Cheltenham Harriers men’s team continued their domination of the Gloucestershire Cross Country League as they extended their team’s unbeaten run to three years with a twelfth consecutive victory over a waterlogged course at Tewkesbury. Dave Roper quickly closed the gap on early leader Kyran Hale (Severn) and by the end of the first of three laps had established a decisive race winning lead over the chasing runners. By this point Rhys Park had opened a small gap on teammate John Parker as the Dave Newport coached trio bid to fill the top three spots. Whilst 18 year old Park, in his return to action after a three month injury absence, remained in second, Parker was caught by Andrew Savery (Leamington) and Steve Millward (Gloucester). By the finish Roper was 33 seconds clear of Park with Parker a further 8 seconds back as he outsprinted Savery to complete a Harriers 1-2-3.
James Bingham claimed his highest ever league finish with an excellent run for seventh place whilst Jeremy Bradley in tenth made a welcome return to action after a seven month layoff. The victorious six man team was completed by Elliot Prince in 19th place as the Harriers scored just 42 points for a 46 point winning margin over Severn. The win extended their lead at the top of the league table to 258 points with one fixture remaining. The Cheltenham veteran team also showed good form as they finished second on the day to move up to third in the overall standings. Dave Randall was the second vet 50 home in 20th place as he was ably supported by Dave Rantell in 24th, Miguel Mundinano in 27th and Ian Giles in 44th position.
The Harriers ladies team remained at the top of the league standings despite finishing third on the day. Beth Wynn led the team home in sixth place as she finished as third under 20 runner home. In eighth place Lucy Merigold was second veteran home, whilst Joan Shaw completed the team in 26th place as she finished as the leading vet 50 runner. With Stroud’s winning team gaining fifteen points on the Harriers there is now just an eleven point gap between the two teams at the top of the table. The ladies veterans also remain top of the league after they finished third on the day through Merigold, Shaw and Sam Pickering in 64th.
Earlier in the day Grace Pitman made it three wins out of three in the under 11 girl’s race as she wrapped up the individual league title. With Bea Knight second and Lottie Roberts in twentieth the Harriers team placed second. The under 13 boys team packed well to ensure team victory through Ben Roberts in third, Oliver Powell in sixth and Sam Greeenleaf in eighth. There were second placed team finishes for both the under 15 boys through George Bygrave (4th), Michael Horrocks (11th) and Japser Greenleaf (12th) and the under 11 boys with Tom French (5th), Daniel Hearn (7th) and Henry Rayner (14th). The under 13 girls team finished third through Agata Giles (4th), Freya Lane (8th) and Katerina Horrocks (13th) as did the under 15 girls with Jessica White (6th), Emma Meecham-Jones (9th) and Claudia Ovens (10th). In the under 17 age group there were good individual performances from Rachel See in second and Dmitry Nazarenko fourth in the boy’s race.
For further Harriers performances see the full results.