Amber Valley & Erewash Athletic Club


January - March 2009


English Schools Cross Country Champs

The English Schools Cross Country Championships were held last Saturday in glorious spring sunshine in the picturesque grounds of Stanford Hall near Loughborough. In total we had 7 Amber Valley runners representing their county schools teams. This marks the end of the current cross country season.

The best AVAC performance was from Lori Marshall finishing in 50th position in the Intermediate girls 4.1km event. Lori has had an excellent and consistent season - it will be interesting to see how much her track times have improved during the summer months.

In the junior boys 4.1km race we had three of our lads competing with Josh Rae running for Nott's to finish 108th and David Narborough and Andy Fenwick for Derbyshire (174th and 223rd).

In the junior girls 3.25km race Catherine Ross finished 220th for Notts.

In the senior girls race we had Tamara Armoush hoping for high finishing position to make up for the disappointment of having to pull out of the Inter-Counties event whilst in a medal position 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, the resulting disruption to training meant Tamara was not fully race fit and she finished disappointed in 69th place.

Unfortunately the ESSA will not allow photographs from the event to be published on Club websites.

Throws Area Update

A final stone picking day is arranged for 28th March straight after training so if you can spare some time to help clear debris from the throws area behind the track it would be appreciated. As before, refreshments and food will be provided.

It’s taken a long time but we are now in the closing stages of developing this area but an order has now been placed for the installation of a full size hammer/discus cage and a permanent shot installation. We expect completion in June.

Once complete, this will represent an investment of £50,000 which has been funded by the Club and Erewash Borough Council with some limited support from Amber Valley Borough Council. We would like to develop this further to include a javelin runway once further funding is available (will cost another £15,000 approx).

Please meet at the area between the track and the golf course after 12pm. Wear wellies, strong gloves and old clothes.

Derbyshire Track and Field Championships 2009

Entry forms for must-do event are now available HERE or from the Derbyshire Athletics website www.dcaa.org.uk

These annual Championships are a fantastic weekend of track and field with a full range of events for age groups U13 through to Masters (Veterans).

Entries must be made by individuals (not via the club) and note the strict closing date of 17th April.

Derbyshire Mini League 2009

Entry details for this seasons first Mini League track and field competition are now available from training or download HERE and ALSO HERE.

The first match out of 4 is on Saturday 18th April, at Moorways Stadium, Derby, 10.30am start.

All club athletes in the U11, U13 and U15 age groups should take part. The format is really simple and is an ideal introduction to track competition as it's a very informal type of match. £1 payable on the day. Club vests or T-shirts must be worn.

Entries can be emailed to feeney@mailbox60.freeserve.co.uk stating name, age group, date of birth, and the choice of events to do.

Network Coaching Co-ordinator Vacancy

Exciting opportunity for an experienced coach to work with the Derbyshire Athletics Network. This newly formed network includes Amber Valley AC, Chesterfield & District AC and Derby AC and is sponsored by England Athletics.

To make things happen the Network is recruiting a part time paid co-ordinator. Interested in learning more about this role ? - see here for more details.

Inter-County Cross Country Championships - Wollaton Park March 7th.

The 2009 Inter County Cross Country Championships took place last Saturday as usual at Nottingham's Wollaton Park in bright and sunny conditions. Top runners from all counties compete across all age groups and in the senior and U20 events it is used as the trials for the Great Britain teams for the World Cross Country champs - so its a serious, exciting event and televised on Sky Sport. There are around 250 - 300 runners in each race.

Amber Valley AC had a number of runners involved including Molly Mee and Jennie Lockwwod in the U13 girls (192nd and 297th). In the U15 girls event we had Emily Allsop and Jess Turner (240th and 273rd) with Alex Harker and David Narborough in the U15 boys (215th and 250th). Rob Love came up from Plymouth where he is studying and was 277th in the senior men's 12km race (representing Devon).

