Waveney Valley AC in charge at the top of Suffolk Winter Cross Country League
- Credit: Archant
Waveney Valley AC are on course to win the Suffolk Winter League title, at the half-way stage in this season’s competition.
The north Suffolk club are a healthy 148 points clear at the top of the team league standings, following three of six races, with Framlingham Flyers and Ipswich Harriers the only real challengers.
The next event will be hosted by Saint Edmund Pacers at Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds, on Sunday, February 19, followed by further races at Fritton Lake, Bungay (March 5) and the new venue of Haverhill on March 26.
At the recent third race, hosted by Stowmarket Striders at Haughley Park, West Suffolk AC’s Michael Bartram pipped Newmarket Joggers’ Denys Olefir by just three seconds at the head of a field of 374 senior runners.
Under-23 athlete Bartram, second in the Suffolk County Championships, posted a winning time of 31mins 40secs for the parkland course, finishing ahead of an in-form Olefir (31.43) with Ipswich Harriers’ teenager Adel Hamed in third with 32.45.
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Lee Cook led the charge for Waveney Valley AC in fourth (33.01), followed by Harriers’ Alex Lawrence (33.04), who had won the second meeting at Sutton, Woodbridge.
Tom Kingsnorth was Saint Edmund Pacers’ leading competitor in sixth (33.08), while the top 10 was completed by Waveney Valley’s Dominic Oliver, Bungay’s David Sparshott, Lowestoft’s Carl Prewer and Framlingham’s Jim Last.
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The ladies’ race at Haughley Park was also a tight affair. Odette Robson, who had won at Sutton, rattled up another league victory in 36.48.
Pacers’ over-45 veteran Robson finished 14 seconds clear of runner-up Joe Andrews, from Bungay Black Dog (37.02). Andrews had won the first race at Framlingham.
The Bury-based Pacers currently top the ladies’ team standings, with 1,275 points, and they enjoyed another good day with Angela Joiner-Handy supporitng Robson in third spot (37.58). Joiner-Handy was second at Framlingham and fourth at Woodbridge.
Hadleigh Hares’ Davina Greenwell (38.42) was fourth and Claire Weller, of the Ipswich & Newmarket Tri team, finished fifth (38.42).
In the overall standings, Waveney Valley have amassed 7,075 points, ahead of Framlingham (6,923), Ipswich Harriers (6,919), Stowmarket Striders (6,604) and Newmarket & Sudbury Joggers (6,507).