By Hadleigh Hares, Jan 16 2015 10:09PM
Suffolk Cross Country Championships 2015
Having made steady progress over the previous two cross country seasons, Hadleigh Hares Ladies cross country team travelled to the beautiful parkland setting of Ickworth Park, Bury St Edmunds to compete in the 2015 Suffolk County Cross Country Championships. Doubling up as the selection trial to represent Suffolk at the CAU Inter Counties Championships in Birmingham in early March, the team travelled with an air of optimism & tingling excitement.
Arrival at the course & pre-race recce by the team revealed a demanding course of fast flat stretches, tricky descents an icy stream crossing & stamina sapping climb.
There was doubt that the course that awaited would be a true test of the counties finest cross country runners.
Soaked in winter sunshine & with crisp conditions underfoot, the venue offered a day for great cross country racing & what a day it was!
Multi talented Jasmine Hayward lead the way with a stunning victory in the under 20 womens race over 6K, despite a heavy fall in the icy stream crossing, she stormed away from her opposition to become Hadleigh Hares first ever womens champion.
Encouraged by Jasmines success the senior ladies were in an uncompromising mood, unleashing a succession of stunning performances. Track star Elisa Bostock lead the charge with a terrific 5th place, only seconds behind 4th, closely followed by training partner Vic Kenny, storming through the field to take 8th, showing that her early preparations for her marathon debut in April were going well. Emma Gorwood completed the scoring trio with a superb 10th place, producing her trade mark brave & committed run giving everything for the team.
But the excellent performances did not end there, with Penny Grayson, Rachel Bodsworth & Elaine Mann, all ‘packing’ superbly & storming into the finish in 21st, 25th & 26th respectively, closely followed by Katrina Rigby & Corinna Hussey, with Sara Taylor-Balls & Pat Atwood completing a fine performance.
The Hares came away from the finish line knowing they had performed well but would it be enough to ‘topple’ the dominant force of recent years that has been Ipswich Jaffa AC? The Hares had matched Jaffa’s leading ladies stride for stride, & when the results were announced Hadleigh Hares had snatched victory by the slenderest of margins one point!!!! Their first ever County team gold medal in their 30 year history.
However success did not end there with Hadleigh Hares taking victory in the ‘B team competition & Elisa & Jasmine receiving immediate selection to represent Suffolk at the Inter-Counties. What a day!
The senior mens 12k race completed the programme with a fine performance from John Scaife in 11th, second over 40. Mat Blacoe, Matt Hunter & Andy Turner had there own private battle finishing 37th, 38th & 47th respectively, with Steve Hunt, the legendary Mike Rosbrook 1st over 75! & Stuart Hunt completing the Hares finishers. Not to be totally out done by the all conquering ladies the men finished 5th in the team race, equalling their best ever placing!
1st Jasmine Hayward
5th Elisa Bostock (Bronze - Senior Women)
8th Victoria Kenny
10th Emma Gorwood
21st Penny Grayson
25th Rachel Bodsworth
26th Elaine Mann
41st Katrina Rigby
47th Corinna Hussey
58th Sara Taylor-Balls
67th Patricia Atwood
11th John Scaife (Silver - V40)
37th Mathew Blacoe
47th Andrew Turner
115th Steve Hunt
134th Mike Rosbrook
141st Stuart Hunt