In the U17 women's event Lori Marshall had another superb run to finish 31st and we had high hopes for Tamara Armoush after winning last Sundays East Midlands London mini-marathon trials. Tamara started well and was in 2nd place for most of the first half of the race before dropping back to 3rd but pulling clear of the chasing runners. With 2/3rds of the race gone it looked like Tamara was set up for a medal position but then injury forced her to pull out which was clearly a major disappointment. Athletes have to be able to deal with setbacks like this and the focus will now be on getting her back to full fitness for the English Schools Championships in 2 weeks time.


Unbeaten Run, Jump and Throw Continues

There was further success for the AVAC-supported Year 5 / 6 Amber Valley District Sportshall Athletics squad. Competing at the annual Derbyshire U11's Sportshall Athletics Final on 3rd March at Moorways Sports Centre they lifted the trophy for the third year in a row. This follows on from yet another successful defence of the East Midlands title back in November.

The squad of 7 boys and 7 girls were pushed all the way by a strong team from Chesterfield in second, with NE Derbyshire in third. Before the formation of the squad only 5 out of the 14 boys and girls were AVAC members. Team managers Nigel Smith, Judy Payling and Julie Feeney put them through their paces during training sessions which certainly paid off and several more of the squad have joined the club.

The Erewash team which finished in a creditable equal 4th place also featured several AVAC athletes and had U17 athletes Ryan Newton and Aidan Smith helping out with training and team managing.

The Final was one of a programme of Derbyshire Schools Athletics competitions sponsored by East Midlands Airport. Special guest of the day was GB international pole vaulter Henrietta Paxton.

Results can be found on www.derbyshiresport.com

Marathon Effort from Tamara

Tamara Armoush was in sparkling form again, this time winning the inaugural East Midlands London Mini Marathon Trials at Holme Pierrepoint. The top 6 in each age band go through to represent the East Midlands in the televised Mini Marathon race for 11 to 17 year olds run as part of the build up before the main marathon event on 26th April in London.

Competing in the 15 - 17 years event Tamara completed the 5k course in 16 min 49, well ahead of classy Leicestershire rival Blue Heywood. Despite a heavy racing schedule of the Nationals, County Schools Championships and the Mini Marathon Trials all within an eight day period, Tamara is clearly in good form. Lori Marshall also ran well finishing in 7th place and may be lucky enough to go as a reserve to London.

Full results can be found on www.dcaa.org.uk

Welcome Return for Feeney

AVAC stalwart David Feeney had a welcome return to competition after a 10 month break due to injury and rehab. He was part of the successful Team Sheffield which won the Indoor City Challenge Final at UWIC, Cardiff with a fifth consecutive win.

The Indoor City Challenge is a nationwide, City Team-based athletic competition. 12 Teams from Belfast to London and Edinburgh to Bristol compete across 2 Semi-Finals and a Final to fight for the title of ICC Champions 2009. The McCain-sponsored event mixes established international stars and aspiring Juniors together in the same team as they compete for individual and team points and cash prizes.

Multi-eventer David competed in the 3-event combined event challenge, competing in shot, long jump and 60m hurdles, finishing in 2nd place overall to GB international Kevin Sempers. Having only been in full training for three months not surprisingly his performances in shot and long jump were a little below his best but he pulled a promising PB out of the bag in his preferred hurdles discipline.

Team Sheffield also included Commonwealth Heptathlon medallist Jessica Ennis, European 800m medallist Sam Ellis and GB Junior pole vaulter Luke Cutts in their line up.

Midlands Success for Emily

Emily Butlin took equal first place in a recent Midlands Open Indoor event. She jumped 1m50, an equal PB at the NIA indoor arena in her first competition, having moved up to U17.

AGM Invite

AVAC's annual round-up AGM takes place at Charles Hill Sports Centre, Loscoe on Monday 9th March at 7.30pm.

All members and interested parents are invited to attend the informal meeting to hear reports on club activities over the past year and thoughts for the future twelve months.

Easter Star:track Scheme

Bookings are now being taken for the popular Star-track Athletics Scheme. This years scheme is a 2-day course on 6th and 7th April at the Rutland Sports Park, Ilkeston and is open to AVAC members and non-members alike of all abilities and experience.

