Mud, sweat and tears: NUAXC well prepared for Stan Calvert

Months of bitingly cold training on the Town Moor, Gateshead track sessions in the hail and early Saturday morning hill runs culminated in BUCS 2018 for Newcastle University’s finest cross-country runners.

The national competition this year returned to the capital, hosted by Brunel University. The course snaked around fields just off the M4 and included obstacles such as a river to cross.

The day started with the women’s race as Newcastle University tri-athlete Zoe Macdonald was the first home for the University in a time of 25:46, placing 80th out of 718 competitors. Other notable performances came from Amelia Pettit, Susan Shiel-Rankin and Clara Pettit, all posting times of under 29 minutes.

Next up, the fastest University cross-country athletes in the men’s A race. It was Leeds Beckett’s Alex Yee who was first across the line, despite the loss of a shoe in the testing river obstacle. Newcastle University’s Will Stockwell finished in a time of 39:04 whilst first-year Sam Hansen capped off his impressive debut season at the club with a time of 43:34.

“I was pretty happy with my performance on the muddy course considering I prefer shorter track races,” Stockwell said afterwards. “It’s always great to see my friends from home at the national events. Brunel University offered a tame night out. Would like to thank my rock James Anthoney for his support.”

Bradley Wilshere, Fregus Ingledew and James Anthoney made up the rest of the A team with an overall credible team performance.

Credit must also be given to Sean Haycock, who stepped up to fill spaces left by injury, although his race was sadly cut short due to injury.

Last to take centre-stage, on what was now an incredibly churned-up course, was the men’s B competition. Sean Hooker, Jack Holmes and James Whitmore all ran well with good results to match.

It’s been another fantastic season of cross-country running as eyes now turn to the Stan Calvert races this weekend.

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