On Saturday 18 March 2017, five teams of Nene Valley athletes competed in a match against the Air Training Corp national team at RAF Cranwell. The clubs athletes take part in the National Finals for the ATC and their score is against the first four ATC athletes in each event. The results noted in bracket are the position in the Corp match compared to those for the actual championship.
The first win of the day was achieved by Matt Dowling in the under 15 race. Matt took the field on from the hooter and had a marginal lead by the time they left the first field and gradually extended the lead over the 3.4km course. Matt recorded a good time of 13:53 minutes.
Matt was followed in by Harvey Hancock in seventh place (6 – 14:35), Matt Church in sixteenth (7 – 15:11) and George Woodard in nineteenth (8 – 15:25) who was chased to the line by a string of athletes including Dan Lawrence in 23 (15:30).
NVH’s second win of the day was always on the cards after Alex Hampson asked whether there was a course record. In the under 20 race, Alex set of at a very impressive pace and was pulling away stride for stride before returning to the finishing area well clear of any other athletes in a time of 17:10 for the 5k circuit. Unfortunately due to non-attendees on the day Jordan Mayhew’s fifth place finish in 19:20 would not result in a team win. Jordan was unfortunate not to be able to grab a fourth or third place as the respective competitors pulled away over the last half mile.
Nene Valley were missing several key athletes due to their qualification for the English Schools’ XC Championship in Norwich on the same day. Those who came along really enjoyed the experience and just as importantly the ATC athletes have been able to earn their National Colours.
Hannah Knight was unlucky to miss out on a medal in the under 13 girls race finishing in fourth place but just a few seconds from a medal in a time of 17:44. She was well supported by Eden Oldfield in eighth place (6 – 18:38) and Abbey Wright finishing in 22 with a time of 20:50 for the shorter circuit of 3.4km.
Back on the longer 5k route, the under 17 men’s race started quickly with Oli Oakley getting involved from the start. He finished in a tight fifth place with a creditable time of 24:30 equal time with fourth. Lewis Turner finished in 15th (25:37) and Codi-Leigh Middleton in 19th (26:17).
The Nene Valley team in the ladies race (under 17s and under 20s) was an equal split between the age groups competed in a tight race where only the winner was clear of the field. Running the same 5k course as the men, Imogen Woodard ran well and just missed out on a medal with her fourth place finish in a time of 23:29. Amy Gibbons was also in the finishing straight but out sprinted to the line in eighth place (6 – 23:55). The two under 17s also ran well with Kelsi Ellis 11th (7 – 24:29) and Alyssa Carter 24:48 in 13th (8 – 24:48).