The course runs from 10am to 3.30pm each day for 8 to 15 year olds and costs £20 per child. Each participant will receive a free 'goody-bag' containing a T-shirt and other items.

The Aviva-supported scheme is a nationally recognised grassroots initiative designed to help children develop and hone their skills within structured and exciting athletics coaching programmes. It helps more children to stay involved in athletics, through increasing the level of athletics ‘follow on’ activity – from school to Aviva Star:track and from Aviva Star:track to club. Children have chance to improve their athletics skills and gives them the opportunity to progress their performance.

The scheme is being organised by the Amber Valley and Erewash Athletics Development Group of which Amber Valley AC is a partner.

National Cross Country Championships

A chip supper in Watford and questionable amounts of sleep might not be the recommended pre-race preparation but it certainly didn't do any harm to our small group of athletes making the trip to the National Cross Country Championships at the weekend.

An over-night stop on the Friday night followed by a short drive into central London to the Hampstead Heath venue was snatched up by 10 athletes, accompanied by minibus drivers and chaperones Jim and Julie, and Dave and Gill Turner. The thought of a night away with mates and without parents was much more preferable than a 5am get up.

The brand spanking new Holiday Inn Express in Watford proved to be a more than acceptable choice, and after a good breakfast the following morning, we piled into the minibus again for the relatively trouble-free drive to join the thousands flocking to the venue on a beautiful Spring morning. We made camp in the designated tented area and saw our numbers swell as further AVAC athletes and family members arrived for their races throughout the day.

The Parliament Hill Fields area of the Heath is a favourite course for many. This years didn't disappoint in any respect, as it has it all - mud throughout almost the entire course (as those stay-at-home parents will no doubt have discovered on emptying kit bags on Sunday morning), good viewing vantage points, a first-class field of entrants and hills ... lots of them.

The weather gods smiled favourably on us this year which is always a bonus in cross country. The sun shone from dawn till dusk, the runners were more likely to get heat stroke than frost bite, and Julie even took her coat off - it must have been warm!

The start for all runners is the same - a relentless, energy-sapping sprint or slog, depending on your ability up Parliament Hill, some 800m long which really sorts the men from the boys. The first to experience this was our group of six U15 boys tackling the 4.5K course. Josh Rae was first home in 134th place (out of 398 finishers), David Narborough 149th, Andrew Fenwick 165th, Michael Bosworth 257th, Aiden Smith 357th and Luke Turner 371st. Overall the team came 27th out of 47 complete teams.

The next race featured Tamara Armoush and Lori Marshall in the U17 women's 5K event. Combining this race with the U20 women's event ensured a quality field including several junior internationals. It's so exciting waiting to see the front runners emerging into view from the less accessible parts of the course especially when there's a fast run-in down hill to the finish and there's one of your own athletes in the mix.

Tamara had probably one of her best races of the season finishing 7th and can be well pleased with her run. Lori well exceeded her pre-race expectations by finishing in 34th place, an excellent run given that she was surely one of the youngest out of the 184 finishers and still has another year in this age group.

Rob Love made the trip from Plymouth where he is based at university to compete in the U20 Mens race finishing 99th out of 173 finishers. Emily Allsop and Jessica Turner can be satisfied with their mid-pack positions of 160th and 195th respectively in the U15 girls 4K race.

By now the course was well and truly churned with ankle-deep mud in places. Jayson Fenwick and Jerome Richards tackled the U13 boys 3K race coming home in 190th and 283rd place respectively. Jane Poole was our only senior women's competitor, finishing 385th, whilst Trevor Jolly was part of spectacular Mens race featuring over 1500 men charging up Parliament Hill at the start. Thereafter Trev chose to 'stay behind the pace' towards the rear of the field over the gruelling 12K course, finishing in 1350th place.


East Mids Sportshall Finals

Young athletes from Amber Valley AC helped create a piece of Derbyshire athletics history on Sunday. Competing at the annual Aviva-sponsored Sportshall Athletics East Midlands Regional Final, all four Derbyshire teams, U13 girls, U13 boys, U15 girls and U15 boys, won against county teams from Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire.

