Girls record top-10 finish in national relay

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West Suffolk Athletics Club celebrated a top-10 finish in the English National Road 
Relay Championships with their Under-15s Girls A team.

The Bury St Edmunds-based club fielded teams in all the junior age group races at Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield, except U13 boys.

With each race consisting of three runners, each running a lap of the 3800m road loop, the various teams experienced contrasting fortunes in an eventful day.

The club’s best finish came from the U15 Girls A team, who recorded a superb 10th place.

Lauren Murphy’s opening leg of 14 minutes 37 seconds put the team 16th before Olivia Allum lifted them to 12th with 14.54 and Megan Newton anchored the team home with 14.33.

Rebecca Daniel had a good opening leg for the B team with 14.54 and 25th.

Claudia Spencer-Hall worked hard, but limited training meant she was always going to lose ground and 16.36 put the team 40th.

Elena Saiu-Bell also struggled with the distance and her 19.18 closed the team in 59th.

With Olivia, Rebecca and Claudia all still the bottom year in the age group, their prospects for next year look good.

Jasmin Raja led off the U13 Girls and 17.15 was good enough for 54th at the first changeover.

Libby Walshe moved the team up to 43rd with a fine 16.34 leg and Alana Wilson brought the team home in 44th with 17.50.

Cameron Ackroyd led off for the U15 Boys A team and a steady 14.42 was good enough for 59th before older brother Niall moved the team up 14 places to 45th with 13.47.

Philip Crutchlow’s rapid improvement continued with a 14.48 final leg gaining 43rd.

Having trained only a few times, Tommy Martin found the going hard and a modest 15.54 put the B team 64th after the first leg.

Thomas McCarthy picked up five places with 14.47 before Joel Morris picked up a further five to finish 54th, clocking 16.46.

The U17 Women had a day to forget with all three runners performing below their own expectations.

Charlotte Murphy, a superb fourth on the opening leg at the recent South of England relays could only manage 19th at Sutton Park with a modest 14.42.

Holly Davies’ 15.18 put the team 22nd at the final changeover, but the poor start seemed to sap the confidence of Sophie Tooley who, despite picking up 11 places to 11th, was still disappointed with her 14.07.

Even worse was to follow with the U17 men, who were fresh from an excellent 11th at the South of England relays.

Disaster struck when Adam Crawford, the lead off runner, had his ankle accidentally stamped on as the runners sped away from the start.

He managed to continue for 2000m before having to drop out.

With no inbound runner the remaining runners, Jacob Freeborough and Christy Williams had to wait for all the other teams to go before they were allowed to run so they could at least record leg times.

With little incentive, Freeborough and Williams still put in a decent effort, clocking 13.05 and 13.47 respectively.