Shrewsbury Athletic Club's Matt Hall's recent rise to top form has resulted in his spearheading the Club's squads in the latest fixtures in the North Staffordshire and North Wales Cross Country Leagues. In his highest placing of the season in both leagues, he finished 3rd at Stafford Common and 2nd at Bangor, in close contention in the leading group in both races until the final stages and at Bangor just missing out on victory after a sprint finish. He was followed home at Stafford by the other team scorers, Steve Waters 22nd, Connor Middleton 27th and Pete Middleton 28th , finishing 2nd Team in Division 2 to stay in contention in the title race with one fixture to go. At Bangor he was followed home by team scorers Paul Jones 5th, James Hickinbottom 6th, Gabe Morris 12th, Steve Waters 17th and Paolo Pinheiro, team scorer in his first cross country race for the Club, 24th. The team finished 1st on the day, extending their lead at the top of Division 1 and there were age category winners for Paul Jones, 1st Veteran Over 45 and Kevin Francis 1st Veteran Over 50.
At Stafford , Gill Evans was 77th and 3rd Lady Veteran Over 55 and Jenna Middleton 90th in her first cross country race for the Club. At Bangor, Sara Willhoit was 2nd for the third fixture in a row, with Gill Evans 44th and 2nd Lady Veteran Over 55, Sheila Richards 109th and Anne Byrne 110th, the team finishing 6th in Division 1 on the day and 6th in the Series so far.
Stafford Results: Men: 3 Matt Hall 24/35, 22 Steve Waters 26/39, 27 Connor Middleton 26/49, 28 Pete Middleton 26/50, 46 Luke Butler 27/34, 48 Norbert Feeney 27/51, 113 Pete Savill 30/35. Women: 77 Gill Evans 24/06, 90 Jenna Middleton 24/52. Under11 Boys: 5 Jack Kinrade 5/38, 20 Jack Sadler 6/37.
Bangor Results: Men: 2 Matt Hall 33/06, 5 Paul Jones 34/11, 6 James Hickinbottom 34/37, 12 Gabe Morris 35/08, 17 Steve Waters 36/10, 24 Paolo Pinheiro 37/25, 32 Kevin Francis 37/56, 51 Stewart Farley 39/44, 64 Pete Savill 40/47, 146 Derek Owen 56/29. Women: 2 Sara Willhoit 24/41, 44 Gill Evans 30/01, 109 Sheila Richards 46/06, 110 Anne Byrne 49/11.
The Club's young cross country runners competed in the third fixture of the Shropshire Young Athletes' Cross Country League at Much Wenlock. For the Girls, Iris Downes finished 2nd in the Under 13 Girls' Race, Lydia Carter 2nd in the Under 17 Girls' Race and Bethany Trow 3rd in the Under 11 Girls' Race and for the Boys, Jack Kinrade won the Under 11 Boys' Race. Club teams placed 1st in the Under 11 Boys' and Under 13 Girls' age categories.
Graham Jones was chosen to represent Wales at the British and Irish Masters' International Cross Country Races at Derry, Northern Ireland, where he was part of the team that finished 4th in the Over 60 Veterans' Race.
On the fell running scene, Gabe Morris finished 6th in the Wrekin Wrecker Fell Race in 1/04/04, with Steve Turk 34th in 1/13/33 and Gill Evans 128th in 1/28/32. Elsewhere, Paul Jones finished 4th in the Conwy Half Marathon in 1/13/10, while, in the Wilmslow 10K, Grant Lloyd was 137th in 39/02, his fastest 10K for 4 years and Pete Hughes smashed his personal best time, finishing 148th in 39/12.