ATHLETICS: Flying start for Harriers

The Nene Valley Harriers squad of Niamh Hodgson, Alexa Boole, Niamh Rushton, Josie Knight, Lottie Hemmings, Chelsea Bole and Amelia Devine.

The under-13 girls got Nene Valley Harriers’ season off to a flying start in the North Midlands Cross Country League meeting at Derby on Saturday.

Lottie Hemmings led them home, finishing the 3km race in fifth position with a time of 10:49.

Chelsea Bole came seventh and Amelia Devine was just behind in ninth as Nene Valley pipped hosts Derby to the top honours.

Nene Valley’s under-17 girls also had a good day, finishing runners-up to Rushcliffe.

Ella Robinson was fourth with support from Elisha Foord (14th) and Hannah Knight (19th).

The under-17 girls placed fifth with Ellie Piccaver and Amber Park in ninth and 10th positions.

Ruth Jones led the senior ladies challenge, claiming 13th place in a field of 186.

There were also strong runs from Emma Randle and Sophie Wilkinson-Hargate with the Harriers finishing 10th.

In the girls under-17 race Nora Brill in ninth and Evie Hemmings (16th) helped Nene Valley to finish 6th.

The men were not outdone as the under-13s and under-17s both took third.

Jacob Bush was 11th for the under-13s while Alex Roberts and Freddie House both made the top 20.

The highly promising Aaron Hunt came home seventh under-17 ahead of Matt Dowling (16th) and Archie Rainbow (21st).

Felix Bowling was the first under-11 Harrier across the line in 19th as his team came seventh.

The under-15 boys took fifth with Owen Wilkinson in 11th.

Nene Valley’s senior men were eclipsed by a strong Peterborough AC team.

Ben Heron, relatively new to cross country, took 12th position – covering the hilly 10k course in 34:03.

Heron received support from Shaun Walton (35th), Nick Stone (41st), Simon Fell (53rd) and Kirk Brawn (58th).

Peterborough finished an excellent 4th, well ahead of Nene Valley who were 16th.

Despite this, 51-year-old Sean Beard provided one of the day’s highlights as he finished 37th and first over-50 in a field of 283.

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