Men’s Cross Country – mid season update

Men’s Cross Country – mid season update

Amazingly we are already half way through the Cross Country season and a lot has been happening, with loads of BRATs turning out for the team (46 so far).

The Midland XC relays at Wolverhampton were the opener to the season. We arrived with 4 senior teams and a Masters team trying to better last year’s Bronze medal at this event. James Drakeford ran the first and notoriously competitive first leg and gave us a solid start handing over in 9th place to Adam Peacock whose storming run brought us up to 3rd place. Dan Robinson held us in 3rd and opened the gap over 4th place Tipton by a few more seconds. JP Stolberg started the final leg 58 seconds behind 2nd place Rugby & Northampton and closed to within 8 seconds at the finish, just running out of time to overtake. So in the end we had to settle for 3rd place again behind winners Bristol and second place R&N. But a bronze medal is not to be sneezed at especially as we beat all our local West Midlands rivals in the process, and it was great to see some new faces joining the BRAT teams.

Our B team of Nathan Smith, Paul Jolliffe, Alex Dixon, and Kevin Oakes placed 19th. Our C team of James Corden, Lee Neal, Josh Farrell, and Richard Gray finished 27th. Our D team of David Sansom, Nigel Dawes, Martin Ludford, and Sandeep Dhami took 34th place.

Our Masters team of Matt Pollard, Johnny Cullen, Abayomi Adedimeji and Stuart Pearson were hoping for a medal but eventually had to settle for 5th place.

The first League race at Betley Court in November saw 32 BRAT finishers and a 3rd place finish for our A team, behind only Birmingham Uni and Loughborough Uni. Charlie Davies 5, Joe Tuffin 6, Adam Peacock 13, Jethro McGraw 19, JP Stolberg 24, and Matt McCullagh 67 were our A team scorers with an impressive 134 points.

The BRAT B team scored 613 points to finish 5th in the B team competition: Dan Carpenter 77, James Drakeford 84, Johnny Cullen 101, Alex Dickson 115, Matt Pollard 117, Jeremy Maclean 119 – great to see some of our juniors stepping up and making an impact in the senior team, and our great strength in depth saw another 20 BRAT finishers giving great back up to the 12 scorers.

League Race 2 at Wolverhampton in December saw Joe Tuffin take a superb and much deserved win for BRAT, making it look almost easy in the end though we know it wasn’t. Not since the days of Paul Thompson and Jack Gray have we had a winner of a Div 1 Race, so well done Joe! Adam Peacock’s 6th place was also a brilliant result, and along with Paddy Townsend 24, Chris Pickering 29, Alec Sabey 42 and Dan Dalmedo 48 helped the A team to score 148 to take 4th place on the day moving us into 3rd place for the season so far.

The B team of JP Stolberg 51, Dan Carpenter 63, Johnny Cullen 82, Jeremy Maclean 86, Matt Pollard 90, and Paul Jolliffe 115 scored 487 points ( a score which beat five Clubs’ A team scores! ) to take 3rd place, and amazingly we currently sit in 1st place in the B team table.

There is also a Masters competition this year and our A team and our B team are currently both in 4th place in their tables, with Johnny C, Matt P, Jamie J, and Sean R the highest place BRAT individuals after two races. In total we had 28 BRAT finishers, an impressive number when the average is around 16 finishers per Club.

So lots to play for in the remaining 2 League races.

Many thanks to everyone who has turned out for the teams, everyone who has supported and helped the team, especially Richard Carney and Chris Burrows who have fulfilled our requirements to provide officials and volunteers.

The County Championships took place in December this season on an interesting farmland course near Rugby. Although we were rather depleted we made the best of the 10 BRAT runners who started, with Joe Tuffin finishing as the overall race winner and taking the Warwickshire individual title. Joe also helped the men take the silver medals in the team competition along with JP Stolberg, James Drakeford and Abayomi Adedimeji. Sadly in the Worcestershire Champs we didn’t finish a team but Johnny Cullen and Matt Pollard took the gold and bronze respectively in the M40 Masters category, so a successful afternoon’s work. Thanks to Kevin Oakes, Carl Horton, and Paul Falkiner for turning out to help the teams.

Martin Ludford

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