A PHENOMENAL team performance saw Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club (R&N) emerge victorious in round three of the West Midlands Cross Country League in Warley Woods.
Team triumphs came for the under-11, under-13 and under-17 girls, and both the under-11 and under-15 boys also tasted success by contributing to a mammoth 533-point victory over their nearest rivals Wolverhampton & Bilston.
Emer Wintsch led the way for the under-17 girls by taking individual glory in 16 minutes and 41 seconds and Ella Rose Bromley (16.56) and Lily Carmichael (17.55) ensured the team took first place.
Two top ten finishes from the under-11 age group contributed to their success, with Olivia Williams (7.42) and Anna Farrow (7.51) leading the way and Elspeth Unitt, Alice Bennett and Lucie Caulfield completed the scoring.
Their achievement was matched by the under-13s with Molly Williams starring after recording a second-place finish in 10.10.
Neve Satchwell finished seventh in 10.45 and the rest of the team secured top 20 finishes through Holly Walker (10.58), Amelia McMurtrie (10.58) and Grace Hughes (11.02).
R&N’s dominance continued into the boys’ races, with Louis Buttrick leading the under-11 team to victory.
Buttrick finished as runner-up in 6.41, and was soon followed over the line by Henry Woodward, who was fourth in 6.47. Lewis Gurney finished tenth in 7.08, and Arthur Tilt and Finlay Heard rounded off the triumph with times of 7.13 and 7.15 to earn the team respective finishes of 12th and 13th.
The under-15 boy’s race was a close-fought battle, with Adam Searle being pipped to the post to first place, but he was one of three R&N runners in the top four. Searle finished second in 11.34 and was soon joined by club mates Adam Caulfield, who finished third in 11.44 and Joe Musgrove who was one behind in 11.56.
The team secured first place courtesy of Muss-Ab Hassan (12.27) and Rhys James (12.36).
There was individual glory too for Amy Walker who stormed home as the under-15 girls’ winner in a time of 13.41 with the team placing second overall. Joshua Lay replicated that success by crossing the line in 17.28 for first place in the under-17 men’s event.
The club were also in action at Cofton Park in Birmingham where junior athletes Emma Bond and Rebecca Leadbeater impressed in the Midland Womens XC League.
Bond was the first scorer home after coming 23rd in 24.45 and Leadbeater was next over the line for R&N in 25.26 by finishing 39th overall.
Gabby Moriarty produced a strong run of 25.47 to take 44th place, and Sarah Bennett was 62nd in 26.45 on her return from a lengthy injury lay-off.
The team took first spot in Division Two, courtesy of a fantastic fifth-placed finish which saw them place above seven teams from Division One.
Elsewhere, R&N were also out in force at Cheltenham by taking part in the Birmingham XC League at Pittville Park.
Stephen Marks secured his highest placing of 81st in 34.55 and junior runner Jack Bond also impressed in 98th with a time of 35.29.
The team finished 15th on the day leaving them tenth overall, while the ‘B’ string were eighth, leaving them fifth in the competition with junior athlete Tom Charteress grabbing his best finish of 152nd at the event in a time of 37.45.