Never before have Derbyshire achieved a clean sweep of victories and their winning performances exceeded all expectations. All four teams now go through to represent the East Midlands at the prestigious National Finals at the NEC in March where they will compete against the best young athletes in the country.

All athletes, aged 11 to 15 years, were selected for the Derbyshire team from their performances at the county Mini League competitions that have been on-going over the winter months. The 16 AVAC athletes made up the Derbyshire squad with team mates from Derby AC, Chesterfield DAC and 2DASH.

The U13 girls team won the team event comfortably by 140 points from nearest rivals Notts. Almost every team member won either an individual or relay medal illustrating their strength across all events.

Emily Heappey dominated the 2 Lap sprint event with an emphatic win. Molly Mee tackled the gruelling 6 Lap event with a confident piece of front running to take the gold in this event, plus a bronze in the Speed Bounce. Imogen Cresswell, Jennie Lockwood and Megan Bruce were part of the 4 x 1 and Obstacle relay teams that each won gold, with Imogen also taking a bronze in the Standing Triple Jump.

Dominic Hare, in the U13 boys, had a very successful day taking gold with a determined run in the 4 Lap, a bronze in speed bounce, plus second place in the 8 Lap Parlauf relay. Jack Newton, Jerome Richards and George Coutts were all part of the winning U13 boys 4 x 1 and Obstacle relay teams.

In the U15 age group the athletes contest team, individual and 'all-rounder' titles and AVAC athletes figured in all areas. The quartet of Michael Bosworth, Charlie Waterhouse, Ryan Newton and Tom Bridge had a brace of medals between them, and, along with their two Derby AC teammates won the U15 boys team event from a strong Nott's team. Michael Bosworth secured equal first place in the 4 Lap event with a final aggressive push in the last 10m, and took silver in the Shot Putt. Tom Bridge won the Shot Putt with an indoor PB of 13m 52. Ryan Newton took silver in the 2 Lap sprint and a bronze in the Standing Long Jump. Charlie Waterhouse won silver in the Speed Bounce and bronze in the Standing Triple Jump.

Michael and Ryan were involved in perhaps the most exciting relay of the day, taking victory in the 8 Lap Parlauf. Their chosen format of covering the 8 laps between them drew on Ryan's sprint speed and Michaels middle distance ability, in a 2-4-2 formation that saw them gradually overhaul a strong Nott's pairing.

Tom and Charlie were part of the 4 x 2 relay that secured yet another Derbyshire relay victory. All six Derbyshire lads made the top 10 in the 'all rounder' category, with surprise-package Charlie Waterhouse taking joint second place overall, Michael one point behind in fourth place and Tom and Ryan sharing sixth equal out of 24 competitors.

AVAC had 3 girls in the six-strong U15 girls team. Kelly-Jay Payling took bronze in the Shot Putt, and all three girls were part of the 4 x 1 relay taking silver in a close race. In the 'all rounder' category Kiera Gee finished 8th equal, Jessica Turner 11th equal and Kelly-Jay 17th equal.

Full results can be found on www.sportshall.org

All athletes now go through to the National Finals on 22nd March. Please make sure you give your availability to Judy Payling as soon as possible.

Transport to the National Sportshall Finals

A bus will be provided for the Derbyshire team travelling to the National Sportshall Finals at the NEC on 22nd March. The bus will leave from Chesterfield Town Hall at approximately 9am and will make a pick-up stop at the Little Chef just off the A38 Little Eaton roundabout at approximately 9.30am.

Please note that these times are not confirmed until further details about arrangements for the Finals have been received. There will be a small charge per person.

Any athlete wanting to book a seat must contact Julie Feeney on 07980 346909 or email here. Athletes can take an additional maximum 2 people on the bus. Bookings must be made.



Sportshall season has come to the end once again, we had some really good performances from across all the age groups, and there are some that stand out like that of Thomas Bridge - I think its fair to say he's the master of shot putt, he won all six matches!

