Defending champions Rotherham finished third in the women’s race at the Northern Cross Country Relays at Graves Park, Sheffield, on Saturday whilst Hallamshire won three titles and City of Sheffield one in the younger age groups.
Lincoln Wellington won the women’s three stage race from Leeds City with Rotherham improving throughout from seventh, to fifth and finally third with their trio of Natasha Hatswell, Steph Burns and Sam Johnson with Johnson the fastest with 12.00 for the two mile lap. Hallamshire were not far behind in fifth place headed by Nicola Squires who clocked 12:12.
In the men’s race Rotherham were ninth and Hallamshire eleventh. Leeds City won the race but only after a tense battle with Sheffield University whose quartet was Bertie Houghton, William Mycroft, Jonathan Collier and Dom Brown. However, the students were disqualified due to a problem with Houghton’s eligibility. A former Doncaster runner, his club is now City of Sheffield and Dearne.
Hallamshire beat Durham City by just two seconds in the under 13 boys race, the closest of the day. Taylor Hill led for Hallamshire on the first stage and his time of 5:20 remained the fastest of the race. On stage two Hallamshire’s Gabriel Gisborne was faster than his Durham opponent and although Durham closed rapidly on Tom Valentine, the Hallamshire man hung on for a well deserved victory.
City of Sheffield and Dearne, under 15 winners last year, moved up successfully to take the under 17 women’s title. Olivia Parkes started in 10th place for the Sheffield team before Emily Simpson stormed through into third place. They were effectively second as leaders Barnsley had no third runner. It was Alice Moore who took Barnsley into the lead and her time, 8:09 was the fastest of the race.
Amelia Lancaster set about the leaders and soon took the lead and stretched it to 32 seconds by the end. Simpson and Lancaster were equal third fastest with 8:13.
Hallamshire triumphed in the under 13 girls race. They improved throughout with Jodie Hill taking them from fifth to first on the final stage after sterling work from Emily Hunter and Tatjana Wilson.Hill was third fastest, four seconds slower than City of Sheffield’s Mollyanne Welton who clocked 5:51.
In the under 11 girls race Hallamshire were half a minute clear of Sale Harriers. Already comfortably ahead after Summer Ludlam and Keira Eales-Smith, they had Ruby Simpson on the last stage. Showing every sign of emulating her older sister Tilly, Ruby clocked 5:09, fastest by some margin.
Meanwhile, Tilly Simpson was helping team mates Eve Crownshaw and Laura Trask to bronze medals in the under 15 girls race with easily the fastest time of the race, 7:33.
Rotherham Harriers were runners up the Cheshire club Vale Royal in both the under 17 and under 15 boys races and also took bronze medals in the youngest age group, the under 11 section.
It was double success for many of the teams as the meeting also incorporated the South Yorkshire Championships.