Birmingham next stop for CoNAC’s relay men

Still smarting from their defeat in the Round Norfolk Relay, City of Norwich senior athletes dusted themselves down in preparation for a crack at the first major road race of the season, the South of England Six Stage Relay in Aldershot.

With 70 teams toeing the start line, competition was fierce, but the City squads were equal to the task. For the 'A' team lead-off man Ashley Harrell put in a solid performance with 18min 54secs for the first 6km leg, handing over to Stuart Huntington, who was fresh from running the half-marathon distance in the Great North Run, breaking the 70-minute barrier for the first time.

He displayed no signs of fatigue when recording 18.40 to bring the team through to seventh place. Tommy Carroll maintained the high position, covering the two-lap course in 18.59 before Carl Goose came of age by posting a time 18.32 – the team's fastest on the day and good enough to bring them up to fifth.

Youngster Jordan Ali, in his first senior appearance, found the going tough but dug deep to record 20.09. Losing a little ground, he handed over for the final leg to Rick Ward, whose 19.45 maintained the high position to equal the club's previous best performance.

The club's 'B' team of Jonny Quint, Damian Rogers, James Jackson, Ben Stratton, James Senior and Steve Cannell also made it to the final and claimed the last qualifying place by finishing 25th overall. Both teams will now take their place in the national final in Birmingham in three weeks' time.

The club's junior section, competing on Saturday at the same venue, gained experience in the big time. The best result was 11th for the U15 girls' relay – Alice Cheverton, Katie Stratton and Megan Soames. Juliet Broster, Mabel Beckett and Nastassia Potgieter made up the U17 girls' trio that finished 16th while the U15 boys' (Scott Greeves, Bradley Stansbury and Callum Russell) finished 19th out of 50.

The U13 girls (Megan Bird, Ashleigh Bunn and Ellena White) managed 45th from a field of 65. Young Ashley Waterson may prove to be the club's next Mitch Goose. Though the U13 boys team failed to complete a team, Waterson proved what a talent he is when scorching round his 2.3km leg in 10.21, the fastest U13 time on the day.