By Barry Warne
The Peterborough Nene Valley AC juggernaut rolled through St Neots and the Lincolnshire Wolds as their athletes picked up medal after medal at the Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire Cross Country Championships.
The course at Biscathorpe near Louth was tailor made for an exciting Lincolnshire Championship, with the athletes all having to wade through a river.
Peterborough Nene Valley boast a strong Lincolnshire membership from Boston southwards, and amongst their many medals the club picked up two individual golds – plus a team gold.
The under-17 girls were the stars of the show with Molly Peel securing an easy win, while Hannah Knight (3rd) and Ellie Rainbow (4th) followed her home to ensure that team gold was secured comfortably.
Harry Hewitt, who finished a superb fourth in the English Schools Cup final in December, won under-15 gold and Isaac Fell came home ninth.
The under-13 boys collected silver medals with Johan Coughlan in fourth, William Harris taking eighth, and Noah Fell equalling the achievement of his older brother Isaac with a ninth placed finish.
Meanwhile, Josie Knight, Lottie Hemmings and Niamh Rushton came home fifth, sixth and ninth respectively to earn team silver for the under-15 girls.
There were fine runs in the under-11 races from Louie Hemmings who won silver and fifth-placed Ffion Perkins.
The achievements were matched by their older siblings at under-13 level with Evie Hemmings second and Faith Perkins fifth.
Matt Dowling ran well to finish fourth in the under-20 race.
The senior ladies picked up well deserved team silver thanks to Ruth Jones in sixth, Liz Fell in tenth and 11th placed Wendy Perkins.
The appropriately named Ben Heron waded his way through the river to win senior men’s individual silver, while Simon Fell finished fourth to become the fourth member of his family to secure a top ten position.
The Cambridgeshire Championship course in Priory Park, St Neots was surprisingly dry given the wet Autumn and Winter.
It was very much to the liking of Owen Wilkinson, who picked up silver in the boys’ under-17 race after a six-kilometre battle with the eventual winner from Cambridge and Coleridge AC.
Benji Davies in fifth, seventh-placed Sam Oakley and Harvey Hancock, who finished 11th, steered the team to bronze.
The under-15 boys also bagged bronze with Kai Chilvers leading the way in a fine third place. Lewis Wiles (13th) and Edward Lindsell (16th) completed the scoring.
Fifth-placed Felix Bowling was well supported by Joshua Wiles in eighth and Louis Taylor in 12th as the under-13 boys also won team bronze.
Both the under-11 and under-15 girls picked up team bronze medals, becoming the fourth and fifth age groups to do so. Elizabeth Eames also won the under-15 individual bronze.
Chelsie Bole (seventh) and 18th-placed Niamh Hodgson completed the medal-winning team.
Rosie Ackerman led the under-11 girls home in fourth place, with Charlotte Smith two places further back and Sarah Clough finishing a lucky 13th.
Sarah Caskey also ran well to come home as eighth senior lady, while Shaun Walton finished 17th in the senior men’s race.
Runners from Helpston Harriers enjoyed plenty of success at St Neots, with new recruit Nathan Tweedie winning silver in the senior men’s event.
The Loughborough based Tweedie was a surprise package as he rarely races.
However, he is a highly ranked triathlete and finished 15th in the National Sprint Triathlon Championship last year.
Steve Robinson came in tenth for Helpston with first over-50, while John Herbert was 12th overall.
Paul Lunn and Tom Musson crossed the line 22nd and 26th respectively.
Elsewhere, Louise Hathaway took 35th place in the senior ladies’ race. It marked her comeback from a lengthy calf injury and her first outing in a Helpston vest.
Orton-based Isaac Ellard was the fourth finisher in the senior men’s race and first under-20.
Nene Valley’s Sophie Wilkinson-Hargate was sixth senior lady at the Northamptonshire County Championship.