Thu, 22 Nov 2018
Newbury Athletic Club’s senior men’s team made history on Sunday by winning the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Cross Country Championships for the first time in the competition’s 107-year history.
One of the oldest cross country events in Britain, dating back to 1911, it was this year held at Newbury Showground.
And despite stiff competition from Reading AC, Bracknell AC and Abingdon AC, Newbury’s team of Alex Muir, Tom Watkins, Matt Green, James Craggs, Mark Vardy and Mike Robbins took victory by 20 points.
They are also the current Berkshire champions and Oxfordshire League champions.
Muir finished in sixth place overall (third senior), with Newbury’s other five scorers packing well just behind, including James Craggs who also took an individual gold in the veteran men’s category.
He led the veterans team to victory, along with Andrew Ind and Steve Barnes.
Newbury AC’s Josie Robertson won the under-13 girls’ race and Jess Franklin, fresh from her exploits at the Masters’ International on Saturday, was first veteran finisher and second overall in the senior/veteran ladies’ race.
Rachel Allen took the bronze medal in the veteran ladies age-group and, together with Franklin and
Jenny Eaton, secured the silver medal for the veteran women’s team.
The senior ladies’ team (Franklin, Yaz Ryder and Allen) took the bronze medal.
The previous day, Franklin, representing England, finished second in the W35 age-group British & Irish International Masters Cross Country Championship in Swansea.
She was only nine seconds behind the winner, but also picked up a gold medal by leading home the winning England team, just edging out Scotland and Ireland.
Newbury AC’s Anne Stewart-Power and Mike Sheridan, both of whom had been selected as reserves for England, ran in the accompanying Open race.
Stewart-Power finished first in the W55 category, while Sheridan was second in the M65 age-group.