Not to forget the younger athletes like Megan Bruce, Georgina Trace, Chloe Gee, Aidan Newton, Aaron Trueman, Jethro McGraw, Molly Mee, Emily Heappey, Imogen Cresswell, Jennie Lockwood, Dominic Hare and Jack Newton, who all performed well with their running, jumping and throwing, all finishing in the top 3 in all six matches.

Special mentions go to Elliott Betts who was competing for the first time for us and not only won the speed bounce but he also equalled the record for u11 boys. Ryan Newton and Michael Bosworth equalled the record in the 8 lap parlauf and the u15 boys relay team also equalled the 4 x 2 relay record, the 4 man team was Thomas Bridge, Michael Bosworth, Charlie Waterhouse and Ryan Newton so well done to all of you.

Unfortunately we only came away with 1 trophy this year that was for the u11 Girls Team, it was very close between us and Chesterfield and we won by just 1 point.

It was a close contest in the u15 Boys between us and Derby, sadly although our boys won on match points the Derby boys took the trophy on league points, again only by 1 point.

So once again well done to all of you who took part, hope to see all of you and more next year (especially those U15 girls!).

There is one group of athletes who we will not be seeing next year, so its a sad goodbye to Emily Butlin, Ryan Newton, Charlie Waterhouse, Michael Bosworth and Aidan Smith. This was their final year for Sportshall, most of them have supported Sportshall since being in the u11's and they have represented Derbyshire at the Regional's and Nationals on many occasions. Michael, Ryan and Charlie will  though be part of the u15 Boys team at this years Nationals, so good luck boys.

I would also like to say thank you to Paul Smith, Nigel Smith, Trev Jolly, Dave Turner Dawn Lockwood Matt Bridge and Michael Emerson, who all helped Track Judge or Judge the field events. One last thank you goes to Nicky Newton who team managed the boys and Judy Payling who team managed the girls.

Spring Spruce

Nott's AC are once again holding their Spring Spruce event this year. This popular Open event is being held on 29th March at the Harvey Hadden stadium and is open to everyone from U11 through to Veterans.

Derbyshire Schools XC Champs Cancelled

In case you have not heard via your schools, the Derbyshire Schools XC Champs on Saturday has been cancelled due to the weather - see www.derbyshiresport.co.uk for more details.

Northern Indoor Track and Field Championships

Amber Valley AC athletes came away with a clutch of medals from the Northern Indoor Track and Field Championships, at the EIS, Sheffield on 25th January.

Tom Bridge easily took gold in the U15 boys shot putt with a best throw of 13.03m, beating the athlete in second place by almost 2m. He narrowly missed setting a new Championship Best Performance, being just 11cm short of getting in the record books. Tom also made the final of the U15 boys 60m setting a new personal best, finishing 7th in 8.01sec.

Further medals came from Ryan Newton and Zach King. Ryan came through the heats and semi's of the U17 Mens 60m, before smashing his personal best in the final, finishing in silver medal position. Zach had to be content with silver also in the U17 Mens 400m, not quite able to regain the title he won at last years championships.

County Sportshall

16 AVAC athletes have been selected to represent the Derbyshire team competing at the East Midlands Aviva Regional Sportshall Finals at The Meres Leisure Centre, Grantham on 15th February.

Athletes were selected from their performances at the Mini League series of Sportshall competitions. All athletes must confirm their availability to Judy Payling, if not done so already.

Athletes should make their own way to the venue to meet the rest of the team at 11.30am, directions available from Julie Feeney if required. Squad T-shirts will be provided on the day (but bring your own hair spray and face paint!).

Congratulations to:

U13G Emily Heappey, Molly Mee, Jennie Lockwood, Imogen Cresswell, Megan Bruce

U13B Dominic Hare, Jack Newton, George Coutts, Jerome Richards

U15G Jessica Turner, Kelly-Jay Payling, Emily Butlin

U15B Michael Bosworth, Tom Bridge, Ryan Newton, Charlie Waterhouse


North of England Cross Country Champs - St Helens Sat 24th Jan.

