Birmingham XC League, 7/12/13

Graham Rush made a huge step up in class to claim an excellent fourth place in the Birmingham Cross League Division One fixture at Northampton. The 31 year old, who finished twentieth on his league debut last month, was placed fourteenth at the end of the first of four laps over the rolling parkland course at Abington Park. By the halfway point of the race he had moved up to tenth and was gaining ground on many of those ahead of him. A lap later the Gloucestershire University student headed a small group in sixth, but was still some distance behind the next runner. With just 1km remaining Rush had moved clear of the pack and was closing down on BRAT’s Jack Gray and Birchfield’s Weynay Ghebresilasie. In the final 150m the fast finishing Cheltenham runner overtook Gray before sprinting past the Eritrean 2012 Olympian to secure an impressive fourth place.

Veteran Darren Jordan continued his fine recent form as he moved up from 58th after the opening lap to 49th at the halfway stage, before making further gains to finish in an impressive 46th place. Jon Barnes had headed Jordan after one lap, but held position throughout the second half of the race to finish as third Harrier home in 56th place. Middle distance specialist James Miller then produced his best ever cross country performance as he moved through the field from the 80s after lap one, 70s a lap later and then into the 60s before producing a fine last lap to finish in 58th place. Russell Forsbrook also moved through the field for a pleasing 72nd place whilst Marc Fallows dug deep to complete the scoring six man team in 79th position. This gave the Harriers a team score of 315 as they finished eighth of the sixteen clubs on the day to leaves themselves seventh in the overall league standings.

The battle to lead the B team was a close affair with Mike Gray finally pulling clear of Dave Aubrey in the final 500m, as the pair both recorded their highest ever league finishes in 86th and 89th respectively. Will New and Andy Gore finished in 99th and 103rd before Miguel Mundinano and James Wilkinson completed the team in 117th and 175th positions. Their efforts earned the Harriers third place in the B team competition behind Loughborough Students and Tipton, with the club remaining second in the overall standings behind the university team. Tomasso Migliuolo provided vital back up as he came home in 182nd place.

Full Results