On Sunday 12th December a large Bentley squad of 68 made their way to the woodlands of Halstead for the third and half-way point fixture of the 53-12 Cross-Country League.
The large number of Bentley competitors paid dividends with the combined senior team finishing 5th, a one place improvement on the previous fixture at Harwich.
The ladies’ team again finished 4th, with Vicky Presland leading them home once again in 9th. Meera Rajoo-Oakley continued her strong season, finishing in 25th, followed by a great run from Sam Gooden (27th), and another strong run from Anna Mills (28th) to complete the scoring 4.
Sarah Fletcher (36th) and Elieen Shadford (37th) followed, running each other close. Claire Groves (45th), Tricia Stacey (47th) and Gerladine Springett (54th) all returned to the circuit with strong supporting runs. Rachel Giles showed she is in strong form repeating her 53rd position from Harwich.
The ladies’ race was won by Victoria Kenny of Hadleigh Hares.
In the men’s race Dave Wright (30th) is now becoming a familiar face at the front of the Bentley team. Following fast behind were Chris Warren (32nd) and Russ Sharp (33rd). Ryan Day (42nd) bolstered the improving men’s team, with Mark Jasper (43rd) improving by 5 places from Harwich, showing that he his moving up the gears. Dave Goldsmith (66th) and Michael Simmons (71st) also ran strongly. The Bentley men’s performance of the day goes to Paul Davidson (76th), improving 25 places to make scoring team anchor man.
Two other big improvers were Colin Farmer (97th) and Paul Hollidge (124th), improving by 15 and 27 places respectively. Lee Clarkson (93rd), Rob Thorpe (112th), Paul Carlisle (120th), Phil Presland (123rd), Kev James (145th), Andy Fuller (170th) and Martin West (185th) all improved by between 5 and 10 places.
The men’s race was won by Tristan Windley of Springfield Striders.
The 2km junior race once again saw Harrison Leek (39th) leading the club home. He was followed by returning Katie Presland (58th) and Harry Booty (90th). Tommy Colsell (93rd) and Megan Hughes (97th) ran well to complete the scoring 5. Promising supporting runs came from Ben Lyons (99th), Caitlin Hughes (100th) and Angel Jasper (102nd).
The race was won by Thomas Abbott of Ipswich Jaffa.
Great Bentley will now be enjoying a Christmas break from the circuit, before returning for the 4th fixture of the season at Ipswich in January.