SOLIHULL and Small Heath Athletics Club enjoyed a great start to the new year on Saturday with success at the Warwickshire County Cross-Country Championships.
Pride of place went to the Under-15 girls’ team, who lifted the team trophy for their race. Megan Blake led the team home finishing 4th overall, followed by Meredith Cox (6th) and Siobhan Taylor (12th). It was a great team effort ensuring that, with just 22 points, they convincingly beat a strong Coventry Godiva team (31 points), who were led home by the excellent individual winner, Sian Rainsley. Nuneaton Harriers finished 3rd with 32 points.
The championships were held this year at Cofton Park, Birmingham on a tough, undulating course previously used to host world-class cross-country events, and Megan, Meredith and Siobhan were later pictured there enjoying their success.
There was more success for the club’s girls in the Under-13 race, where Elvie Cox finished 3rd to win the individual bronze medal. Elvie also won a team bronze medal together with her team-mates Shannon Fox (9th) and Abigail Nolan (11th). The club’s strength in that category was underlined by a creditable 7th place for a second team made up of Rachel Davis, Katie Mladenovic and Sian Wyn-Jones.
There was a further bronze medal when Claire Tarplee came third in the senior women’s category, and the boys also got amongst the medals with the Under-15 team picking up the bronze medal as a result of good running by Dan Mladenovic (8th), Eoin Corr (12th) and Sam Russell (15th).
Other performances worthy of note included 4th places in the women’s and men’s Under-20s by Jenni Ward and Jonathan Simpkins, with Chris Pickering coming home 7th behind Jonathan.
Dan Rebeiro’s 5th in the Under-17 race represented a huge personal improvement by him over the course of the season.