Rotherham retained their women’s title in the Northern Cross Country Relay Championship at Sheffield’s Graves Park on Saturday.
The first of the three stages was taken by Annabelle Grady who finished fourth in 12:23. Sam Johnson (12:19) advanced to second before Robyn Lanceley (12:30) sealed the win by a comfortable margin over Holmfirth.
With an impressive display of strength, the Rotherham B team took third place. Their final stage runner, Laura Spence, was faster than the A team runners with 12:18, a fine performance on her return from injury.
Hallamshire finished sixth, Zanthe Wray being their fastest runner with 12:52 on the opening stage where she finished eighth. Just one place and two seconds behind came Hatti Archer.
Running for an incomplete Hallamshire C team in a low-key return to competition after having her first baby, British international runner Archer looked determined and competitive despite her limited training.
The men’s four stage race was won by Liverpool with Hallamshire the top Yorkshire club in fourth place and just three seconds away from silver medals. Another 100 metres and second place would surely have been theirs so fast was there last runner Andy Heyes travelling at the end. Heyes made up four places, clocking 10:04 for the tough two mile course, the fastest time of the day by a big margin.
Connor Milnes, running for Hallamshire B, ran 10:43, faster than the A team runners apart from Heyes. If Hallamshire’s fastest four had been nominated in the A team they would have won. City of Sheffield were easy winners of both boys and girls under 15 races whilst in the under 17 men they were beaten in a close race by City of York.
They were particularly strong in the under 15 boys race Julian Slater (7:17), David Byrne (7:31) and Alfie Manthorpe (7:07) secured the gold medals by 16 seconds from Cheshire club Vale Royal, but their B team finished third.
They were given a splendid start by Matthew Shaw, runner up on the first stage with 7:07 and equal second overall with Manthorpe. He was followed in the Sheffield B team by Luke Newell (8:06) and Joseph Newman-Billington (7:24).
In the under 15 girls race Ana Garcia (8:16) gave the Sheffield team a sound start in eighth place with Amelia Lancaster running a gritty race fourth with 8:07. The satge was set for Emily Simpson on the anchor leg and she stormed through to a 24 second victory over Liverpool. Simpson’s time, 7:40, was the fastest of the race.
In the under 17 men’s race Jonathon Shields (7:12) gave Sheffield the lead on the first stage before Evan Webb (7:35) dropped to second behind a very strong City of York team. James Gormley made inroads on York on the final stage but could not catch York despite clocking 7:06, the fastest time of the race.
Hallamshire were bronze medallists in the under 17 women and the under 13 boys races. In the under 17 women’s race Mary McCarthy was the fastest Hallamshire runner with 8:40 and she was well backed up by Lilly Fletcher and Imani Wilson whilst in the under 13 boys race the Hallamshire team was Taylor Hill, Victor Baycroft and Charlie Goacher
In the under 11s, City of Sheffield’s team of Toby Moorwood, James Walker and Callum Collins were bronze medallists whilst the girls team finished fourth.
* The Ten Ten Ten Endcliffe Park 10K race was won by Will Beauchamp of Sheffield Running Club.
*More athletics and pictures in the Sheffield Telegraph on Thursday and Friday’s Grass Roots.