It may have been a pleasant parkland setting at St Helens for the Northern Cross Country Champs but it was a very soggy and muddy affair for runners and spectators alike! Fortunately the rain didn't come and despite wet feet everyone had an enjoyable day.

The Northern champ are the first of the series of big championship races which characterize the period of the cross country season between now and March with some of younger runners competing at this level for the first time.

In the U13 boys event Jayson Fenwick ran impressively making steady progress throughout the race after a sensibly conservative start to finish just in side the top 100 with 99th place. Jerome Richards was the only other Amber Valley runner with 133rd place.

Our U15 girls pair of Ella Smith (in her first event at this level) and Jess Turner finished 102nd and 135th respectively. In the U15 boys event we had an excellent turnout with 7 Amber valley runners lead home by Josh Rae in an excellent 69th position followed by Alex Harker (75th), Michael Bosworth (90th), Andrew Fenwick (104th), David Narborough (110th), Aiden Smith (130th) and Luke Turner (144th). Our U15 boys also managed 11th team place overall.

Our stalwarts in the senior men's gruelling 12km event were Andy Marriet (478th) and Trevor Jolly (528th)

Amber Valley performances of the day were from our U17 women. The first two places were established early in the race with junior international Laura Park dominating but there was a group of girls including Tamara Armoush battling with each other for most of the 4.5 km course over the bronze medal.

In the later stages Tamara dropped back slightly finishing in 7th place but it was a solid run. Fast improving Lori Marshall had her best race so far to finish in a very impressive 14th place. Its great to see Lori progressing like this and she is still in the lower end of this age group. Emily Cotteril was our 3rd Amber Valley runner finishing in 76th position.

Pics show the U15 boys just before the race and the U17 women's race with Tamara and Lori visible. Click on the images for larger pictures

Full results can be see on the North of England website.


Last Chance For Cross Country

The final match in the Derbyshire Mini League Cross Country series is on Saturday 31st January. Derby AC are hosting the match which will be run on the pitches and grassland around Moorways Stadium, Derby.
All AVAC members are encouraged to compete.

There are races for U11's, U13's and U15's, with the first race starting at 11am, working through the age groups. Meet the AVAC team manager at the stadium no later than 10.30am to register, warm up and view the course. £1 per athlete payable on the day. Being the last match of the season, the presentations for overall winning team and individual medals in each age and gender group will be awarded in the clubhouse after the last race.

This will be the last cross country race of the winter for many young runners (apart from those already entered in national and regional competitions) so give it a go!

Silver for Feeney

Michael Feeney picked up a silver medal at the Northern Indoor Championships on 17th January.

Competing at the EIS, Sheffield, Michael acquitted himself well with his first outing over the increased hurdle heights and spacings of the U20 Mens 60m Hurdles since moving up an age group.

Dates For Diaries

The recently updated fixture list for 2009 track and field, and the remaining Sportshall and cross country fixtures of the winter is available HERE. Dates and venues are correct as far as possible, given that some are still not finalised for certain (ref the 'tbc' remark next to some entries, 'to be confirmed'.

Please be aware that at a recent meeting the Committee took the difficult decision to withdraw this season from the National Young Athletes League. Last years very heavy competition schedule was not felt to be conducive to good performances from the athletes nor sustainable this year.

Take a look at the forthcoming year and you'll see plenty of good competition opportunities for all age groups and disciplines without over-stretching the clubs coaches, team managers and officials.

North Midlands Cross Country League - final races at Wollaton Park 17th Jan 09

Amber Valley runners were out in Nottingham's Wollaton Park for the last of the four 2008/09 season cross country races on Saturday. Plenty of overnight rain made the course soggy in places but conditions were generally good. As with so many events this season we were short of numbers in some age groups and so we were not expecting to be challenging for any overall team titles.

