National medals for history-making Reading AC

Junior men's side won bronze

Reading AC’s junior men backed up January’s regional gold with another gutsy performance to claim an U20 bronze team medal in the English National Cross Country Championship, an unprecedented club achievement in the age category.
The sunkissed, picturesque backdrop of Harewood House, just outside Leeds played host for the 131st edition of the championships.
The course conditions were some of the the driest ever seen at the championships, and the heat coupled with the

unforgiving hills made it a tough test for the all of the several thousand runners competing.
The 2.20pm 9K junior men’s race was contested over a small lap followed by a large loop around the vast and undulating terrain on the Harewood House estate.
Coming up the hill at the end of the small lap, Alex Sutton was leading the team with Isaac Farnworth just behind and Sam Rodda a little further back, followed by Peter Cook & Matt Rawlings.

At the start of the bigger loop, the team order was the same except for Rawlings who had gone by Cook.
First along the impressive 800m finishing straight was birthday boy Sutton, who led the team home superbly again, crossing the line for 30th place in 30-12.
The Wokingham Paper’s very own Isaac Farnworth was having to work hard to hold off Rodda, son of Reading East MP Matt Rodda, who had moved right through the field.
Farnworth just outkicked his teammate for 37th place with Sam 38th although they were both given the same time of 30-30.
Final scorer Rawlings, who was having one of his best cross-country outings for a while finished strongly to take

54th spot in 31-01, while Peter Cook, still on the road back from a lengthy spell out through injury, kept fighting for every place to finish inside the top 100 for 92nd in 32-22.
With Sutton, Farnworth and Cook now graduating to the senior ranks, the onus will be on the new crop of transitioning U17 athletes as well as the likes of Rodda, Rawlings and Eddie Steveni – the team’s first finisher in the
Southern (link) triumph,  who was sadly forced out of Saturday’s race through illness – to build on the U20 team’s successes this season.
Men’s team captain Ray Stevens said: “All five who ran today have won team medals at either U15 or U17 level in these championships, which just goes to prove that if you can’t win individually, stay together as a team, and you can win medals, so keep it going lads – next step senior medals!”

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