National Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships Saturday 7th March 2015 Cofton Park, Birmingham

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Championships Saturday 7th Marh 2015 Cofton Park, Birmingham

The annual trip to the National Inter Counties Cross Country Championships saw several changes to the course, including a fast down hill start to a tight bend leading to a couple of long, steep climbs before returning to the lower part of Cofton Park in Birmingham.

All of this seemed to suit many of the Cornwall County athletes notably Harris Mier, Bradley McLellan and Sian Temple all in the top twenty in fields of over three hundred finishers.

Mier and McLellan were part of a strong under 13 Boys team which was highest placed in the ten County team races, although Cornwall were unable to field even a single athlete in the Under 20 Women’s race and just one in the Under 20 Men’s event. Harris was the higher placed of the two for most of the race, maintaining a position in the top ten which he sneaked inside for a terrific ninth on the fast finish. Bradley  was close to twentieth but made a charge down the straight to pick off several athletes, including the South West Champion, Rory Howorth of Wiltshire whom he beat by one place for 16th. The team was completed by a top one hundred finish from first year, Si-am Juntakereket at 77th and Harris’s twin, Elliot Mier at 111th. These four put the team at eleventh with over forty Counties taking part.

Sian Temple also led a strong under 15 Girls squad that finish fifteenth. After a first lap inside the top twenty, she made steady progress and had the tenth placed girl in her sights but saw her pull away and past another couple in the approach to the final bend. She kept her momentum going with chasing girls behind for a high eleventh to match her position at the recent National clubs Championships at Parliament Hill. Grace Brock was strong in a mass of girls inside the top hundred. Her 80th place shows her consistency this winter. Elowen Penfold overtook team mate Katie Hughes in the latter stages for 112th and 115th respectively to complete a team only beaten by a combined Avon and Somerset squad from the South West Region, all others being much larger Counties

Finishing in the top one hundred is a tremendous performance, the County had several who achieved this high level, including a few in the top fifty. The Senior Men responded well to the call this year and was led by Dan Nash in the final race of the day over 12Kms. He was well pleased with his 31st place in a field containing some of the best British athletes trying to get into the GB team for the World Championships in China later this month.

In the Under 13 Girls event, Frances Ratcliffe was giving away a year to many of the top athletes in her age group but still managed a 36th finish. Aidan Kent got trapped at the tight bend and had to fight his was back into the top 50 on the second lap, picking up to 42nd at the finish. The lone athlete in the Under 20 men, Samuel Lane De Courtin finished 63rd in the opening race of the day with fellow Tavistock club mate, Tess Masselink in a similar position at 68th in the Under 17 Women’s event. 

Many of the younger athletes will head even further North next weekend to compete for Cornwall Schools teams at the National Championships at Blackburn with high hopes of a couple of the team making the England School squad if they finish in the top eight.

Other finishers:

Under 13 Boys: 193 Tom Randles; 198 Charlie Parker; 223 Oliver Hutchinson; 237 Benjy McCartney

Under 15 Boys: 111 James Greenwood; 137 Floyd Ratcliffe; 221 Alexander McCartney; 263 Todd Sawyer; 281 Samuel Goodchild

Under 17 men: 158 Tom Slattery; 188 Isaac Parker; 223 Ben Rogers; 224 Tom Luton; 262 Joshua Taphouse; 273 Charlie Shipton; 274 Noah Bygrave

Senior Men: 154 Tony Brewer; 195 Dan Alsop; 227 Nick Ratcliffe; 246 Richard Pascoe; 247 Jez Mancer

Under 13 Girls: 165 Charlotte Hickes; 180 Tilly McDowell; 196 Tia Brown; 215 Clare Tapsell; 273; Louise Mitchell; 282 Freya Hocking

Under 15 Girls: 223 Shannon Beckerlegg; 240 Nell Savage; 255 Rhianna Giles; 277 Danielle Rawson

Under 17 Women: 157 Lily English; 236 Martha Carlisle; 260 Naomi Rescorla-Brown

Senior Women: 121 Alice Rogers; 196 Jenny Nash; 211 Debbie Starkey