Kenilworth’s strength in depth leads to a host of county prizes

Kenilworth Runners ladies' captain Sara Habib with masters' winners Sarah Rose, Louise Andrews and Mel Price. Picture submitted
Kenilworth Runners ladies' captain Sara Habib with masters' winners Sarah Rose, Louise Andrews and Mel Price. Picture submitted

Kenilworth Runners enjoyed their best-ever Warwickshire Cross Country Championships at Cofton Park, Longbridge, on Saturday.

The event was run in conjunction with the Worcestershire XC Championships over a hilly and muddy Cofton Park course.

Star performer was Paddy Roddy whose decision to bypass the seniors’ race in favour of the under-20s’ was vindicated when he stormed to victory, earning himself selection for Warwickshire in the forthcoming inter-counties event in the process.

Both Kenilworth’s men’s and ladies’ masters took home the team trophies while the senior men’s and ladies’ teams took third spot.

The club’s strength in depth was emphasised by the men’s masters also being the first B team, C team and D team and the ladies’ masters claiming first B team and the seniors second B team.

Individually, Phil Gould finished second in the men’s masters race and, subject to results in the Midlands XC Championships, will represent Warwickshire in the inter-counties meeting.

Rich Simkiss was ninth (14th overall).

For the ladies, there were excellent performances throughout the squad with new member Sarah Rose (3rd) also qualifying to represent Warwickshire and joining Mel Price (9th) and Louise Andrews (12th) for the masters’ team counters.

Cross-country debutant Laura Fuller (14th) led home Kenilworth’s senior ladies.

Leamington C&AC sent over a smaller than usual squad of 28 athletes, but there were still some fine individual performances, with Andy Savery fourth in the senior men’s race in 36min 30sec and Zara Blower (24:18) fifth in the senior women’s race.

Leamington’s male masters team were seventh with Craig Bower first home in 42:13 followed by John Knibb (28th in 42:45) and Mike Denny (40th in 43:58). Nick Tawney completed the team in 47th place with a time of 44:50.

The B team finished fifth, led home by Paul Caruana (46:57), one place and five seconds ahead of Steve Roberts.

Pete Taylor was 75th (47:58) and Graham Roberts (53:23) 102nd

Leamington’s female masters finished eighth.

Susie Tawney (26:51) was 13th, with Jenny Jeeves 16th in 27:48 and Carol Blower completing the team in 33:25.

C&AC’s under-20 men also took team gold, packing well in fourth, sixth and seventh to take the title.

Callum Hanlon led them home in 22:05, with Simon Cooper sixth in 22:23 and Johnathon Brown (23:12) seventh.

Warwickshire Cross Country Championships (Kenilworth Runners finishers): Men: 12, Phil Gould (37:32); 14, Richard Simkiss (37:52); 22, Stuart Hopkins (38:26); 36, Kev Hope (39:21); 41, Matthew Elkington (39:37); 55, Matt Dyer (40:58) 58 Neil Cressey (41:11); 60, Marc Curtis (41:14); 81, Dave Ramus (42:21); 92, Dewi Williams (43:01); 107, Alex Atkinson (43:45); 133, Neil Sheward (45:16); 140, Stewart Underhill (45:37); 170, Tom Williams (47:08); 175, Dave Pettifer (47:15); 188, Jimmy Atkins (48:24); 198, Barry Elkington (49:01); 201, Robert Willis (49:04); 205, Jonathan Heather (49:19); 256, Tom Dable (57:18); 262, Stef Shillington (59:05); 270, Colin Bricher (69:50).

Women: 11, Sarah Rose (24:24); 21, Mel Price (25:08); 31, Laura Fuller (26:14); 39, Louise Andrews (26:49); 48, Courtney Thornberry (27:36); 49, Sara Habib (27:39); 57, Justine Willis (28:21); 61, Stef Lunn (28:27); 69, Laura Pettifer (28:47); 78, Emily Morris (29:19); 87, Rebecca Smith (29:50); 92, Laura Gould (29:59); 129, Sophie Cookson (35:30); 137, Pauline Dable (36:28); 152, Kirsty Smith (48:27).