Rotherham women run great race to keep Northern cross country title

Hatti Dean returned to action following the birth of her baby
Hatti Dean returned to action following the birth of her baby

Rotherham women’s team successfully defended their title at the Northern Cross Country Championships at Pontefract on Saturday.

When it comes to consistency few can touch the Rotherham squad.

Without anyone at the sharp end of the race, won by Stockport’s Elle Vernon, Rotherham packed superbly, led by Sam Johnson (14th) and supported by Robyn Lanceley (20th), Annabelle Grady (21st) and Jess Fawcett (28th). They beat Liverpool by 60 points.

Former champion Hatti Archer (Hallamshire), racing again 10 months after the birth of her daughter and only in light training, ran well to finish 15th.

Hallamshire were seventh in the men’s race led by Andy Heyes in eighth place. Heyes was in the leading group from the start and tried to make a break on the second of the three lap course, muddy in places due to the melted snow. He could not sustain it although he ran on strongly in a top class race won by Andy Davies (Stockport) from triathlon star Alistair Brownlee.

There was an outstanding run by James Gormley (City of Sheffield) in the under 17 race, pulling clear of arch rival Emile Cairess (Bingley) in the second half to win by 16 seconds. With Jonathon Shields finishing fourth and Cameron Cass, 35th and Thomas Peel, 68th, completing the team, the Sheffield team finished third.

Led by Alfie Manthorpe in third place, the City of Sheffield team finished runners up to City of York in the under 15 Boys race, losing by only three points. Following Manthorpe’s lead were Joseph Newton-Billington, 9th, Julian Slater, 14th and Matthewhaw, 31st.

Tilly Simpson (Hallamshire) added to her growing list of successes when she won the under 15 girls race by 100 metres. Third was Emily Simpson (City of Sheffield), just one place ahead of her team mate Amelia Lancaster. These two spearheaded Sheffield to a team win over Sale by just a single point. Ana Garcia, 32nd, and Mariella DeLara, 38th, played a crucial role in Sheffield’s win.

Other South Yorkshire performances included:

Under-20 men: Connor Milnes (Hallamshire) 7th; Elliott Smales (Rotherham) 9th.

Under-17 men: Ryan Beale (Rotherham) 6th; Cameron Bell (Hallamshire) 8th.

Under 13 girls: Grace Harris (Rotherham), 4th; Ella McHale (City of Sheffield) 5th.