Senior XC Leagues (09/02/2020)

Tony Phillips provided his summary of the race and the season:-

"Last weekend saw the 4th and final meeting of the League at Newbold Comyn, Leamington Spa, one that I could not miss, having been unable to attend the previous three through illness. Further. I had not missed a season when I was there for at least one event in some role since 1957-58.

A challenging course presented runners at the country park, with a testing hill, soft and muddy grassland fields, paths, and flat grassland stretches, A stiff cold wind hit runners on some exposed parts of the course, but a fine day, for the runners to complete two large laps of 5.2k and 4.8k totalling a 10k  challenge for over 230 runners. On the first lap Tipton had three well placed runners, Peter Brookes in the top 8, followed by Richard Carpenter in the 20's and Adam Soley in the 30's, followed by a gap before Luke Vine appeared in the 70's with Tom Holden close by. Around the 100 mark was Adam Guy and Archie Roberts in the 120's. Tom Acha was having his best league run in the 150's, with Zabie Hassan running his usual hard race ln the 160's. Andy Acha completed the Tipton turnout around a 220 + placing.

On the second circuit Peter Brookes led the Tipton team with a spirited effort losing only two places to finish 11th in 34 mins. 47 secs. having kept in touch with the leaders. Richard Carpenter was 24th after a good, strong performance in 35.40.  Adam Soley kept his position over the lap with a fine run in 37th, 36.35, spot. Luke Vine showed his talent by making up about 30 places on the second circuit to 48th, 37.38 equalling his best league position; a more positive approach on the first lap would have seen him in a much higher placing.

Tom Holden with consistent running held his 70's position ending 76th, 38.50. Adam Guy completed the team count holding his above mid field position in the first hundred during the race to place 107th, 40.01.

Archie Roberts, 41.03, was just outside the count in 125th, followed closely by Tom Acha 135th, 41.44. Zabie Hassan completed a good, steady run in 43.00 156th, with Andy Acha finishing 201st, 46.59, to complete the Tipton contingent.

The team were a disappointing 6th, but a much better final league position of 4th was gained by good positions in the earlier three events. On the day Birchfield 71 pts.  finished ahead of Loughborough Univ., 115, Rugby and Northampton 181, Warwick Univ.,250, Coventry Godiva H. 290, Tipton Harriers 303 pts.

16 clubs compete in the league, Div.1. Final positions were: 1. Birchfield H. 319 pts; 2. Loughborough Univ. 605; 3. Birmingham Univ. 795; 4. TIPTON Harriers  910; 5. Rugby and Northampton 1075; 6. Warwick Univ. 1198;  7. Coventry Godiva H. 1257;  8. Cheltenham & Co. 1384; 9. Worcester 1527; 10. Stoke 1547.

TIPTON 'B' team would have finished runners up, but failed to complete a team in the final race after good results in the earlier races, and ended up 11th overall.

Peter Brookes had an outstanding league season to finish 5th in the overall rankings, with a best position of 3rd. Adam Soley performed well to place 23rd with a best of 24th. Aedan O'Brien placed 37th with a best of 31st, Rob Meredith 44th, and Tom Holden, 58th.  Richard Carpenter's low ranking of 180th, was based on the last two meetings when he achieved the good positions of 29th and 24th. Ian Williams produced two good runs 9th and 32nd that left him 178th overall. Louie Boot produced one of the outstanding runs of 5th in his only outing.

Finishing 4th in the league, one of the strongest, gave the club a good season, but could have done better, with 30 runners turning out in the four meetings - it was 41 last season - and only 10 in the final meeting. Why? Other clubs are challenging - Rugby and Northampton were third on the day and 5th overall, and they had 6 juniors competing- Tipton had none.

In the past Tipton had national winning junior teams. That is something club officers, coaches and runners to think about.

It was encouraging to see some of the old stagers supporting the team - Mike Hagar, Bryan Mills, Jeff Taylor, and Peter 'Gino'  Griffiths. It would be good to see some more enthusiastic supporters at these meetings."

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