Rotherham beaten by Leeds City in Northern Cross Country Relay Championship defence

Leeds City prevented Rotherham from retaining their women’s title at the Northern Cross Country Relay Championships at Graves Park on Saturday.

By Roger Norton
Sunday, 20th October 2019, 5:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd October 2019, 3:46 pm

In the three stage race the Leeds trio were the fastest three runners in the whole event and led all the way.

Well behind the leaders but well clear of the rest, Rotherham stuck to their task well.

Zara Knappy, fourth on the opening stage, was the fastest Rotherham runner with 12:30 before Jenny Blizard (12:45) moved up to second and Nicola Devine (12:31) was an isolated second.

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Showing remarkable strength in depth, Rotherham placed their B team in third place with a team of Emma Ball (12:48), Hannah Holmes (13:17) and Keiva Rennocks (12:47).

They took the awards for the first B team leaving the next placed team, Hallamshire, to collect the bronze medals. They improved throughout the race with a team of Saskia Huxham, Hannah Fletcher-Poole and Charlotte Slack. Competing the top 10 were Rotherham’s C team.

The men’s four stage race was won comfortably by Lincoln Wellington with Hallamshire improving throughout to take the runner up spot. Connor Milnes clocked 11:02 to finish 12th on the very competitive opening stage before Robert Smith (11:02) moved through to seventh.

James McCrae (10:58) moved up to third and their fastest man Cameron Bell (10:41) clinched the silver medals ahead of Middlesbrough. City of Sheffield and Dearne, with Alfie Manthorpe (10:34) their fastest runner were sixth and Rotherham seventh.

The age group races, all over three stages, produced wins for Hallamshire in the under 15 girls and under 11 boys races. It would have been a major upset if the Hallamshire under 15 girls had lost for they had the same trio which won last year. Ruby Simpson (8:03), Annie Naylor (7:57) and Emma Shipley (8:10). The Hallamshire B team were sixth.

The Hallamshire under 11 team were given a great start by Tom Thake who led on stage one with 4:53, the fastest time of the race. His brother Joe was third fastest overall with 5:08 on the anchor stage with middle man Jem Martin holding the lead in the middle section.

Rotherham were silver medallists in the under 13 girls race in the closest race of the day finishing just one second behind Stockport. The Rotherham team was Mischa Walsh ( 5:52), Emily Bott (6:14) and Lilia Harris (6:08). There were also silver medals for Hallamshire in the under 11 girls race through Izzy Wilson (5:21), Grace Igoe (5:28) and Lyra Baker (5:41).

Hallamshire took bronze medals in the under 17 women’s through Mo Martin (8:49), Hannah Metherall (8:47) and Shen Wigfield-Turner (9:20).

There were near misses for Chesterfield, fourth in the under 17 men’s race and for Rotherham, fourth in the under 13 boys race where Rocco Hughes (Barnsley AC) ran the fastest time.

Result of the Chesterfield Half Marathon

1 R Start (North Derbyshire RC) 1:11:52; 2 C Gregory (Hallamshire) 1:14:58; 3 M Kingston Lee (Grantham) 1:15:16


1 S Lewis (Roundhay Runners) 1:24:29; 2 S Fairey (Unattached) 1:27:58; 3 C Gains (Unattached) 1:32:15