Athletics
Runners gain good medal haul

Wednesday 09 January 2013 Updated: 09/01 19:02

STRATFORD AC headed to Newbold Comyn for the Warwickshire Cross Country Championships in great numbers and they returned with plenty of silverware.

The club celebrated team medals in the under 13 girls, under 17 women, under 20 women and masters women, while there were individual bronze medals for Agnes McTighe (under 13) and Zoe Chandler (under 20).

There were excellent performances from Zoe Chandler (4th, 23.51 –3rd U20) and Tasneem Pope (12th, 26.01 – 6th U17) in the combined under 17 girls and under 20 women’s race.

A bronze medal was the reward for Chandler’s superb display.

They were followed by Lucy McDermott (14th, 27.26 – 7th U20), Abigail Flynn (22nd, 30.31 – 13th U17), Rachel Jones (24th, 31.10 – 15th U17) and, back after a six week lay off due to a hamstring injury, Rachel Chandler (26th, 32.26 – 16th U17).

The test of stamina was ideal for Shauni Warner (28th, 34.38 – 12th U20) who is training for the London Marathon.

The under 15 boys team finished 7th thanks to the efforts of Matthew Bayliss (26th, 20.24), Jonathan Furey (27th, 20.32) and Calum Lambourne (35th, 22.28).

In the under 15 girls race Caroline Furey (16th, 20.56) and Harriet Flynn (20th, 21.42) had promising runs as they are in the early stages of their athletic development.

There were terrific performances in the senior and masters women’s race and the masters team picked up silver medals, just three points behind hosts Leamington C & AC.

Dani Rasgauski (9th, 28.53 – 5th Masters) was 14th after the first 2km but her ever-increasing confidence helped her to overtake some top class runners and put herself where she belongs, inside the top ten.

There is a very good chance that Dani, for the second consecutive year, will be representing Warwickshire in the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships at Cofton Park on March 9.

Sarah Wheeler (19th, 30.55 – 8th M) was happy with her race and Emma Bexson (25th, 32.06 – 12th M) put every ounce of effort into this race and finished one place higher than in 2012.

They were followed by Sarah Bland (33rd, 33.19 – 19th M), Yvonne Caswell (40th, 34.20 – 23rd M), Fern Horden (42nd, 34.33 – 25th M), Vanessa Crookes (50th , 36.18 – 32nd M), Emma Vickers (53rd, 36.29 – 35th M) and Kate Barrett (73rd, 45.21 – 48th M).

The Masters B team finished 1st of the 3 teams entered. Stratford were the only club to enter a C team showing the tremendous current enthusiasm for cross country running.

The under 13 boys were led home by Michael Redmile (15th, 14.51) who was followed by Owain Jones (18th, 15.08), Oliver Lambourne (27th, 15.48), Archie Musk (28th, 15.50) and Matthew Vickers (38th, 16.55).

There were 39 finishers in the under 13 girls race, 11 of which were from Stratford AC.

Agnes McTighe (3rd, 14.36) made an instant impression in her first race for the club and was followed home by Georgina Mitchell (4th, 14.44), Rebecca Winn (13th, 16.03), Imogen Sheppard (15th, 16.10), Eugenia Bessey (16th, 16.19), Jessica Sheppard (20th, 16.35, Ysabelle Caswell (23rd, 16.54), Hannah Bexson (25th, 17.08), Daisy Musk (26th, 17.10), Hana Adler (29th, 17.18) and Alexandra Keays (38th, 19.40). Jodie Watson was unfortunately unable to finish.

The under 13 girls finished in the silver medal position, only two points behind Royal Sutton Coldfield AC and the B team finished first of four.

The men’s under 17 and under 20 age groups ran together. Only 12 of the 43 entrants were in the under 20 category and seven of the top ten were from the under 17 age group.

Stratford, whose under 17 team finished 7th, were led home by Josh Newman (18th, 27.17 – 8th U20) from Howard Allison (21st, 27.28 – 12th U17), Nye Davis (30th, 29.15 – 19th U17) and Sean Cawley (43rd, 35.03 – 31st U17).

Twenty-six Stratford AC men made up a large proportion of the 175-strong field.

Rob Minton (26th, 39.46 – 8th M) led them home followed by Danny Tolhurst (41st, 41.20 – 19th M), Michael Warner (51st, 42.09 – 25th M), Andy Cockerill (69th, 43.31 – 37th M), Rob Ford (74th, 44.02 – 35th – M), Wayne Vickers (77th, 44.11 – 42nd M), David Battersby (78th, 44.18 – 43rd), Keith Hawkes (86th, 44.44 – 50th) and Malcolm Bowyer (93rd, 45.22 – 56th M).

Next home was Alan Coley-Smith (99th, 46.12 – 60th M) ahead of Jamie Lyall (109th, 47.12 – 65th M), who was 20 places ahead of his 2012 position, Ewan Rayment (110th, 47.14 – 45th S), Neil Gardiner (111th, 47.24 – 66th M), Stephan Meier (113th, 47.38 – 68th M), Mike Sheppard (124th, 49.18 – 74th M) and Paul Hawkins (127th, 49.27 – 77th M) who improved on last year at Solihull where he finished 139th and 84th in the Masters.

James Orme (133rd, 49.49 – 81st M) finished ahead of Jason Fretter (140th, 50.52 – 86th M), Roger Wilson (142nd, 51.11 – 88th M), Mike Barrie (144th, 51.19 – 89th), David Smyth (146th, 51.55 – 91st M), Brian Weetman (147th, 52.11 – 92nd M), David Jones (149th, 52.39, 93rd M), Phil Marshall (156th, 54.30 – 100th M), Larry Coltman (165th, 56.59 – 109th M) and Mark Newman (166th, 57.42, 110th M).

The Masters A team finished 4th out of 11.

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