Silver lining for men’s cross country team

Magnificent Seven Hallamshire Harriers celebrate their silver, from left: Rob Little, Rob Baker, Andy Heyes, John Rocke, Andy Thake, Nasser Hussain and Tom Jenkins
Magnificent Seven Hallamshire Harriers celebrate their silver, from left: Rob Little, Rob Baker, Andy Heyes, John Rocke, Andy Thake, Nasser Hussain and Tom Jenkins

Hallamshire Harrier’s senior men’s team won silver at the Northern Cross Country Championships in Sunderland.

The 12km race was run over three laps of a very muddy course at Herringthorpe Country Park and highlighted a significant achievement in the club’s history as an athletic club in Sheffield had not finished as high in the events since the former Sheffield United Harriers won it in 1961.

Andy Heyes, in his first senior race, finished ninth to lead the team home followed by Dave Archer, Andy Thake and Rob Little in 19th, 21st and 25th places respectively.

John Rocke, winner of the South Yorkshire Cross Country Champs race two weeks ago, was the next to finish in 42nd while Tom Jenkins (51) was the final team counter

The other Hallamshire finishers were Rob Baker (54), Dave Sprot (65), Nasir Hussain (77), Mike Sprot (115), Craig Fishwick (146) and Tim Robinson (233).

They had been inspired by performances from the younger age groups whioch resulted in individual bronze medals for Under-15 girl Natalia Hackett - she missed silver by just two seconds - and Fiona Bell in the Under-17 women’s event.

There was a so-close scenario for the senior women who took fourth in the 8km race only two points away from the bronze medal, despite being without Hatti Dean (in Kenya), Julia Russell and Nicola Squires. However the strength in depth shone through with Lizzie Adams fifth, Ruth Proctor 31st, Michelle Jenkins 47th, Suzanne Sharman 81st and Rachael Elder 104th. Joe Gratton was also just out of the medals when he finished fourth in the junior men’s race.

Full results are available from the Northern Athletics website.

Next up is the National Cross Country Championships at Alton Towers on Saturday, February 19.