English National XC Relays

Flo Brill lead the way for Nene Valley Harriers in the English National Cross Country Relays at Mansfield on Saturday as she showed her country’s best young talent a clean pair of heels.

The fledgling Harrier ran the fastest leg of the day in the under thirteen girls race for the second successive year. Brill completed the surprisingly mud free 2k course in 6:54.85, nearly ten seconds faster than any of her rivals, and handed over to Lottie Hemmings with Nene Valley leading the way. Hemmings and Niamh Rushton, on the anchor leg, both ran strongly but the team slipped back to a 26th place finish against the best in the country.

The under 17 girls were the highest placed Nene Valley team coming home 22nd. Megan Ellison ran the fastest leg covering the 3k course in 9:05.

Ella Robinson, Amber Park and Olivia Mead all ran well as the under 15 girls finished in 33rd position.

Team Manager Russ Prosser had a tough task selecting the senior ladies teams, having to split six well matched athletes into two teams. The ‘A’ team came out on top, but only just. Nicky Morgan, who will be making her way to Glasgow at the weekend as part of the England Masters Cross Country squad battled with ‘B’ team athlete Ruth Jones on the opening leg. It was only in the final stages that Morgan established a slender lead over Jones, who felt she was lacking a bit of sharpness as she continues to battle her way back from Injury. It was only a fine last leg run from Chloe Pavey that allowed the ‘A’ team to finish two places ahead of their clubmates in 55th position.

The under 13 boys came home in an impressive 25th place with Scott Oakley their fastest runner, while the under 15 boys finishef in 44th position.

Junior men Oliver Bowling, Alex Hampson and James McCrae took 31st position, and the under 17 men battled their way into 60th place. Nathan Tweedie ran the fastest leg for the senior men who finished 74th.

Nene Valley were able to field ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams across the age groups, and the strength in depth at the club means that they can look forward to the winter with high hopes, as the cross country season gathers pace.

Barry Warne