Hallamshire runner set for great cross country season

Hallamshire Harriers  Andy Heyes
Hallamshire Harriers Andy Heyes
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Hallamshire’s Andy Heyes was in outstanding form in the National Six Stage Road Relay Championship at Sutton Park, Sutton Coldfield.

Andy Challenger led off for Hallamshire with a solid performance.

He clocked 18:15 to finish 32nd out of the 80 starters, a better run than it appears because many of the lesser clubs put their best runners on the opening stage.

The setting was perfect for Heyes who simply scythed through the field to gain 27 places finishing fifth. His time was 17:12, second fastest of the race.

Following a consistent track season, the former Oxford and Tulsa (USA) student is running better than ever and looks set for a top class winter over the country.

It was a position Hallamshire could not expect to maintain. Ben Beattie (19:19) dropped to 16th, Andy Challenger (19:54) went to 24th and juniors Connor Milnes (19:32) and Tom Bains (19:20) each lost a place but, all told, it was a good effort by the Hallamshire squad.

Aldershot won the race and made it a double by winning the women’s four stage relay. Here Rotherham gave a tremendous performance to finish sixth, the first Northern team. Sam Johnson set them off in 12th place, her time of 15:14 being the fastest of the Rotherham quartet.

Annabelle Grady, just a second slower than Johnson, moved up a place before Robyn Lanceley (15:30) picked up another four places to take her team to seventh.

Natasha Hatswell (15:43) gained another place on the anchor leg, a splendid achievement by the Rotherham team. Showing the strength in depth at the club, the Rotherham B team finished 27th of the 60 finishing teams.

In the Young Athletes Relays at the same venue City of Sheffield just missed medals in the under 17 Boys and Under 15 Girls three stage races finishing fourth in both.

In the under 17 Boys race, won by Leicester, Sheffield were given a splendid start by Jonathon Shields who finished fourth in 12:03.

After Evan Webb (13:05) dropped to 13th, James Gormley got back to fourth with a superb time of 11:44 but he had too much to do to get into the medal positions.

The Sheffield under 15 girls team were led off by Amelia Lancaster (14:23) in 11th place before Ana Garcia (14:35) moved up to fifth. Emily Simpson, Sheffield’s fastest runner, clocked 14:02 to move up to fourth.

Sheffield’s under 15 Boys team were 10th with David Byrne, Julian Slater and Alfie Manthorpe, the latter running one of the fastest times of the race.

At under 13 level Rotherham were ninth in the girls race with Grace Harris, Leah Hayward and Keiva Rennocks whilst City of Sheffield were 10th in the boys race with a team of Sam Roberts, Charlie Whitaker and Reuban Newman-Billington.

The best South Yorkshire team in the under 17 girls race were Hallamshire with Mary McCarthy their fastest runner backed up by Lilly Fletcher and Imani Wilson.