The Amber Valley 'star of the day' for the last in the seasons North Midlands Cross Country League events has to be 9 year old Niamh Emerson winner of the U11 girls race and overall champion having won all 3 of the races she took part in. An excellent performance following on from her Derbyshire title win last weekend - and still another year in this age group ! Sam Paisley also ran in the U11 event finishing 10th.

We only had one U13 girl competing but Molly Mee had an excellent race finishing 8th which is her highest of the season.

In the U13 boys Jerome Richards was the first Amber Valley runner home in 13th followed by Jethro McGraw (18th) and Joel Paisley (26th).

Jess Turner finished 13th in the U15 girls. In the U15 boys event Michael Bosworth ran strongly to finish 9th followed by David Narborough (11th) and Andrew Fenwick (17th). Our U15 boys were also the highest finishing Amber Valley team finishing 3rd behind very strong Nott's AC and Mansfield teams.

Tamara Armoush finished 2nd in the U17 women just behind Stoke AC's Katie Holt (ex English Schools XC champion).

In the combined U20/sen/vets ladies race it was good to see Jo Birtwistle back to racing after the birth of her son finishing in an excellent 22nd place. Jo was followed by Jane Poole (47th) and Leila Armoush (57th). Well done to Jane for getting overall 3rd in her V50 age group over the four races.

In the senior men's race Trevor Jolly was the sole Amber Valley rep finishing in 145th place.

Next Saturday marks the start of the seasons really big races with the North of England Championships at St Helens with 23 Amber Valley runners entered.

Full details are on the NoE website and for those needing transport we have a coach which we are sharing with Derby AC picking up at Belper Sports Centre at 8:00AM.

If anyone needs extra places on the bus please talk to Jim.


Derbyshire Cross Country Championships Berry Hill Park, Mansfield Saturday 10th Jan 2009.

First cross country race of 2009 was the annual Derbyshire cross country championships which was, as normal, run as a combined event with Nottinghamshire. The event took place last Saturday in the familiar but freezing surroundings of Berry Hill Park in Mansfield.

For the first time these championships included U11 events with all other age groups competing for places in the Derbyshire and Nott's squads for the televised Inter-County event in March. Although there were some excellent performances from Amber Valley runners, once again the overall numbers participating was disappointing.

In the U11 girls 1500m event, 9 year old Niamh Emerson was the first Derbyshire girl home to win what is likely the first of many county titles. Her time of 6:01 was actually significantly faster than any of the Derbyshire boys ran over the same course. In the boys race Sam Paisley finished 4th.

In the U13 girls 3,000m race Molly Mee and Jennie Lockwood had excellent runs to finish 5th and 7th respectively to secure their places in the Derbyshire squad. In the boys race over the same distance the Amber Valley trio of Jayson Fenwick, Jethro McGraw and Joel Paisley took the team bronze medal with 11th,12th and 19th place.

Jess Turner was 3rd in the U15 girls race but unfortunately Emil Alsop had to withdraw on the 2nd lap feeling unwell. In the U15 boys race we again secured 3rd team place with Josh Rae leading the team home in 5th place, followed by Alex Harker (8th), David Narborough (9th) and Andrew Fenwick 14th. Josh and Alex are selected for the County team with David as first reserve.

We were without any U17 men competing but the girls made up for it by securing 1st team place in the combined U17/U20 5,000m race with Tamara Armoush comfortably winning the gold medal followed by Lori Marshall in 4th Leila Armoush 9th and Emily Cotteril 11th.

In the senior ladies 8,000m race Wendy Ray and Jane Poole were 17th and 24th overall but both placed 4th in their respective vets age category. Andy Marriot was the sole Amber Valley runner in the senor men's 10,000m race finishing 54th overall (19th vet).

Full results can be found on the DCAA website here.

A reminder that next Saturday (16th) is the last of this seasons North Midlands Cross Country League events at Wollaton Park in Nottingham. Please lets aim for a good turnout.

The following weekend will be the Northern Championships in St Helens for those who have been entered and coach transport is available for those who need it. We are sharing transport with Derby AC but the bus will pick up from Belper Sports Centre - exact time yet to be decided.


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