North Mids League, Nottingham

The North Midlands Cross Country League reached its conclusion on Saturday, with three Nene Valley Harriers runners featuring amongst the prize winners.

Megan Ellison, Nicky Morgan and James McCrae all led their age groups before the fixture at Nottingham, and the talented trio made no mistakes on the challenging Wollaton Park Course, ensuring that plenty of silverware returned to Peterborough.

Ellison has been going from strength to strength over recent months, and her 2nd place finish saw her take top spot in the girls under 17 standings. The Stamford based youngster gained one race win and two second place finishes in the four race series.

Nicky Morgan took the ladies veteran honours, winning her race comfortably. Morgan finished the league season unbeaten, having been 1st veteran home in all four races.
James McCrae won the men's under 20 title in what turned out to be a golden weekend for the young Harrier. He travelled to Birmingham on Sunday winning the Midlands Indoors under 21 800 metres title.

Nene Valley were challenging for medals in most of the age groups before this race. However, an unfortunate clash of fixtures which saw the Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire Schools Cross Country Championship taking place on the same day, as well as both the Northern and Southern Indoor Track and Field Championships left the city club somewhat depleted in the junior categories. This gave the seniors a chance to take centre stage, which they did in style.

Cat Foley-Wray led the ladies home over the 6k course finishing 3rd, with a typically gutsy run. Grace Mullins wasn't far behind in 6th position with Nicky Morgan the16th runner home in a race which included senior and veteran athletes. Abi Schofield 22nd and Chloe Pavey 35th were also well placed.

The senior and under 20’s men's race saw Lloyd Kempson finishing 11th in his final race for Nene Valley before moving to Australia. The popular 21 year old covered the 10k course in a time of 36.52. He has already secured himself a new club and coach in Sydney.

James McCrae was just one place behind Kempson while Jake Richardson ran well for 19th position. James McDonald 62nd, and John Nash 104th also enjoyed good runs. Paul Parkin, Alex Wray and Simon Turnock completed the team.

Hugo Brill and Lottie Hemmings were the best placed Nene Valley boy and girl in the mixed under 11’s event and Ethan Ellison and Harry Burchnell secured top 20 finishes in the boys under 15 age group.

One of the day's highlights was Amber Park’s 4th placed finish for the under 15 girls.

The senior men and women both completed the series as runners up to Notts AC. Despite fielding weakened teams at Nottingham, The Harriers finished the season 3rd in the mixed under 11 and girls under 13 age groups in what was a very pleasing campaign for Coach Russ Prosser's squad.

Barry Warne

Click here to view more photos from the day.