Young atheletes representing Nene Valley Harriers were invited to competed in a competition at RAF Cranwell, near Sleaford, against runners from the Air Training Corp.
Among the outstanding performances on the day was Oliver Bowling and Bradley Spurdens leading the under 17 men’s race home.
The match was part of the ATC Championships which incorporates the six UK regions of Central and East, Wales and West, Scotland and Northern Ireland, London and South East, South West and North.
The region squads were made up of their first four in the regional championships and then the first four athletes on the day count in the Corp match against NVH - although all run in the same race on the day.
The athletes present gained valuable experience of associating with our armed services with a rank and file presentation plus buffet to finish the day.
The NVH athletes ran well into a strong chilly wind and almost won two age groups. In the under 17 men’s race, Oliver Bowling beat team mate Bradley Spurdens to the line ahead of the other 26 athletes.
Ollie showed no intention of going for a hard run with Bradley leading him comfortably into the final field.
The team score was then completed by Austin Herbert in 5th place overall and Rio Chilvers was 9th overall. The score of 8 points won the Corp match by a clear 5 points.
The under 20 team for NVH was made up of Billy Mugnier who ran well to finish comfortably in second place behind a very strong ATC winner.
This was followed by a mass sprint finish between two NVH under 17s, who had volunteered to step up an age group and two ATC athletes.
Unfortunately one of the ATC lads proved strongest leaving Michael Cawood 4th and Jack Weddup 5th and meaning that the lads missed out on beating the Corp side by just one point.
The under 15 boys turned up in force with seven athletes taking part making a field of 31 runners.
Ethan Ellison ran a strong race but was out run in the last mile to finish second and claim his silver Corp medal. Although well supported by Denzel Mposo with a cracking run for 5th and Keilin Spurdens finding the going tough with 8th place they were well beaten by a strong Corp squad.
Ollie Oakley made up the remainder of the team in 13th place and team support provided by Ryan Pleasant in 20th, Codi-Leigh Middleton 24th and McKenzie Lightfoot in 27th.
A good outing for a young team.
The strength of the West and Wales ATC region was too much for the NVH under 15 girls but Josephine Fortune split their team up with a great third place finish and probably one of the biggest smiles of the day when she received her large bronze medal.
Josephine was supported by Olivia Ozkan in 5th, Imogen Woodard in 6th place and Paula Naylor in 15th but the team was not quick enough to stop the Corp side winning the match, although would have beaten most of the ATC Regions.
Zoe Cawood also ran on the day finishing 21st on one of her first outings of the year.
The ladies event, under 17 and under 20 ladies, had a great NVH turnout and Hermione Wright got stuck in from the start, going with the leaders and finishing in third place.
She was chased to the line by Beth Goymour in 5th place and then the team made up with Beth Howells in 10th and Georgie Gibbs in 12th. Georgie’s finish was another mass sprint for the line between three NVH and one ATC athlete resulting in Leigh Ann Rose 13th with the unfortunate Alice Dolan finishing 14th after leading the others into the home straight.
NVH also had Annie Grey in 18th, Sarah Chan in 19th and Amy Gibbons 20th out of a field of 32 showing good strength for the club in the summer.
This is a closing fixture for the cross country season as we now move forward to the summer track and field season with NVH taking part in Division 2 of the British Athletics League, Division 1 of the Southern Athletics League, the Eastern Young Athletes League, the East Anglian League and Eastern Vets Athletics League giving league competition for all age groups.
We will have teams at the Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire County Championships, athletes competing in Regional and National Championships as well as other meeting for all levels of athletes.
Tickets are available for the clubs presentation evening to be held on Saturday, April 4.