Talented trio take silverware

Nene Valley Harriers
Nene Valley Harriers
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The North Midlands Cross Country League reached its conclusion on Saturday with three Nene Valley Harriers runners featuring among the prize winners.

Megan Ellison, Nicky Morgan and James McCrae all led their age groups before the fixture at Nottingham and the talented trio made no mistakes on the challenging Wollaton Park course.

Ellison has been going from strength to strength over recent months and her second-place finish saw her take top spot in the girls’ under-17 standings.

The Stamford-based youngster gained one race win and two second-place finishes in the four-race series.

Morgan took the ladies’ veteran honours, winning her race comfortably.

She finished the league season unbeaten, having been first veteran home in all four races.

Former Bourne Grammar School student McCrae won the men’s under-20 title in what turned out to be a golden weekend for the Thurlby youngster.

He travelled to Birmingham on Sunday, winning the Midlands Indoors under-21 800m title.

Nene Valley Harriers were challenging for medals in most of the age groups before this race.

However, an unfortunate clash of fixtures which saw the Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire Schools Cross Country Championship taking place on the same day, as well as both the Northern and Southern Indoor Track and Field Championships, left the club somewhat depleted in the junior categories.

This gave the seniors a chance to take centre stage, which they did in style.

Cat Foley-Wray led the ladies home over the 6k course, finishing third with a typically gutsy run.

Grace Mullins wasn’t far behind in sixth position with Morgan the 16th runner home in a race which included senior and veteran athletes.

Abi Schofield (22nd) and Chloe Pavey (35th) were also well placed.

The senior and under-20s men’s race saw Lloyd Kempson finishing 11th in his final race for Nene Valley before moving to Australia.

The popular 21-year-old covered the 10k course in a time of 36.52.

He has already secured himself a new club and coach in Sydney.

McCrae was just one place behind Kempson while Jake Richardson ran well for 19th position.

James McDonald (62nd) and John Nash (104th) also enjoyed good runs while Paul Parkin, Alex Wray and Simon Turnock completed the team.

Hugo Brill and Lottie Hemmings were the best placed Nene Valley boy and girl in the mixed under-11s event, while Ethan Ellison and Harry Burchnell secured top-20 finishes in the boys’ under-15 age group.

One of the day’s highlights was Amber Park’s fourth-placed finish for the under-15 girls.

The senior men and women both completed the series as runners-up to Notts AC.

Despite fielding weakened teams at Nottingham, the Harriers finished the season third in the mixed under-11 and girls’ under-13 age groups in a very pleasing campaign for coach Russ Prosser’s squad.