A Knight to remember as Rupert wins under-11 title and Newbury AC round off cross country season
Newbury Athletic Club rounded off another stellar Oxfordshire Cross Country League season on Sunday with the fifth and final fixture, held at a challenging course in Henley.
While Josie Robertson had already secured the under-17 girls title and Sophie Bhatt had wrapped up the under-20 women's crown, the club claimed two further individual titles in Oxfordshire, with Rupert Knight winning the under-11 boys championship and Katya Burgess making sure of top spot in the under-15 girls category.
Knight entered his final race locked in a thrilling three-way battle for the title.
The top trio hit the front of the race right from the starting gun but Knight always appeared in control, dictating the tempo and holding off his competitors before making a decisive attack at the top of the hill, pulling away from his rivals in the closing stages to take the race win and the league title.
Meanwhile, Josie Robertson's domination of the under-17 girls category became complete with another comprehensive victory, meaning she finished the season unbeaten and played a huge part in also winning the time title alongside consistent teammates Isabel Moore and Miriam Cooper.
In the seniors' events, there were a trio of silver medals as Rachel Allen finished second overall in the V2 women, Steve Barnes was second in the V2 men and Geoff Anderson was runner-up in the V4 men, while Bernie Gerrard claimed third overall in the men's V1 category.
On the day, Matthew Green was Newbury AC's first male finisher over the 7.5 kilometre course, coming home in a season's best fourth place and helping him to an impressive overall standing of fifth.
Green contributed significantly to the club's A Team finishing second overall in Division 1, while the strength in depth of Newbury's squad was really highlighted by the B Team winning Division 2, with league medals winners adorning the necks of Lewis Newton, Martin Walker, Richard Kennedy, Samuel Santos, Nige Popplewell, Dan Green and Steve Ferriday following their consistent performances and commitment to the team throughout the season.
As it was the last fixture of the season, the annual Mixed Cross Country Relay also took place, with Newbury entering two teams and finishing third and eighth.
The relay team members, comprising Mike Robbins, Mike Wheeler, Laura Buchanan, Rachel Allen, Nige Popplewell, Chloe Blair, Alexander Bettley and Steve Ferriday showed great determination, having already competed in their senior races shortly beforehand.
Meanwhile, Newbury AC athlete Izzy Fry smashed the club's road senior women's 10 kilometre record, knocking more than a minute-and-a-half off the previous record when finishing ninth in a time of 32:47 at the Trafford 10k.
The previous record of 34:21 was set by Susie Bush and had stood since 2005.