Emelia Gorecka anchors AFD to title defence at Berry Hill Park

Aldershot, Farnham & District successfully defended the senior women’s title at the English National Cross Country Relays in Mansfield on Saturday, while Stockport Harriers’ senior men regained the title they won in 2011.

Lily Partridge’s fastest leg of the race of 9:31 set AFD off towards victory and, although they briefly relinquished their lead when Birchfield’s Danielle Hodgkins overtook Georgie Bruinvels, the result did not look in doubt as soon as Emelia Gorecka took over.

Gorecka, a multiple winner down the age groups with AFD who was competing for the senior team here for the first time, stormed away from Stacey Johnson to complete a 42-second victory over runners-up Birchfield as City of Stoke were third.

The European junior cross-country champion had no intention of running flat-out as she and Bruinvels were doing a 25-minute tempo session straight afterwards so her 9:55 was only the 10th quickest of the race.

Stockport won with relay regular and National cross-country champion Steve Vernon only supporting from the  sidelines as he is coming back from injury.

After Alex O’Gorman kept the Manchester club in contention on the opening leg, Jack Morris put them into the lead with Morpeth chasing. Pat Martin took over in third before handing over to  his brother, Jack, who brought them 24 seconds clear. Morpeth and Highgate took second and third respectively.

Hallamshire’s Andrew Heyes ran a first-leg split of 14:51, which was unsurpassed in the remaining stages.

Leading teams and legs:

(Times were officially in tenths of a second but are here rounded down)

Senior women: 1 AFD 29:46; 2 Birchfield 30:28; 3 City of Stoke 30:47; 4 Bristol & West 30:59; 5 WSEH 31:03

Fastest legs: 1 L Partridge (AFD) 9:31; 2 S Treacy (Bir) 9:35; 3 S Astin (St Mary’s) 9:36; 4 M Haines (WSEH) 9:38; 5 E Vernon (Stock) 9:39; 6 J Potter (Charn) 9:46; 7 K Holt (Stoke) 9:51; 8 J Walsh (Wake) 9:54; 9 S Tunstall (Kend) 9:54

Junior women: 1 AFD 25:27; 2 Vale Royal 26:13; 3 Loughborough 27:46

Fastest legs: 1 J Judd (Chelm) 8:11; 2 L Turner (Birt) 8:21; 3 J Nesbitt (Worc) 8:23

Under-17 women: 1 Warrington 26:43; 2 WSEH 26:45; 3 AFD 27:02

Fastest legs: 1 H Knowles-Jones (Warr) 8:19; 2 G Rafferty (Stoke) 8:34; 3 R Johnson (Liv PS) 8:43

Under-15 girls: 1 B&B 21:39; 2 Herne Hill 21:41; 3 BMH 21:46

Fastest legs: 1 A Brown (Herne) 6:58.3; 2 K McDonald (B&B) 6:58.4; 3 M Deadman (BMH) 7:00

Under-13 girls: 1 Liverpool H 23:02; 2 Charnwood 23:04; 3 Rushcliffe 23:12

Fastest legs: 1 S Driscoll (Kend) 7:17.0; 2 E McNiven (Liv) 7:17.3; 3 L Winfield (Hean) 7:22

Senior men: 1 Stockport 1:01:10; 2 Morpeth 1:01:34; 3 Highgate 1:01:54; 4 Bristol & West 1:02:23; 5 Notts 1:002:32; 6 AFD 1:02:41; 7 Leeds 1:02:44; 8 Bedford 1:02:47; 9 Tonbridge 1:03:03; 10 Liverpool Harriers 1:03:21

Fastest legs: 1 A Heyes (Hallam) 14:51; 2 J Beattie (NEB) 14:54; 3 C Parr (Gate) 14:56; 4 A Maud (Clap) 14:57; 5 J McDonnell (Lut) 14:59; 6 A O’Gorman 15:00; 7 M Draper (Bed C) 15:01; 8 J Taylor (Morp) 15:02; 9 N Swinburne (Morp) 15:03; 10 P Martin (Stock) 15:11

Junior men: 1 Tonbridge 26:48; 2 Trafford 27:01; 3 Shaftesbury 27:02

Fastest legs: 1 J Davies (Read) 8:36; 2 J McMurray (St Alb) 8:39; 3 M Callegari (SB) 8:39

Under-17 men: 1 AFD 27:51; 2 Tonbridge 27:55; 3 City of York 27:57

Fastest legs: 1 B Dijkstra (Leic C) 8:54; 2 J Cvetkovic (AFD) 8:58; 3 J Gormley 9:02

Under-15 boys: 1 Shaftesbury 19:09; 2 Team Bath 19:18; 3 Charnwood 19:34

Fastest legs: 1 H Bailey (Team Bath) 6:14; 2 J Pollard (Charn) 6:15.0; 3 D Slater (Liv PS) 6:15.5

Under-13 boys: 1 B&B 20:51; 2 AFD 20:56; 3 Leeds 21:35

Fastest legs: 1 J Dickinson (York) 6:43; 2 P Guy (B&B) 6:45; 3 T Hill (Hallam) 6:46

» See next week’s Athletics Weekly magazine for much more in-depth reports, results and further pictures