JOE Smith was crowned county champion at the Worcestershire Cross Country Championships at Warley Woods in Sandwell on Saturday.
There was a brilliant turnout from Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club members and Smith led the way in becoming B&R’s first senior county champion since Paul Collins in 1994 as the club showed its strength in depth.
The Worcestershire race was held in conjunction with the Warwickshire championships and the course was very undulating with a mix of large and small inner laps.
It was very firm at first but soon began to cut up as a result of all the races held.
The seniors and masters ladies’ 6,000m race winner was Chloe Richardson from Birchfield Harriers, but there was medal success for B&R thanks to Sally Hogan who claimed bronze in the Worcestershire race.
Also claiming top ten positions were Katy Barden (fourth), Tamara Freeman (sixth) and Thomasina Ball (seventh).
Mel Hepke was fourth in the masters over 40 race and Charlotte Ball, Ann Stuart and Jane Anderson were second, third and fourth respectively in the over 50s.
Dagmar Prinzing was tenth in the over 40s, Debbie Simpson eighth in the over 50s, Juliette Warburton 18th and Holly Smith 21st.
This fine effort from B&R ensured the club’s senior ladies were crowned team county champions and also claimed top spot in the B, C and D team standings, whilst the men’s senior team claimed county bronze medals as well.
Jack Gray of Birmingham Running, Athletics & Triathlon Club claimed first place in the seniors and masters men’s 10,000m race to become Warwickshire county champion.
First across the line for both B&R and Worcestershire was Smith and he was followed by club-mates Simon Lanckham (sixth) and Mark Appleton (19th), whilst lan Keyte won the Worcestershire over 50s race.
Calvin Scoltock was sixth in the over 40s, Steve Brooks ninth, Sean Bowden 25th, Rob Humphries 30th.
Phil Anderson was eighth in the over 50s race, Paul Edmonds 38th and Alan Stanley 13th.
Len Quartly finished second in the over 70s and Roger Beacham was third in the same event.
Next up for B&R’s women and men is the Midland Women’s Cross Country Championships third round at Blackbridge in Gloucestershire and the men’s Birmingham League third round meeting at Coundon Park in Coventry.