Bristol & West women strike Midlands team silver with men also in the medals

BRISTOL & West AC’s senior runners once again finished among the team medals at the Midland Counties Cross Country Championships, held in Loughborough.

The club’s senior women boast a terrific record in this event and for the past few years have enjoyed some cracking battles with the powerful Charnwood AC squad.

Twelve months ago the B&W lifted the title with a mighty score of just 36 points but on Saturday it was their Leicestershire rivals who threw down the challenge with a score of 39, led by individual winner and former GB international Gemma Steel.

The B&W quartet couldn’t match that score but nonetheless led by Isabelle Talbot-Price (pictured left tracking clubmate Annabel Granger at the recent South West Championships) in 11th they scored a respectable total of 86 points for second place – just three ahead of Birchfield harriers with the City of Stoke AC only another three points behind them.

Behind Talbot-Price and also making the top 20 was Natalie Griffiths in 17th with Elaina Gard 28th and former Tri-Counties champion Catie O’Donoghue the fourth and final scorer in 30th.

It was Bristol & West’s second set of silver medals in the past three years – and on both those occasions Charnwood have been their nemesis.

The club’s men have not been as consistent in the same period and for a period didn’t even finish a team. Fortunately, in the past two years team manager Mike Down has corrected that and for the second successive year they claimed the bronze medals.

Birchfield Harriers’ international squad took the honours, ending Notts ACs 15-year dominance of the event with B&W some way back in third.

Having recently returned from a training spell in Kenya Jack Millar (pictured right racing for Oxford University) produced the outstanding individual performance of the day placing fourth with the hugely-improved Andy Watt and Will Christofi both making the top 15.

Owain Jones, Jed Bartlett and Graham Breen completed the scoring.

In the young athletes’ races the Bristol & West under 13 boys’ squad again showed up well. Last year the boys claimed a marvellous gold team medal but on Saturday the squad of Zachary Cox, Ronnie Wilmott, Alex Auton-Green, Joey Taylor, Harry Harvey and Vijay Bakrania had to settle for fourth after a hard-fought competition.

Not many local runners made the long trip up to Loughborough but Westbury Harriers’ Amelia Honor’s decision to travel certainly paid off as she fished a very creditable fifth in the under 15 girls’ age group.

Midland Counties Cross Country Championships, Loughborough

Senior men (all (B&W) unless stated): 4 Jack Millar 37:44 (22secs off bronze); 12 Andrew Watt; 15 Will Christofi; 25 Owain Jones; 27 Jed Bartlett; 34 Graham Breen.

Teams: 1 Birchfield Harriers 49; 2 Notts AC 74; 3 Bristol & West AC 117

U17 men: 14 Oliver Harper; 62 Jay Akbar.

U15 boys: 9 Fletcher Hart (Swin); 10 Seamus Robinson (WH); 41 Eoin O’Halloran; 43 Nicholas Pestell; 66 Amos Kingston; 74 Joseph Hull.

Teams: 12 Bristol & West AC 224.

U13 boys: 1 Arthur Tilt (Rugby&Northampton) 9:34; 2 James Bagot (Swin) 9:38; 3 Joshua Adkin (Saffron) 9:38; 4 Owen Ulfig (Wilverhampton) 9:38; 5 Charlie Smith (Birchfield) 9:41.

15 Zachary Cox; 22 Ronnie Wilmott; 39 Alex Auton-Green; 46 Joey Taylor; 48 Harry Harvey; 49 Vijay Bakrania.

Teams: 1 Bromsgrove & Redditch 58; 2 Northampton 97; 3 Birchfield 103; 4 Bristol & West AC 122.

Senior women – Teams: 1 Charnwood 39; 2 Bristol & West AC 86 (11 Isabelle Talbot-Price, 17 Natalie Griffiths, 28 Elaina Gard, 30 Catie O’Donoghue); 31 Katrine Entwistle; 3 Birchfield Harriers 89; 4 City of Stoke 92.

U15 girls: 5 Amelia Honor (WH).


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