ATHLETICS: AN IMPRESSIVE debut season saw Spa Striders men’s team take Division Three by storm after finishing runners-up out of 17 teams to win promotion to Division Two in the Birmingham Cross-Country league,
Striders finished second on 495 points, while Black Pear Joggers won the league with 430 points and King’s Heath were placed on 619 points.
There was also good news for the club’s ‘B’ team who finished first in their respective competition to demonstrate the strength and depth in the men’s section.
In the overall individual men standings, Paul Edwards finished fourth, while Steven Taylor was ninth and Chris McKeown was one place behind in tenth.
Edwards was the first Strider home at Saturday’s final race of the season in Droitwich after finishing in a time of 34 minutes and 40 seconds, which was enough to take seventh spot overall.
Close behind was Adam Notley (35.28) who pipped Ste Taylor (35.28) to the post for ninth, with Taylor finishing one place behind in tenth. Chris McKeown (35.47), Dan Fleming (36.24) and Rich Sykes (36.30) made up the first team.
The B team were strongly represented by James Jaycock (37.44), Dan Stannard (38.39), Gethyn Friswell (38.52), Rob Thompson (39.11), Nick Solomon (39.24) and Paul Quinney (41.14).
The ladies raced at Warwick University for their final fixture of the season, which was hosted by Kenilworth Runners.
Having been promoted last season to Division One, the Striders have had no trouble in holding their own at a higher competitive level and finished eighth overall.
On the day, the varied and challenging course was enjoyed by all and Charlotte Everard (23.34) completed an excellent season in taking the honour as being the first Strider home, finishing well clear of Carolyn Wilkinson (24.33) and the hard fought race between Kelsey Wiberley (24.47) and Laura Peake (24.48).