Intercounties XC Champs, Cofton Park, Birmingham

The cream of the local running crop travelled to Cofton Park in Birmingham last Saturday (Mar 8th) to take on the country’s leading athletes at the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships, with some outstanding results.

Nene Valley Harriers’ Alex Hampson produced the most impressive display for his Lincolnshire county team when he stormed to 44th in the U17 men’s race. This represented a big step up for the Bourne school boy, as it is his first year in that age group, meaning he was competing against many older, more experienced athletes. He received good support from team mates Jake Richardson (87th), James McCrae (158th) and Kurt Smyth (197th).

Tracy McCartney ran one of the strongest cross country races of her life in the senior women’s race, finishing first for Cambridgeshire and bettering her position from last year by more than 100 positions. Continuing her rich vein of form, McCartney crossed the line in 87th place in 31:48, which was also nearly a minute and a half quicker than her 2013 performance.

Club mate Emily Brand, from Morton, shone in the U17 women’s race, placing a respectable 173rd, and fellow Harriers Jasmine Allen, Amber Park and Keilin Spurdens also ran well in the U13 girls and U13 boys’ events respectively.

The U20 men’s race saw a strong performance from Chris Allison in 62nd, and Michael Moore also battled hard for his 212th position in the senior men’s race.

Austin Herbert was first in for the club in the U15 boys’ race in 148th, with Stamford-based Nathanial Taylor just behind in 170th position, closely followed in by Will Baker in 207th.

Bourne Town Harriers’ Scott Taylor wasn’t far behind in 226th, and club mate Elin James did well to place 161st in the U13 girls’ challenge.