Eight team titles and six county champions for Rugby & Northampton AC

Haydn Arnall wins senior men's race at West Glebe Park, Corby

Senior men's winner Haydn Arnall on his way to victory at the Northants Cross Country Championships ahead of runner-up Fynn Batkin of Kettering
Senior men's winner Haydn Arnall on his way to victory at the Northants Cross Country Championships ahead of runner-up Fynn Batkin of Kettering

Northamptonshire Cross Country Championships 2022 West Glebe Park, Corby

Rugby & Northampton AC were the dominant club at the Northamptonshire Cross Country Championships held at Corby’s West Glebe Park when they won 8 team titles and had 6 individual champions, writes Terry Egan.

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Haydn Arnall won the 82nd running of the Senior Mens race when the 22 year old became the fifth R&N athlete to win the title after an early battle with Kettering’s Fynn Batkin before pulling away to win by 9 seconds over the 10k course in 32:02. William Gardner took bronze for the club in 32:40 while Finlay Ward in fourth place won the Junior crown in 32:49. Jack Bond recorded 33:24 for 5th spot and Fergus Scott claimed the U20 silver medal in 6th on 34:02 with Banbury’s Skip Snelson in 7th for Junior bronze (34:42). Completing the scoring six for R&N was Duncan Birtwistle in 9th position (36:40). The team score of 28 pts was their best ever and have now won 5 in a row. Kettering Town Harriers finished in second place. R&N had a clean sweep in the U15 Boys race over 5k with Arthur Tilt winning gold in 18:27 followed by Ben Smith (18:35) and Nathan Lamb (18:40) for a convincing team victory. The U11 Girls enjoyed team success when Elsie Bennett won the first race of the day for R&N with a time of 9:19 over the 2k distance from Kettering’s Bella Lamb (9:23) and was backed up by Amelie Heron in 3rd (10:05) and Florence Lambert 4th with 10:07. The U13 Girls did likewise for the club with another individual title going to Olivia Mcghee in 11:41 holding off Northampton AC’s Imogen Bennetts by 4 seconds over 3k and joining her in the winning team were Taylor Lyon (5th in 13:00) and Claudia Terrell (6th in 13:15). The Senior Womens race over 6k was won for the first time by Ellie Welch of Corby AC in a time of 25:36. Exactly half a minute behind was Wellingborough’s Alice Belcher for silver, but it was R&N that took another team victory with Emma Bond leading them home for the bronze medal in 26:35. Megan Stenhouse followed her home just 9 seconds adrift and took the U20 title and completing the squad was Lorna Hession in 10th place (30:03). Emily Williams (KTH) and Erin Treacy (Corby) were second and third respectively in the Junior competition with 28:46 and 31:06. Ruben Snelson of Banbury Harriers had a good win in the U17 Mens 6k race when he was timed at 23:25 and Stirling Green of Northampton AC clinched silver with 23:58. Louis Starr led home Rugby & Northampton for yet another team victory in third spot (24:41) and supporting him were Ned Gilford (6th in 25:11) and Danny Carter (8th in 25:28). The host club Corby AC had two more individual victories in the U11 and U13 Boys races. Barney Burman won the 2k U11 race by 1 second from Oliver Groves of Northampton AC with 8:39 and Edward Joyce won by the same margin in the U13 race over 3k with 11:06 from Raffaello Oliveti. Jack Twining of Northampton AC took bronze in 11:15. It was Rugby & Northampton that took both team gold medals in these age groups with Alexander Kampta recording 8:42 for U11 bronze along with Teddy Blake (4th in 9:21) and Will Bernard (5th in 9:25).

Rugby & Northampton made a clean sweep of the Under 15s Boys medals with (from left) Ben Smith, Arthur Tilt and Nathan Lamb

The winning U13 team consisted of Jake Clarke (5th in 11.31), Freddie Harris (7th in 11:52) and Willoughby Harrison (10th in 12:46) with a one point advantage over Kettering Town Harriers.

There was a good run from Kettering’s Magdalena Gancheva in winning the U15 Girls race over 5k with 20:58 and claiming the silver medal was R&N’s Ella Darby on 21:37 with Daventry AC’s Kate Pomerleau in 3rd on 22:07. The team winners though were Northampton AC and their leading runner was Zineb Zbirou Yatta in 5th position on 22:24 with Eva Stuart-Hill just one place and 5 seconds behind. Mariam Zbirou completed the trio in 9th spot (25:14).

There was a dominant display by Alice Bates in the 6k U17 Womens race when the Kettering athlete stormed home by over two and a half minutes to take the title in 26:00 with Ashleigh Walters of Corby AC in second on 28:38 and R&N’s Jemima Lambert winning bronze in 30:22.