Cross-country competition

Two dozen athletes from Stevenage and North Herts AC had a muddy good time at the Herts County Cross-Country Championships. They were competing in their respective age groups at Haileybury School near Hertford Heath on?Sunday. Both the girls and boys in t

Two dozen athletes from Stevenage and North Herts AC had a muddy good time at the Herts County Cross-Country Championships.

They were competing in their respective age groups at Haileybury School near Hertford Heath on?Sunday.

Both the girls and boys in the under-15 years teams performed extremely well, collecting the silver medals in their team races.

Hannah Dewhurst led the girls home in fourth place, clocking 20:16 for the 4.8k course.


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Completing the team were Chloe Vernon-Hamilton (10th, 21:52) and Sarah Pike (12th, 22:30). Charlotte Baird was 22nd in 25:52.

The boys also ran 4.8k - Matthew Leach was fifth in 19:08, with Luke Langley (seventh, 19:31) and David Pickett (13th, 20:35) making up the team. Tom Sloane was 20th in 21:45.

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Rebecca Newstead was the club's highest placed runner, coming third in the under-20 women's race and clocking 26:25 for the 6.1k course. Tilly Scheuber followed her in sixth place (30:18).

The club's senior men's team, running 11k, finished in ninth place. First home was Dan Poulton in a fine 14th place (41:40), followed by Adam Searle (30th in 44:14), Jeremy Rackham (54th, 48:07), and Peter Eames (93rd, 56:56). Also in this race, Paul Keeble was 95th (57:40) and Peter Eames 100th (59:29).

Under-20 men (8k) Sam Poulton and Sean Pollen finished eighth (33:57) and 11th (40:02).

The lone under-17 man Josh Moss was seventh in 22:43 for his 6.1k race.

Also the lone club runner in her race was Nicola Yates, 31st for 3.4k (17:05) in the under-13 age group.

The under-11 girls' age group saw Sophie Keeble in fifth place (6:30 for 1.6k) and Emily Eames (43rd, 8:41).

Two runners with local connections finished second and third respectively in the senior men's race.

Dave Mitchinson, who runs for Newham and Essex Beagles but now lives in?Stevenage, was runner-up in 37:15.

And Neilson Hall from Stotfold, a Bedford and County athlete, was third in 37:35.

Kevin Skinner from Garden City Runners was the winner in a time of 37:12.

The North Herts Road Runners men's team took seventh place (from 12 teams entered).

Team and times: Neil Miller 39:59, Steve McKeown 43:01, Gary Cook 46:10, Pete Northover 49:43, Stewart Bryant 50:50, Pete Scrowther 51:42, John Spinks 55:11, Chris Priestley 55:55, Martyn Annetts 58:43, Colin Calcutt 61:25, Mike Mello 62:11.

Late starter John Spinks was left wondering how high he would have finished if only he had not given everyone else a five-minute head start!

The women's team were fifth in their race.

Times: Melissa Winters 34:30, Jo Harbon 39:15, Jo Summers 40:52, Karen Dodsworth 44:57, Anna Priestley 45:59, Lindsay Cook 51:54.

Two members of the club qualified for entry for the Beds County Cross-Country Championships on Saturday.

Dave Frampton and Derek Myall did not do themselves any favours by turning up late for the start (although this may have partly been due to confusing instructions), so they did not finish as high in their respective categories as they normally would.

Fairlands Valley Spartans were delighted to finish the Herts county championships with a complete counting team.

First Spartan finisher in the senior men's race was Steve Smithson, 64th overall in 51:09.

Next was Alan Donald, 80th in 53:15, just ahead of Graham Blackburn, 81st in 53:16.

Jim Brown was 84th in 54:38, Paul Maguire 90th in 56:39 and Mark Glading 102nd in 60:41.

The Spartan team were 12th in the championship.

In the senior women's race, Alison Wood was 14th in 35:48 and Sharon Crowley 34th in 48:16.

Nine year old Lizzie Wood was 15th in her Spartans cross-country debut in the under-11 girls' race.

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