McMurray wins national crown

RUNNING: CROSS country king James McMurray, of St Albans Athletic Club, powered through a strong field of 387 runners from clubs across England to claim the U15s Boys National Title at Leeds last weekend. McMurray enjoyed the best of the conditions during

RUNNING: CROSS country king James McMurray, of St Albans Athletic Club, powered through a strong field of 387 runners from clubs across England to claim the U15s Boys National Title at Leeds last weekend.

McMurray enjoyed the best of the conditions during the first race of the programme, completing the 4.5k course in exactly 14 minutes.

For subsequent races the waterlogged ground churned to thick mud making the going progressively harder for all competitors as the infamous Hill 60 sucked the power from their legs.

McMurray was joined by his U15s team-mates Chris Hilton (78th), Ollie Poulain (133rd) and Sam Jamieson-West (237th) to come a highly creditable 13th out of the 37 clubs which entered full teams.


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St Albans AC fielded two other teams for the trip to Leeds.

The U13s Girls came 33rd out of 51 teams with Victoria Pritchard (77th), Pippa Bailey (151st), Jennifer Allen (258th), Alice Mulcahy (264th) and Laura Edwards (395th).

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The U15s Girls comprised Megan Steer (87th), Naomi Hodson (108th), Hannah Hull (152nd) and Sophie West (153rd) resulting in an excellent team placing of 17th out of 38 teams.

The National is one of the pinnacle events of the Cross Country Calendar, with over 4000 runners taking part in a 10 race programme.

The athletes enjoyed a great atmosphere in the tented-village as athletes prepared for their events and spectators darted around the course to cheer on their teams.

The club celebrated their success both at Leeds and over the season the following evening with the presentation of medals and a party at Old Albanian Rugby club.

Presentations went to Sophie West, Tabitha Weddell, James Down and Adam Wilmshurst for most improved runner and Naomi Baker, Alice Bentley, Sam Jamieson West and Ed Anders for most outstanding effort.

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