Tenacity pays off as Severn secure landmark title victory
SEVERN Athletic Club are champions of the Birmingham Cross-Country League Division Two for the first time in their history.
They gained promotion to Division One at Pittville Park in Cheltenham.
Winning the fourth and final event by more than 60 points the team went on to place four runners in the top 20 to score 110 points, their second-best of the season and their second overall win.
Leading them home was Tim Dalton, who having run a five-mile road race in 24 minutes, 26 seconds the previous weekend came into the race in fine form.
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Settling in with the leading pack over the muddy conditions of the 5.5 mile course, Dalton found the going comfortable.
Despite positioning himself with his main contenders he found himself suffering from stitch by halfway and had to drop back to manage it, finding himself in 11th position.
As the race progressed Dalton pushed on through the leading runners to put himself back in contention for the win.
However, it was not to be his day as Cannock's Chris Perrin produced another consistent performance to beat a fast-finishing Dalton by eight seconds.
Coming home second for the club was James Rose, who recorded yet another personal best finish of 14th with a well-measured run.
Moving his way through the field over the latter stages, Rose felt the pressure of team-mate Duncan Bell, who pushed hard all the way.
Bell's 17th place saw him gain a personal-best placing with one of his best runs of the season.
Back in 19th was an injured Kyran Hale, who sustained a cut to his shin in the days before the race.
Having gone off with the leading bunch, Hale then dropped off his usual fast pace to manage his race in order to secure some good points with the team win in mind.
Having travelled from Oxford for the event, Oliver Starkey was rewarded with fifth scorer for the team and a PB placing of 26th.
Starkey was placed sixth scorer for most of the race before passing a tiring Matt Atkins at the start of the third and final lap.
Starkey went on to take a few more precious places while Atkins dropped back to finish in 32nd and sixth scorer for the team.
Having secured victory in the A team category, Severn then went on to place second overall in the B team.
Club spokesman Austin Blackburn said: " The tenacity and unity of the cross-country team shone through in all of the performances in this season's Birmingham League, with the highlight being the team victory at Coventry scoring a record 88 points to comfortably win the team and also the individual prize on the day.
"We are hoping to take some of this success into the forth-coming road racing season and continue in the same vein come October when the cross-country season begins again."
Birmingham League Cross-Country Pittville Park: 2 Tim Dalton 30.55; 14 James Rose 32.43; 17 Duncan Bell 32.54; 19 Kyran Hale (U20) 33.01; 26 Oliver Starkey (U20) 33.35; 32 Matt Atkins 33.56; 39 Austin Blackburn (V40) 34.17; 45 Steve Hale 34.36; 77 Steve Bradley (V40) 36.23; 85 Wayne Hall 36.51; 101 Ian Overthrow (V45) 37.35; 125 Andy Norman (V55) 38.46; 138 Steve Maguire 39.42; 142 Alex Hope 39.53. 206 ran.
Pittville Park Top ten Teams: 1 Severn AC 110 points, 2 Warwick Uni 174 ; 3 Telford 189, 4 Glos AC 200; 5 Knowle & Dorridge 231; 6 Cannock & Staffs 240 ; 7 Tamworth 290; 8 Leamington 303; 9 Dudley 326; 10 Bromsgrove 328.
Overall Series Top ten Teams: Division Two winners, Severn AC 521; 2 Warwick Uni 640; 3 Telford 800; 4 Glos AC 805; 5 Cannock & Staffs 824; 6 Knowle and Dorridge 961; 7 Bromsgrove 1132; 8 Dudley 1,265; 9 Leamington 1,309; 10 Stratford-upon-Avon 1618.