Club’s Dirty Dozen

Twelve members of Stevenage and North Herts AC represented Hertfordshire in the South of England Cross-Country Championships at Parliament Hill on Saturday. All the athletes braved the elements and the gruelling course. The top place achieved by a club me

Twelve members of Stevenage and North Herts AC represented Hertfordshire in the South of England Cross-Country Championships at Parliament Hill on Saturday.

All the athletes braved the elements and the gruelling course.

The top place achieved by a club member was sixth by Sara Bailey in the under-20 women's race in a time of 22:03.

In the same age group, Lauren Cunningham was 20th and Jasmine Forde 27th and as a team, they finished a creditable third.

Under-17 girls selected were Joanne Mansell who finished 26th, Sam McCormick 52nd and Francesca Witney 57th, helping the team to finish ninth. Hannah Dewhurst in the under-13 girls' race finished 21st.

In the under-20 men's race, Marcus McKechnie was 23rd and Callum McKechnie helped Hertfordshire to second place in the under-17 boys' race, finishing the course in 20:13. Lewis Keeble crossed the line in 17:26 in 60th with the under-15 team finishing eighth, and the under-13 team were seventh aided by Matthew Leach in 39th and Paul Spicer 71st.

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Nick Stoppard competed in the Data Connection inaugural open indoor meeting at the new indoor track at Picketts Lock, the Lee Valley Centre, on Sunday. He recorded two new personal bests - a clearance of 1.60m in the high jump, and a time of 24.88m over 200m.

n Clifton schoolboy Ryan Parker won gold in making it four victories out of four in the current cross-country season.

The Samuel Whitbread Community College pupil, also a member of Bedford and County AC, represented Bedfordshire in the Southern Inter-Counties Championships held at Parliament Hill.

He finished the 5000m course in 16:19, 10 seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

Ten teams took part and 73 runners finished with Bedfordshire coming sixth overall.

Pictured with Ryan (above right) are his coach Martin Cadman and James Tuttle who won the best volunteer trophy at the recent end of track and field season presentations. Ryan won trophies for best performance by an under-17 and most improved junior male.

# There were 25 North Herts Road Runners taking part in the Bedford Half-Marathon on Sunday.

Pete Northover led the team home with yet another personal best time.

Despite a windswept, hilly course, Northover reduced his personal record by almost a minute to finish in a time of 1-20:37. He was followed by Gary Cook (1-21:08) and veteran John Russell (1-23:55), both also setting new personal bests.

In the ladies' category, Paula Adams was fifth overall with 1-24:52.

Other finishers in the field of more than 1,300 were: Norman Leslie (1-27:54), Richard Thackeray (1-28:50), Melissa Winters (1-28:50), Martyn Annetts (1-29:00), Duncan Hooker (1-31:31), Roger Witherick (1-31:33), Clive Adams (1-34:53), Suzy Trott (1-36:19), Claire Messenger (1-40:05), Gerald Rolfe (1-42:23), Jo Summers (1-43:15), David Duggan (1-43:46 pb), Finlay Simpson (1-47:32), Roger Bamberough (1-48:21 pb), Tim Gillott (1-49:20 pb), Christine Sharp (1-49:52 pb), Caroline Mercer (1-52:01), Lisa Thackeray (1-52:02 pb), Lindsay Cook (2-10:23), Vanessa Rolfe (2-10:55) and Lorraine Hewitt (2-14:01 pb).

Running twice the distance although staying in the same place, triathlete Kevin Holt completed his first ever marathon on a treadmill at Royston Swimming Pool.

Taking on the challenge for charity, Holt just dipped under the three-hour mark to finish in 2-59:00.

This Sunday, the Squirrels host the third fixture of the Three Counties Cross-Country League hoping to maintain their position at the top of the table.