Double medal joy in national relays
City of Norwich AC are celebrating their best-ever overall performance at the Saucony English Cross Country Relays in Berry Hill Park, Mansfield – with six teams in top 10 places and two sets of medals.
Monsoon conditions prevailed for the senior men's four stage race, each of 5km distance, in which the team made club history.
Lead-off man Ashley Harrell (15:36 overall the third fastest leg in the senior race) handed over to second leg athlete Tommy Carroll in a superb third position. Carroll dug deep for a time of 16:52 to hold on to eighth place.
Stuart Huntington produced arguably the best run of his life when clocking 16:23 to bring the team up to second. And Ryan Saunders (16:31), on his club debut, was only overhauled in the final 400m as he secured team bronze – the club's first medal in the championships at senior level.
The junior ladies also proved themselves a national force by taking team bronze. Racing over three stages each of 2.5km, Iona Lake produced a cracking run for a time of 8:43, the third fastest on the day, handing over to Juliet Broster in second.
Juliet posted a time of 9:38 top keep the team in medal contention. And fnal leg athlete Claire Pring maintained the team's bronze medal status by completing her leg in 8:57.
Having mounted the podium to receive their bronze medals they subsequently found that they had been elevated to silver medal position as the team finishing runners up had fielded an ineligible athlete and were disqualified.
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Seventy five teams set off in the Under-13 Boys three-stage race of 2km each leg. The club's opening leg athlete Alfie Linstead (7:23) passed the baton to Jacob Cotton (7:42) in 12th place and Jacob maintained the status quo before an anchor leg of 7:05 from Luke Spear – the third fastest overall on the day – proved to brought the team home in fourth place.
New recruit Alex Dunbar (9:08) led off the Junior Men's trio, each racing over 3km, to hand over to Martainn Ramsey in 11th position. Martainn excelled on the second leg moving the team up to fifth with 9:17 for his stint. Final leg athlete Damian Rogers (9:43) gave his all to bring the team home in ninth position.
Next in the pecking order came the Under-17 boys three-man team, who each raced over 3km. Lead off man Tom Hook (9:14) came home in third place, a position maintained by Sean Watson (9:34).
First year Under-17 Scott Greeves (10:03) had to succumb to older athletes but was still able to bring the team home in a very creditable sixth place.
Megan Soanes (7:33), Megan Bird (7:56) and Alice Cheverton (8:02), all racing over 2km in the Under-15 girls relay, came home in eighth position. The Senior Ladies team of Olivia Walwyn (10:54), Ellie Matthews (11:32) and Kelly Rushton (11:39) finished 13th out of 104 teams.
The U17 girls team, racing over 2.5km, mirrored the finishing place of the club's senior ladies. Mabel Beckett (9:45), Anna Hoogkamer (10:11) and Hannah Wright (9:30) made up the squad.
The U15 boys – Ashley Watterson (7:12) Jamie Finch (7:27) and Elliott Marina (7:19) – were 22nd out of 80 over a 2km distance.