With Storm Doris having added to the water levels at Nottingham’s Wollaton Park, City of Norwich AC athletes arrived to find one of the toughest cross country courses they have faced for some years, with most athletes facing at least six challenging muddy and water laden obstacles in each race.
Having overcome some pre-race nerves, the under 15 girls again proved to be the best team in England, retaining their National Championship title won at Castle Donnington in 2016. This year, the team were led home by home-coached Nelly Porter, finishing in an excellent 14th position. Nelly was followed home by a fast finishing Meredith Winship in 38th position, with training partners, Kate Willis and Ellie Taylor engaged in a race long battle, before finishing just one second apart in 49th and 50th positions. Fellow team members were Katie Goldsmith 92nd Olivia Miller 122nd Emma Ledward 199th Sophie Peach 216th and Naryce Anderson 240th of 426 finishers.
This was the final club cross country event of the 2016-17 season, which has seen the u15 girls winning team gold medals in the South of England Cross Country Championships and Cross Country Relays as well as team bronze medals in the National Road Relays.
Following in the footsteps of the u15g’s, the u13g’s again showed their growing potential. Whilst not quite getting into the medals on this occasion, the first four CoNAC runners secured a fine 5th team position led home by Grace Jermy in a fine 30th position. Grace was supported by Grace Forster 64th Maddie Short 80th and Holly Bunn 92nd. Completing the u13g’s runners for CoNAC, Meg Willis finished 235th and first year u13 Madison Kelly a very creditable 244th of the 467 finishers.
Notable individual performances came from Will Mahoney 28th in the u15 boys event and Jack White 27th u17 male. Will was supported by Rhys Foyster 105th Joe Smyth 235th and first year u15b Guy Hockley 310th bringing the team a 20th place finish. Jack was supported by Edward Cator in 200th position.
Danny Adams led home the u13 boys team in 41st place, with training partners Josh Knights 121st Isaac Bower 241st and Jake Hart 252nd of the 458 finishers.
Rachel Bruce showed her improving form with a fine 39th place in the u17 women’s race with Lucy Emmet also continuing to progress with an 83rd place finish.
Nottingham based Bruce Becket was able to enjoy the shortest journey to Wollaton Park and was rewarded with a promising 118th position in the u20 men’s race. In the woman’s equivalent event, Lauren Howe ran well to finish in 60th position, with team mate Alice Rees 99th finisher.
The Senior Women’s race took place in pouring rain but, undaunted by the dreadful conditions, Kelly Grant produced another good performance, finishing in 80th position with teammate, and fell runner, Anna Hoogkamer producing a fine run to finish close behind in 98th position. This event saw 788 women finish a really testing course.
The final race of the day saw a huge field of senior men take on the worsening underfoot conditions. CoNAC’s team were lead home by James Senior who secured a fine 264th position. Next home was u23 athlete Dominic Oliver in 325th and Jon Quint 702nd of the 1762 finishers.
*Many thanks to coach David Pring for this report.