Consistent Harper in the medal shake-up
After finishing third in the opening race of the season at Newbold Comyn, Harper once again led the Leamington team with a positive performance and is very much in the hunt for individual medals.
Jamie Langley continued his good form, holding his race together well to finish 21st, overhauling Jack Mee (26th) on the last of the three laps.
Dave Ashworth finished among Leamington’s scorers for the second time, in 47th, with Nick Tawney (83) and Craig Bower (115) completing the scoring six.
Following their elevation from Division Three last year, Leamington are in sixth place overall out of 18, with a second successive promotion an outside possibility.
The B team are fourth thanks to Brian Miller (117), Steve Roberts (129), Alex Montgomery (136), Michael Denney (142), Paul Caruana (145) and John Leathem (156). Support came from Russ Burrows (160), Jonathan Wilkinson (161) and Graham Roberts (188).
Leamington C&AC finishers: 4, Richard Harper (31.48); 21, Jamie Langley (33.33); 26, Jack Mee (33.54); 47, Dave Ashworth (34.50); 83, Nick Tawney (36.23); 115, Craig Bower (37.16); 117, Brian Miller (37.34); 129, Steve Roberts (38.16); 136, Alex Montgomery (38.50); 142, Michael Denney (39.13); 145, Paul Caruana (39.21); 156, John Leathem (40.19); 160, Russ Burrows (40.52); 161, Jonathan Wilkinson (41.02); 188, Graham Roberts (45.47).
Kenilworth Runners produced a strong performance at Perry Park in Birmingham to give themselves an excellent opportunity to retain their top-flight status.
A 12-placed finish on the day at leaves the team in the same position in the 16-team Division One with two races remaining.
Men’s captain Phil Gould was delighted to have a 25-strong squad on duty, including Phil McCorquodale, who travelled back from university in London for the crucial fixture.
The team was led home by 2010 Warwickshire Half Marathon champion Rich Simkiss.
Simkiss finished in 48th to illustrate just how fierce competition is in one of the most competitive cross-country leagues in Britain.
Simkiss was soon followed home by Stuart Hopkins, a resurgent Mike Johnson, Phil Gould, Connor Carson and Graham Birch, who edged out Pat Noonan.
The B team also ran excellently to finish fifth.
Kenilworth Runners finishers: 48, Rich Simkiss (35.05); 54, Stuart Hopkins (35:18); 67, Mike Johnson (35.53); 84, Phil Gould (36.37); 103, Connor Carson (37.20); 120, Graham Birch (38.43); 121, Pat Noonan (38:45); 127, Pete Bryan (39.14); 148, James Griffiths (40.48); 150, Phil McCorquodale (41.06); 157, Philip Fusi (41.51); 159, Martin Dorrill (41.54); 160, Luigi Frondella (41.57); 166, Pete Matthews (42.35); 171, John Mettyear (43.50); 175, Martin Lambert (44.39); 177, Richard Whiting (44.56); 183, Mark Hall (45.50); 186, Barry Elkington (46.22); 195, Colin Underhill (49.38); 202, Glyn Clarke (52.04); 203, Stef Shillington (53.30); 204, Tom Dable (53.30); 206, Martin Broomfield (55.10); 207, Colin Bricher (58.06).
Five Kenilworth Runners’ ladies took part in the second race of the Midlands Women’s Cross Country League, also at Perry Park.
Sally Hicks led the team home over the two-lap 6.6k course. She was followed by Mandy Crust, Kally Cheema, Pauline Dable and Joan Mason.