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Northern XC Championships
Herrington Country Park, Sunderland
29 January 2011

The Lincoln Wellington endurance squad faced their first serious challenge of the winter season at the North of England Cross Country Championships on a gruelling circuit at Herrington Country Park, Sunderland.  And, after a string of outstanding performances including team gold medals for the U15 Girls and an individual bronze medal in the U15 Boys race, the Senior Men's contest produced the most remarkable Wellington cross country performance for many years.  In a high class field of almost 500 finishers, Ian Kimpton was never out of the first 10.  Ploughing relentlessly through the mud and picking off his rivals one by one he moved into 4th place on the final lap and maintained this position right to the line, only being headed by three Great Britain full international athletes.  Following on from a good track season, this was a massive breakthrough for Kimpton who had a number of very highly rated Northern athletes strung out behind him.  He will have the opportunity of confirming his new found status at next month's National Cross Country Championships.  In the same race, Josh Stone ran very well to finish 53rd and some way further back Darren Dickinson (459th) and George Shuttleworth (470th) both enjoyed the big race occasion.

The club's U15 Girl's squad went to the event with great expectations and duly delivered the team gold medals with some terrific running.  Abby Donnelly disputed the lead for a long way and, although losing a couple of places in the later stages, 6th position at the line was a great effort.  Bo Haywood was always in the chasing group and finished close behind in 8th.  And good support from Rebekah Ward 25th and Catrina Thomas 38th ensured the Championship trophy and gold medals were on their way to Lincoln.  Rhiannon Philps is more at home on the track but stuck on determinedly to finish 94th.

Two further cracking efforts for Wellington came in the U15 Boy's race, with Haran Dunderdale running a blinder to finish 3rd and Dylan Love grabbing 5th place after a good tussle in the final stages.  Lara Thomas was well in the hunt for a medal for most of the race in the U20 Women's contest but finally had to settle for 4th spot at the finish.  Sophie Cowper was a good 6th with Gemma Selwood a little further back in 21st.  A strong run from Natalie Farrow gave her 21st place in a big Senior Women's field and Rachael Nathan was pleased with 53rd spot in the same race.  Ronnie Wilson headed the club quartet in the U20 Men's race in 28th place.  Tom Straw was close behind in 32nd with Shane Robinson 37th and Ryan Stevenson 61st.  There was little between the Wellington U17 Women who were led in by Libbie Read (37th) from Sheridan McWilliam 40th and Laura Donnelly 51st.  In the U17 Men's race, Sam Shuttleworth finished 66th with Adam Baker 77th and Harry Baxter 100th.  Joe Shuttleworth was the only Wellington runner in the U13 Boy's race and did well to finish 41st.

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