The Cross Country season started with the Open and Sussex Cross Country Relays held at Goodwood. The Blue Stars put in 10 teams across the different age groups and saw the Senior Women’s team finish in an excellent second place. Although not eligible for the Sussex awards as one of the athletes has a Surrey qualification this was still a fine performance. Run over 3 legs of 4000m the team was led off by Annabel Morton who ran an excellent 15m15s on the first leg to bring the team back in third place, she handed over to Johanna Spannagl who had a storming run on the second leg, running 14m34s, to make up a place and hand over in second place to Jenny Dunstan on the final leg, who maintained the position, running 17m47s. Johanna Spannagl’s time gained her the fastest leg award for the Senior Women, whilst Annabel Morton gained the fastest leg award for the Under 17 Women.
The Under 17 Men’s team also put in a good performance where they took the bronze medals in the Sussex Championships. The team was led off by Bradley Burke, who ran 13m50s for the 4000m leg. He handed over to Josh Barnett who ran 13m45s, with Luke Burgess brining the team home in third place running 13m02s on the final leg. The Senior Men’s race, which was run over 4 legs of the 4000m circuit saw the team of Jacob Cann (14m03s), Jonathan Randle (14m49s), Bernie Spannagl (12m15s) and Luke Triccas (14m30s) finish in tenth place of the 24 competing teams, whilst the Over 40 Men’s race also run over four legs finished in fifth place with Jonathan Arnold running 14m30s, Andy Dunstan 1505s, Bill Knight 15m27s and Stewart Mackman 18m31s.
The Under 13 and Under 15 Boys and Girls relays were all run over 3 stages of 2800m each. The Club had three teams contesting the Under 13 Boys race, with the A team finishing in a promising 9th position. Led off by Charlie Ferris, who ran 10m42s, the fastest by a Blue Star, he handed over to Luke Stables who ran 11m07s with Ryan Rothe bringing the team home, running 11m25s for the final leg. The B team of Ed Cox (11m44s), Dominic Barber (12m06s) and Reuben Marsden (11m55s) finished 18th with the C team (Luke Bull (11m49s), Ryan McWatt (13m25s) and Callum Stone (11m53s) finishing 21st. The Under 13 Girls team finished 8th, led off by Sophie Morris (12m29s) she handed over to Olivia Sharp (12m33s) with Emilia Burtenshaw running the final leg (12m09s). The Under 15 Boys A team finished in a creditable 7th place, with Rory Burke leading the off, running 11m22s. He handed over to Ashley Williams who ran an impressive 9m39s, with Matty Smith equally impressive on the final leg with the fastest Blue Star time of 9m37s. The B team of Charlie Beckley (11m42s), Ollie Arnold (11m12s) and Joe Abrahams (12m14s) finished 18th. This was a good turnout for these relays from Club members and a promising start to the Cross Country season, with the first Sussex Cross league fixture being held, again at Goodwood, on 14th October.