Nene Valley Harrier's enjoyed a highly satisfying afternoon at Derby on Saturday, as Russ Prosser's talented squad showed well against many of the strongest club's in the region at the first meeting of this year's North Midlands XC League.
Megan Ellison maintained her fine form from her breakthrough track season by winning the under 17 girls race, bravely fighting off a late challenge from a Mansfield AC athlete with an impressive change of speed.
Nene Valley were 1st team in 2 age groups, a feat only equalled by Notts AC and Chesterfield AC.
The victorious girls under 15's were led home by Amber Park in 7th position, just 1 place ahead of Jose Fortune, whilst the fast improving Ellie Piccaver completed the scoring team with a 12th place finish. Hana Ray, Kelsi Ellis, and Paula Naylor all provided fine support with top 20 finishes.
The under 17 boys were also age group winners with Ollie Bowling leading the way in 3rd position, with 11th placed Rio Chilvers and Nathan Davies in 17th making up the scorers. Brad Allen ran well finishing 18th.
One of the highlights was the performance of the men's senior team, who finished as runners up to Notts AC with 3 under 20's amongst the 5 scoring athletes. 17 year old Alex Hampson led the Harriers home in 11th position, covering the 9.5 kilometre course in a time of 33.29. Lloyd Kempson battled with Hampson for much of the race before crossing the line in 15 place, with teenager James McCrae not far behind. The scoring team was completed by Drew Warnes and 18 year old Michael Cawood. Hurdler Sean Reidy led the race early on, but with a lack of obstacles to leap dropped back quickly.
Flo Brill led the under 13 girls to a fine 2nd place finishing 3rd on the day, with Calypso Priestley and Katie Taster coming home in 9th and 13th positions respectively.
Megan Ellison's fine run was well supported by Alice Callant and Beth Glamour as the under 17 girls claimed 4th place.
The senior ladies finished well down the rankings, but the race was notable for an outstanding run by Nene Valley veteran Nicky Morgan. Having fought her way back from a career threatening injury the 45 year old has achieved some impressive times on the track this summer. This was perhaps her finest race since her comeback as she finished 15th, and 1st veteran in a field of 135 athletes.
There was a combined race in the under 11 age group and The Harriers placed 4th out of the 18 teams, with Freddie House 5th and Joe Garner 11th. For the girls Lily Melam, Josie Knight and Lottie Hemmings showed well.
Ethan Ellison was 1st home for the under 15 boys. Ellison's 15th place helped Harriers into 5th.
Nene Valley's under 13 boys grouped excellently with Sam Oakley 11th, and Matt Church 15th,ahead of 19th placed Cemal Korkmaz and Sid O'Connell in 20th. This was enough to secure 3rd place for the youngsters on what was a highly encouraging day for Nene Valley.