BROMSGROVE AND REDDITCH AC’s Ladies won promotion to Division One of the Midland Women’s Cross Country league in the first senior cross country meeting in Redditch for 35 years.
Ipsley Meadows was the location for the final meeting of the cross country season in Division Two of both the Birmingham and District Men’s League and Midland Women’s Cross Country League
And the club’s Ladies capped a stellar season to secure promotion to Division One as four members finished inside the top-seven with Laura Kyte taking victory in a time of 24 minutes 42 seconds over the 3.75-mile two-lap course.
Kyte was followed home by Caroline Warrington in fourth, team captain Tamara Freeman in sixth and Faye Stanyard in seventh to win the team event on the day.
Additional scorers were: Sophie Groom 15th (second junior), Liz Vaughan 18th, Natasha Newton 20th, Lauren Sykes 22nd (third junior), Joanne Hounsell-Hardy 25th, Rebecca Woolley 38th, Sarah Richardson 51st and Sharon Fox 63rd out of 209 finishers.
The points were enough to finish the season in second place behind Stoke AC whilst the Masters team of Kyte, Warrington, Freeman, Stanyard and Liz Vaughan were crowned Division Two champions.
And Kyte and Freeman also claimed individual awards after placing second and third in the Masters category respectively.
The action went ahead despite a week of torrential rain and high winds creating a muddy and waterlogged course whilst several athletes lost shoes to the mud during the race with club chairman Len Quartly and Men’s captain Pete Ball ensuring the event went ahead safely despite the conditions
It was the first event of its kind to take place in Redditch in 35 years with the last meeting featuring former Great Britain International and local legend Adrian Passey who won the then Division One fixture.
And whilst the ladies enjoyed promotion, the men missed out on a place in Division One by just 83 points, with the A team placing fourth on the day to earn 219 points overall.
Mark Appleton came home 14th, (ninth senior overall) with Peter Ball 27th, David Gemmell 31st, Harrison Mayne 41st (Series Junior Man Bronze), Wayne Watkins 42nd and Kevin Fisher 64th.
And the B team finished third on the day, with Gavin Moorhead 83rd, Patrick Mackie 98th, Scott Beverley 104th, Andrew Freeman 108th, Stephen Brooks 109th and Anthony Howell 124th to earn 626 points overall.
Other scorers were Tom Richardson 128th, Jamie Dancyger 134th, Sam Moran 140th, Jaro Sosko 143rd, Matt Henney 145th, Sam Lake 187th, Ian Keyte 189th and Philip Anderson 210th to complete an impressive turnout of 20 athletes out of 221 finishers.
Spa Striders runner Ian Allen won the race in a time of 32 minutes 37 seconds over the challenging three-lap, 5.6 mile course, which also saw him claim individual gold for the series.
Past events have also seen other former international athletics legends such as David Moorcroft grace our town whilst a young Peter Elliott became the English Schools XC Champion in 1977.
Bromsgrove and Redditch AC would like to thank the Redditch and Bromsgrove Borough Council for helping support a local grassroots event and hope this support will mean similar events return to the town more regularly in the future.