National Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships Saturday 9th March 2013 Cofton Park, Birmingham - Report


There used to be a trophy awarded to the 'Most Improved' Senior team at the National Inter Counties Cross Country Championships, if this was still awarded, the Cornwall Senior Women's team would certainly have been in the running after their best team position for many years, finishing 15th from 33 'complete' County and Regional teams at Cofton Park, Birmingham on Saturday.

In her first year as a Senior, Annabel Gummow, competed for the England team recently to add to her Junior International vests this was her first outing for the County at this event. Another International, at veteran level, Emma Stepto had Annabel well within her sights as the pair progressed towards the upper end of the field. These two finished 25th and 33rd respectively with Heidi Cottam vastly improving on last year at 121st. Jenny Nash was just ahead of Lucy Mancer at 192nd and 195th with Rachel Baker completing the team at 211th. Donna Raggett was 241st.

There was also a re-kindling of interest in the Men's team, especially from the three Mile High athletes who were only competing in their third cross country event. Dan Alsop was just outside of the top 100 at 113th, Tony Brewer 154th, Michael Robinson 171st, Dan Rodgers 177th, Andrew Martin 238th and Richard Pascoe 243rd. Steven Simms missed out on competing in the Under 20 race by one day with a birthday on 30th December! he finished 260th.

With one missing from the Under 20 scoring team, Steven would have made all the difference. As it was there were excellent performances from Dan Nash 35th, Callum Jones 53rd and Kyle Chapman 169th.

In the younger age groups there were over 300 in each race from 41 teams competing in the worst conditions seen since the Championships moved to Birmingham five years ago, with deep mud and standing water throughout the course and to finish in the top 100 in these conditions as quite an achievement.

In the youngest age group, Sian Temple ploughed through the muddy last hairpin stretch to race into the finish, picking up places as she went to take the second highest County position of the day at 27th, leading the Under 13 team to 18th. Emily Becconsall missed the top 100 by one place at 101st, Sarah Wilson was close behind at 109th and Elowen Penfold completed the scoring four at 133rd.

Charlotte Cayton-Smith had her best run of the winter, finishing 33rd in the Under 17 Women's race. Yvonne Chart was 69th and Isabel Steele 86th. Lucy Bowden completed the 19th team placing with a plucky run through injury at 209th.

Other top 150 finishers for the County were: 

Under 15 Girls - Tess Maselink 75th; Yoyo Barnsley 128th and Harriet Lord 131st 

Under 13 Boys - Finn Birnie 82nd and James Greenwood 107th 

Under 15 Boys - Frankie Aldred 83rd and Isaac Parker 136th.

The National Championships will be completed for this winter with the Schools Finals at Catton Park, Derbyshire on Saturday The League programme reaches it's finale with the final fixture at Plymouth the following day. The Junior Schools Cross Country Championships will be held at Newquay Sports Centre on Wednesday, first race at 3.00pm.