Athletics: Stoke make flying start to league season
CITY of Stoke men made their best start to the Birmingham Cross-Country League season for more than a decade in the opening fixture at Leamington.
The league is regarded as one of the strongest in the country, and saw more than 300 runners from 16 clubs line up for the first fixture.
Despite having no highly-placed runners, a Stoke side led by junior Alex Brecker in 29th place packed superbly to finish sixth with 343 points. The winners were Loughborough University.
Having been fighting relegation for most of the past five years, this performance should give Stoke hope of regaining their former status as one of the leading teams in the Midlands.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Team manager John Danahay said: "This is a very encouraging start, particularly as we also have more runners to come into the team.
"We have younger runners now and that is making a vast difference."
The best local individual performance came from Ryan Holroyd (Staffs Moorlands), who finished in sixth place in 34 minutes, one second, behind Phil Nicholls (Tipton Harriers) who dominated the race for victory in 33.23.
Marc Hartley produced a promising performance in 22nd to back up Holroyd for Moorlands, but the team lacked strength in depth and had to be content with eighth place on 427 points.
In Division Two, Cannock and Stafford came out with all guns blazing, with Chris Perrin storming to a brilliant victory in 35.12.
He was followed by another fine run from his twin brother James in sixth place, as the team packed five runners in the top 16.
Sadly the club had to wait for their final scoring man in 108th position, giving them a total of 159 points.
This was equal points with Warwick University who claimed victory having finished with six men inside the leading 44 places.
Unfortunately, Newcastle AC failed to field a full side and now look certain to become relegated at the end of the season.
The Division Three race produced a close contest throughout with Stafford Harriers only managing a 15th-place finish on 581 points behind winners Nuneaton Harriers 132.
THE annual Cheddleton 10 kilometre road race to be held on November 24 is scheduled to attract a top-class field this year due to an added bonus.
Former international Clifton Bradeley has put up a gold sovereign for anyone breaking his long-standing course record.
He is also making the same generous offer to any runner who breaks the women's course record.