Jon Barnes produced his highest ever Gloucestershire Cross Country League finish as he led Cheltenham Harriers to a sixteenth consecutive team victory on a hilly course at Malvern. The 21 year old fell running specialist started steadily and moved through the field into his eventually finishing position of fourth after a close battle with Kenilworth’s Phil Gould on the final lap. Ben Price also impresses in sixth, whilst Roger Mullins ran well for thirteenth and Marc Fallows finished seventeenth. Dave Aubrey outsprinted Dave Rantell as the pair completed the scoring team in 21st and 22nd respectively, with Rantell also the third over 45 runner home. Mike Gray led the Harriers B team home in 25th position, with Miguel Mundinano just one place adrift and Darren Jones not far behind in 29th. James Wilkinson ran well for 47th before Steve Linton in 52nd and Ian Giles in 66th ensured that the Cheltenham B team finished third overall. Whilst the Harriers A team look to have an unassailable lead at the top of the league table with 185 points, the battle for second, third and fourth remains tight with Kenilworth second on 689, the Harriers B team third on 695 and Severn in fourth with 718 points. The Harriers veterans team of Rantell, Mundinano, Jones and Linton finished second behind Clevedon on the day, but extended their lead over second placed Bath at the top of the league standings.
In the ladies race Vickie Wilkinson finished as second veteran home in seventh place. Joan Shaw was the first V50 runner home in 15th and Rebecca Pitman completed the Cheltenham team in 36th place as they finished fourth on the day to move up into second in the league table. The same three runners also won the Masters team event to extend their lead at the top of the overall standings. The highest placed Harriers of the day came in the under 13 boys race where Oliver Powell finished second as the Harriers took a team win with Luke Kearns in third and Jacob Miller in thirteenth. The under 11 boys also took victory through Sam Howell (5th), William Bateman (11th) and Jamie Lythgoe (11th). The under 15 girls team of Agata Giles (5th), Eleanor Hathaway (6th) and Isabel Ovens (7th) also took first place as did the under 11 team of Olivia Rook (4th), Freya Coull (11th) and Isabelle Owen (11th). The under 15 boys took third through Ben Williams (9th), Jasper Greenleaf (10th) and Sam Greenleaf (23rd) whilst the under 13 girls team of Georgia Byrd (13th), Ellen Forster (15th) and Jessica Smith (22nd) finished fourth.
For further Harriers performances see the full results.