SALE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Team Manager James Bailey
The National 6 stage relay is a finale to the autumn road relay season and the prelude to the winters cross country season. This is an event Sale has never won before but after the success in finishing second in the Northern 6 stage could the team go one better at the national event?
The team consisted of a mix of youth and experience. First off was Commonwealth and World junior athlete Niall Brooks. After showing some late track season form after illness earlier in the year, Niall is coming back a stronger athlete and his first leg clearly showed that. Sitting in the pack for the first mile Niall moved up to the front runners and finished in 7th place, a great start. Next out was Charlie Hulson, a product of the Paul Roden group at Wythenshawe. He has been progressing quickly both on the track, country and road. He moved through the field and set about chasing the 1st placed athlete. Although caught by the Brighton athlete, Charlie came home in 3rd, placing the team in striking distance for the next leg. Antony Ford is preparing for the Frankfurt marathon in two weeks time, fresh from finishing 8th at the Great Scottish half marathon the week before. He flew past the leading two athletes and quickly opened up a gap. He held this lead and came home a full 13 seconds clear of second place. Matt Bond has recently returned from a successful stint in Font Romeu and has since set a road PB of 29.34 at the Swansea 10k. Out on 4th leg, he stretched the lead to a substantial 41 seconds. Could the team dream of that elusive victory? Simon Horsfield has also come back from illness earlier in the year to break the 8-minute barrier over 3k and 14-minutes over 5k. With a big gap to 2nd already, Simon relaxed into his running and extended the lead even further to 51 seconds. The last leg honour/"pressure" went to James Bailey. Even though there was a large lead, the in-form Nick Goolab from Belgrave was also on last leg and within striking distance. At the turn, the gap to Belgrave was down to just over 30 seconds with a mile and a half to go. Luckily James' 'experience' held and brought the team home for the clubs first ever victory in the event. The sense of jubilation was clear from the smiles as the team collected their medals, sword, presented to the highest placed northern team, and championship cup.
The B team also had qualified for the event after finishing 7th in the Northern 6 stage. The hope was to place highly in the national event. Off first was Ryan Moore, the former Northern junior cross country champion. He took a steady 1st leg and brought the team back in 38th place. Next out was Nick Samuels, Nick had recently competed in both the Great North and Great Scottish half marathons pacing Susan Partridge to victory. Nick brought the team home in 58th. Paul Green, the member of many of Sale's previous 6 and 12 stage teams over the years, was out next and his solid run took 8 places bringing the team back in 50th place. Gareth Raven, also a stalwart of the club and fresh from racing Cardiff half marathon the previous wee,k ran the quickest leg of the team and brought them home in 34th place. Late call up James Wignall performed well after racing last week in the North Wales for Bangor University coming home in 35th place. On final leg was Chris Middleton, currently settling in to university life at Loughborough, he finished the team in 41st place.
Our boys under 15 team also represented the club on the Sunday in the same National Championship. In driving rain and wind the team of Jake and Adam Spillsbury and Dylan Burchill were hoping to follow up on their great run in the Northern Cross Country relays last weekend where they earned a bronze medal for their efforts. With a large field of 65 teams, Jake lead the way with Dylan running second leg and Adam Powering his way to bring the team home in a very respectable 17th place . Well done boys.
Posted 14/10/2013 19:52