Sleight leads Cherwell to fourth spot at Cirencester

Jessie Sleight leads the way for Cherwell Runners at Cirencester Park. Photo: Barry Cornelius
Jessie Sleight leads the way for Cherwell Runners at Cirencester Park. Photo: Barry Cornelius

Henry Sleight was first home for Cherwell Runners in Sunday’s Oxon Cross Country League meeting.

The second fixture at Cirencester Park was a challenging, hilly and muddy with the ladies having to contend with rain as well.

Leading the men’s A team home on the six-mile course was Sleight in 37.57 minutes followed by Benedict Heaney 42.53, Simon Prytherch 43.33, John-Paul Hamilton 43.48, Dewi Thomas 44.34, Danny Batchelor 44.50 with Kurt Trinder completing the A team in 46.31.

Warren Harrison led the B team home in 48.18, followed by Rick Budd 50.12, Alex Price 54.56 and David Coates 59.00 of the 278 finishers to help Cherwell to fourth on the day in division three.

In the women’s race over four miles, the A team were led home by Jessie Sleight in 36.30 minutes with Clare Curnow supporting in 38.52 and Claire Stratford 39.15.

They were ably backed by Martha Bagnall 40.22, Helen Walker 42.22, Sarah Budd 43.46, Annabel Heaney 44.50 and Helen Burton 48.20 out of the 168 finishers and the A team were sixth in division two.

Banbury Harriers, consisting of mainly juniors, also travelled to Cirencester Park on Sunday.

Mollie Davis was third and Joe Swift tenth in the under-nine race.

The consistent Isla McGowan came home in second place in the under-ten girls’ race with Frankie Scrivener 24th and Merle Snelson 42nd. The improving Richie Mack was fourth in the boys race, with Thomas Roberts 24th.

Tilly Lainchbury, who won the North Oxon Schools race in the week, was third in the under-13 girls’ race, Rosie Brand was 22nd and Freya Pamphlett 26th.

Sam Davis was 14th in the boys’ race, Archie Street was 20th and Miles Taylor 39th.

In the under-15/17 ladies’ race, Katie Pamphlett picked up places on the hills and finished strongly in 22nd.

Daniel Roberts had another consistent run to finish in third place in the under-15/17 men’s race, closely followed by Owen Knox in fourth after starting conservatively and picking up places all the way through the race following injury problems.

Only two senior men were out due to several athletes running the previous day at Luton, with Mark Scrivener coming home in 188th and Neil Forbes 254th.

A slightly under-par Tia Williams was still 18th in the under-20 ladies’ race, helping Harriers to fourth place.

Michelle Bartlett ran amazingly well on the hills considering she had run the previous day to finish 20th and Charlotte Drummond surprised herself in coming 25th despite having just returned to training following injury problems.