Bristol & West team boss Elson salutes his women for top ten finish

Team work: Bristol & West AC women’s team manager Chris Elson (centre) with some of his squad

BRISTOL & West AC women’s team delivered a stirring performance in the National Road Relays at Sutton Park, Birmingham, over the weekend.

The squad of Natalie Bretherton, Kat Entwistle, Rosie Hattersley and Kate Mactear performed above expectation to finish seventh overall and top west country club from a field of 63 finishers.

Furthermore, they came within of a whisker of making the top six as a brave run by Mactear on the fourth and final stage ended with her failing by just a single second to catch Birchfield Harriers’ Naomi Collier as she lifted Bristol & West from 11th to seventh.

“This was the best performance by the Bristol Nippy Ladies since Jasmine Finney, Kate Maltby, Charlotte Taylor-Green and Imogen Ainsworth took silver medals in 2015,” said team manager Chris Elson.

Elson’s team tactics couldn’t be faulted as Bretheron posted the fastest time on the red-hot opening stage with a time of 14:54 – 48 seconds quicker than she ran over the same course in the Midland Championships two weeks earlier – to bring the club home in 19th. Entwistle claimed three places on stage two (15:42) with Hattersley gained further ground on the penultimate stage moving up to 11th (15:20).

Mactear was too far back to challenge from a podium place but that didn’t stop her from giving it her all as she gained another four places and was just a stride behind the Birchfield rival on the finish line.

The B team of Catie O’Donoghue, Lucy Wallace, Jess Mackie and Frances Arnott – the latter pair both making their debuts for the club – finished 32nd and fifth B team.

The men’s A team of Jack Millar, looking more like his old self as he improved dramatically from the Midlands, osh Moody, Felix McGrath, Ben Westhenry, Jack Bancroft and Kurt Taylor ran the fastest time by B&W in 10 years, coming home in ninth in 1:47:34.

The B team of Joe Connors, Andy Salmon, Adam Wilson, Owain Jones, Aled Anderson and Adam Stokes performed in a similarly impressive fashion, finishing in 35th, nearly four minutes faster than they recorded at the Midlands.