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Six top ten finishes for SNHAC Athletes


Sunday 17th October 2021

Twenty-Five Stevenage and North Herts members made the journey to Shotover Hill, Oxford on Saturday for the first Cross Country League Match since December 2019. The journey in pouring rain had team members a bit worried, but by the time the races started it was a beautiful day and quite hot. The Chiltern League is even bigger now as a result of other cross-country leagues being unable to run post-COVID. 21 Clubs were taking part; this is serious competition.

It was great to see so many new Club members taking part. It was quite an intimidating occasion, most had not experienced anything like this and many hadn’t even run a cross-country race before. The races are all far longer than anything on the track, the course was demanding, taking most age groups into the Chiltern Hills and up one particularly long, steep hill – not for the faint hearted! Seniors got the opportunity to scale it twice!

The team did particularly well and there were some fine individual performances. A special mention must go to Hazel Spitzer U11 in her first competition who completed the 2km course in 7.46mins to finish 3rd. U11 Oliver Rose was 5th in the boy’s race with team mate James Cook 23rd.

Competing for the seniors in Division 2, Adam Searle finished the 8.9km in 37.15 mins for 33rd while M40 Bob Whitten, returning from injury was 134th. The Ladies race was over 5.8km and in spite of being ill earlier in the week Alex Gates finished in 16th in 26.43 mins. U17 Boys William Galliford and Isaac Whitten finished their 5.8km course in 9th and 12th positions in 21.42mins and 22.28 mins respectively. U17 Amelie Hobbs finished 11th in 26.22 mins over the 5km course. The U15’s ran over 4km. Top finishing was Jack Thompson in 13th 15.43 mins with Thomas Redfern 21st and Harrison Lund 25th. The team finished 6th. Abigail Manson led the girls home finishing 4th in 16.26mins, Charlotte Livingstone was 19th, Lilly Ash 21st, Alessia Payton 22nd, Imogen Rose 23rd and Molly Allen 25th. The team finished 4th. U13 Jake Trevelyan finished the 3km course in 10th with Matthew Thompson 11th – times 12.55 and 12.57mins respectively. Esme Searle led the U13 girls home in 6th 13.15mins with Lauren Griffin 7th 13.33mins, Jane Griffin 14th, Gracie Hall-Watts 15th and Hannah Cook 17th. The team finished 4th.

It was pleasing to see how everyone gave their best, supported each other and seemed to enjoy it (maybe after the event). It was a great experience and if this is how the team started the season, then with more training under their belts we should expect great things from this talented group of athletes.

Photos by Barry Cornelius ( )