Hastings AC celebrates historic title triumph

Hastings AC's Erika Body on her way to a top 10 finish in the under-15 girls' race
Hastings AC's Erika Body on her way to a top 10 finish in the under-15 girls' race

Hastings Athletic Club’s ladies achieved historic success in the 2018/19 Sussex Cross-Country League.

The Ark William Parker Academy-based club clinched the ladies’ team prize in the league and a one-two-three in the individual standings, both for the first time ever.

Shannon Hopkins-Parry was running second in the under-15 girls' race before finishing sixth

Shannon Hopkins-Parry was running second in the under-15 girls' race before finishing sixth

Hastings AC successfully hosted the final round of the league at a fairly bright but very breezy Bexhill Down on Saturday.

See also: * Paul completes epic 104-mile race
* Hastings talent crowned county champion
* Hastings Academy student wins county title
* Hastings Athletic Club stages ‘best ever’ Sussex Championships

The club clinched the senior ladies’ team prize on the day, as well as for the league as a whole. Rachael Mulvey (20:06) and Caitlin Millar (20:35) finished an excellent second and fourth respectively on the day, with Sophie Markwick 11th (21:00) and Jenna French 18th (21:30).

What’s more, Millar topped the individual league standings for the season, with Mulvey second and Markwick third.

A number of other Hastings AC women raced on Saturday. Becky Smart was 26th (22:10), Sophie McGoldrick 37th (23:11), Amy Moore 41st (23:23), Chloe Newman 49th (24:31), Maria Mitchell 65th (26:11), Suzi Frost 68th (26:31), Abby Kirsopp 71st (26:55), Rebecca Wilson 76th (27:25), Penny Baker 77th (27:57) and Sativinder Chies 89th (34:44).

Carlos Nieto-Parr (number 80) sets off at the start of the under-15 boys' race

Carlos Nieto-Parr (number 80) sets off at the start of the under-15 boys' race

The strong wind made things extremely challenging for organiser Terry Skelton, who even had to contend with fallen trees as he set up the course.

Hastings AC fielded a large squad of runners on a course which wasn’t as muddy as Skelton thought it would be despite the rain of the preceding day.

Isaac Elam came third on the day in the under-17 men’s race in 17:47 (three seconds behind the runner-up) and second in the league.

Elam also led Hastings AC to the team prize on the day and the season, helped by James Crombie (18:16) and Lewis Courtnage (18:27) finishing 10th and 12th respectively on the day.

Carlos Nieto-Parr finished second in the under-15 boys’ race in 15 minutes and four seconds - four seconds behind the winner - to clinch the overall league title. Adam Morrissy was 27th on the day in 18:09.

Under-20 athlete Ethan Hodges (31:28) led the senior men’s squad in 33rd place. Barry Buchanan was 36th (31:38), Ryan Morrissy 49th (32:32), Russ Keen 55th (33:00), Blake Mitchell 56th (33:07), John Ralph 57th (33:08), Paul Bennett 58th (33:10), Dan Isted 61st (33:48), Adam Osman 74th (37:27) and Ross Garnett 90th (38:27).

Shannon Hopkins-Parry (18:07) ended up sixth on the day in the under-15 girls’ race having been second after the first lap. Erika Body wasn’t far behind in eighth in 18:26.

Nancy Barlow came 13th in the under-13 girls’ race in 13:48 with Rae Le Fay 19th in 14:15.

In the under-11 boys’ race, Minkah Okojie was seventh in 4:33, Leighton Semark 23rd in 5:04, Seb Arnold 29th in 5:14 and Tommy Cunningham 39th in 6:48.

Megan Hopkins-Parry was 11th in the under-11 girls’ race in 5:20, Eden Arnold 15th in 5:38 and Maylie Cunningham 19th in 6:11.