JACOB Allen lead the way for Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club (R&N) by taking second place at the Birmingham Cross Country League season opener in Leamington.
Allen was the star of the show for Rugby at the weekend finishing runner-up among a record turnout for the club as the Men’s Birmingham Cross Country League got under way.
The 21-year-old secured a superb second place in the 10km Newbold Comyn course in a time of 33 minutes and 51 seconds.
And he was backed up by the youngest ever Rugby squad who secured an impressive sixth-place finish.
Teenager George Goodwin finished 20th in 36.07, William Gardner, the oldest runner at just 22, was 10 seconds adrift and Robert Male achieved his highest ever position by claiming 62nd in 38.09.
There was also a league debut for 17-year-old Jack Bond who ran well to record a time of 38.48, while Luke Robinson rounded off the scoring by finishing 112th in 40.42.
The sixth-place finish for the team was the club’s best result for eight years and just the third time in 45 races they have made the top six.
The ‘B’ team duplicated that position after being led home by Brendan Moen in 114th place (40.49) and he was followed closely by veteran Iain Botheroyd, who was just seven seconds further back in 118th.
Completing the top 12 were Pete Belfield (127th – 41.28), Alistair McDonnell (139th – 42:05), Joe Lantsbery (143rd – 42:17) and veteran Vince Carroll (171st in 43:13).
The weekend also saw the first fixture of the Midland Womens’ Cross Country League, which was held over 6km on the same course.
Gabby Moriarty, in her first senior race since re-joining the club after her return from University, was in good form and led home R&N in 44th place with a time of 27.13.
Making her debut was Emma Bond, twin of Jack, who also put in a good performance to finish in 59th spot with a time of exactly 28 minutes, which placed her as the 16th Junior in the race.
Just two seconds behind and in 61st was another junior, Leisha Mulvey, and completing the team was veteran newcomer Tamara Hardman, who finished 87th in 28:58.
The result saw the team place 12th overall on the day, but it gave them an impressive second place in Division Two.
In the veteran competition, Hardman’s efforts earned her 23rd, followed by veteran International Angela Copson in 40th (30:21) and Helen Jones (68th – 32.29) to give them 10th in the team race. Tilly Lea, in her final year as a junior, recorded 31:47 for 150th.
The ten ladies from R&N were completed by Lorna Latimer (168th – 32.20), Minerva Chesser (246th – 35.21) and Alison Cobb (247th – 35.22.)