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On Saturday, 11th November 2017, the first Midland cross country league matches were held at Coventry and Cheltenham.

Senior Women

The continuing success of this Midland Women’s Cross Country League shows no sign of abating, not only did Birchfield have one of our biggest turnouts if not the biggest, there was a record number of finishers in the race with 426. Clearly the benefits of cross country running are becoming more widely known. Coundon Park, Coventry had its usual boggy surface but didn’t present too many problems except for some serious bottle necks in the trees caused by the sheer volume of athletes.

The field set off at a rapid pace for the first short lap and a bunch of runners soon formed a little breakaway, these included Chloe Richardson, Bryony Gunn, Karys Amory, Katie Allen and Ejiro Okoro. Gradually the group became more strung out as the race went into the second of two longer laps led by two fine athletes from Birmingham University and Loughborough Students.

As the race drew to a close, our leading athlete was Chloe Richardson who was “enjoying” her first race back after getting over her back problems. Not far behind was Bryony Gunn (herself a Loughborough student) but staying true to her club. After a horrid run at Mansfield last week and struggling with fatigue Katie Allen had a fine run to be third scorer. Ejiro Okoro hasn’t run cross country for years and was feeling her way through the race. She clearly had plenty left in the tank as she sprinted the last 200m. and passed young Karys Amory almost on the line to close the scoring for the team.

The scorers details were:-

4th Chloe Richardson 24:29
6th Bryony Gunn (U20) 24:35
11th Katie Allen 25:12
16th Ejiro Okoro 25:38

This gave us a 1 point victory over Loughborough with Bham Uni 3rd

17th Karys Amory (U20) in 25:39
22nd Susie McManus in 26:32 on her debut league race for us.
28th Lizzie Watters in 27:19 which was her highest finish by far
35th Sarah Conway (V35) in 28:00 and first of our Masters scorers
40th Jenny Parker in 28:11 also making a debut
58th Frances Vickers (V35) in 29:10 second Masters scorer
90th Kathryn Salt in 30:46 debut for us in the league
113th Nicola Ross (V40) in 32:10 third Masters scorer
135th Faye Morley in 33:55
138th Sara Ellen (McNamee) 34;07
167th Emily Weir 36:22 first league run for us.

We also achieved 3rd position in the Masters race with Sarah, Frances and Nicola.

Thanks to you all for turning out and also senior management for manning the finish funnels. We have to maintain this standard throughout the season Ladies.

Report by Eddie Cockayne

Senior Men

Our senior men were at Cheltenham and the A team finished 2nd in the Birmingham & District Invitation Cross Country League. First stag crossing the line was Jonathan Goringe who finished 9th followed closely by Will Richardson (U20) in 10th. Alex Tovey was the next runner in 14th, followed by Ed Banks in 20th, Harry Halford (U20) in 22nd and Rory Grant in 23rd. This gave the team 98 points to finish second behind Loughborough Students.

Our B team consisted of Orlando Corea (V40) in 50th, Yousef Al-Lathaa in 52nd, Jonathan Cullen 57th, Cameron Shankly (U23) 59th, Alistair Rutherford (U23) 75th and Matthew Biggs (V35) in 109th. This gave the team a respectable 402 points which placed them in 3rd position in the B team category and 9th place overall.

Other stags taking part in the race were Ben Griffiths 129th, Alex Parker (V35) 170th, Lee Harris V40) 172nd, Reis Brooke (U20) 177th, Adam Guy (V40) 196th, Peter Dimbleby (V40) 197th, Simon Rhodes (V40) 258th, Rob Deakin (V35) 261st and Omar Ahmed (U23) 268th. 310 athletes completed the course.

Stags at American University Cross Country races

On Friday, 9th November 2017 two of our athletes took part in cross country races representing their American Universities. Alex George (U23), representing Arkansas University, finished 7th in College Station, TX, USA. He helped his team to win on the day the NCAA Division 1 South Central Region Cross Country Championships.

On the same day Thomas George (U23) finished in 15th place representing Missouri University, the first to score for his University. Missouri University finished 9th on the day in NCAA Division 1 Midwest Region Cross Country Championships.

Ellie Stevens 02Las Vegas Half Marathon

On Sunday, 12th November 2017 Ellie Stevens took part in GEICO Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half marathon and finished 48th in a time of 84:55, which was just outside her best performance.

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