold medal. Ella Robinson finished third, just ahead of Katie Tasker, as the trio easily won the team gold.