Young North Somerset AC squad crowned Avon relay champions

Gold standard: The North Somerset AC squad of Alfie Hocking, Sam Gentry, Matt Howard and Ben Hamblin

A YOUNG North Somerset AC senior men’s team raced to a popular victory in the Avon Road Relays on Sunday.

The squad of Ben Hamblin, Alfie Hocking – both under 20s – an the under 23 pair of Matt Howard and Joe Gentry finished almost two minutes clear of Westbury Harriers as they all ran within 30 seconds of each other.

Indeed, only 14 seconds separated the super consistent Hamblin, Hocking and Howard as they all dipped inside 16 minutes on this testing 5k circuit with Gentry just 10 seconds outside that.

“All been with us since they were young,” said delighted coach and team boss Julian Emery.

For good measure the club’s second squad of Alan Baker, Will Cheek, Ollie Lock and Russ Forsbrooke finished fourth overall and first B team.

Fastest individual time was run by in-form Clevedon AC runner Sam Tabberner, who has just wrapped up the GWR Towpath Series.

Top trio: Westbury’s Tilly Spinny, Rhiannon Paton and Samantha Munday

Tabberner clocked 15mins 30secs, 10 seconds quick than Howard with Hamblin third fastest.

Arguably the best individual run of the day came from Bristol & West AC’s new signing Chelsea Baker as she stormed around the course in 17mins 39secs, the only woman to dip inside 18 minutes.

Team-mates Anna Ford and Molly Chilton backed her up with solid support but it wasn’t enough to earn B&W victory as the Westbury Harriers squad of Samantha Munday, Tilly Spinny and Rhiannon Paton did just enough to finish eight seconds clear in a very close race.

Cleeve 5k road relays incorporating the Avon County Championships

Men: 1 North Somerset AC 63:29 (Ben Hamblin 15:45, Alfie Hocking 15:54, Matt Howard 15:40, Joe Gentry 16:10); 2 Westbury Harriers 65:23 (James Harrod 16:06, Finn Goodhew 16:47, Artie Savage-Swaine 16:34, Ben Rawlins 15:56); 3 Clevedon AC 65:39 (Robbie Stewart 15:51, Sam Tabberner 15:30, Jack Richardson 16:46, Jonah Murray 17:32).

4 North Somerset AC B 66:11; 5 Westbury Harriers M40 68:41; 6 Westbury Harriers B 72:33.

Fastest – men: 1 Sam Tabberner (Clev) 15:30; 2 Matt Howard (NSAC) 15:40; 3 Ben Hamblin (NSAC, U20) 15:45; 4 Robbie Stewart (Clev) 15:51; 5 Alfie Hocking (NSAC, U20) 15:54; 6 Ben Rawlins (WH) 15:56

Women (3x5k): 1 Westbury Harriers 56:54 (Samantha Munday 19:47, Tilly Spinny 18:49, Rhiannon Paton 18:18); 2 Bristol & West AC 57:02 (Chelsea Baker 17:39, Anna Ford 20:04, Molly Chilton 19:19); 3 Clevedon AC 61.00 (Natalie Southernwood 20:06, Debbie Powell 21:19, Francesca Rawlings 19:35).

4 Westbury Harriers U20s 63:07; 5 Clevedon AC 63:27; 6 Westbury Harriers W35 66:26.

Fastest – Women: 1 Chelsea Baker (B&W) 17:39; 2 Rhiannon Paton (WH, U20) 18:18; 3 Tilly Spinny (WH, U20) 18:49; 4 Molly Chilton (B&W) 19:19; 5 Francesca Rawlins (Clev, W35) 19:35; 6 Elen Ruck (WH, U20) 19:47.

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