Highgate Harriers make history with best ever finish at national cross-country relays

Highgate Harriers' bronze medallists at the national cross country relay championships: (left to rig

Highgate Harriers' bronze medallists at the national cross country relay championships: (left to right) Ben Noad, Danny Russell, Shaun Dixon, Audun Nordtveit. Pic: Dieter Perry - Credit: Archant

Highgate Harriers’ men made history on Saturday, finishing third in the national cross-country relays to record their best ever result in the competition.

Highgate recently came second in the national six-stage road relay in the Midlands – their best performance in a road relay for over 100 years.

And they were in the top three teams again at Berry Hill Park in Mansfield, achieving their best display since the event started in 1985.

Over 150 clubs took part, with Stockport winning in one hour one minute 10.55 seconds ahead of Morpeth (1:01:34.05), and Highgate were next with 1:01:54.85, beating the national six-stage champions Aldershot, Farnham & District, who were sixth.

Danny Russell led Highgate’s challenge, finishing in 15:27.10 ahead of his team-mates Shaun Dixon (15:27.10), Ben Noad (15:32.50) and Audun Nordtveit (15:28.5).

The Harriers’ B team of Fergal Smithwick, Ryan McKinlay, Robel Bahelbi and Greg Rimmer was 19th, and the C team comprising Jon Laybourn, Michael Dan, Peter Hawkins and Kerr Millar came 45th.

Highgate are now preparing to travel to Stevenage on Saturday for their second Metropolitan League fixture.

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Having made a successful start their campaign at Claybury last month, and been in such good form since then, there are high hopes that the Harriers’ men could top the table and win the competition for the third year in a row.

Meanwhile, Highgate’s women came in 26th out of 100 teams at the event in Mansfield, clocking 33:36.10.

Becky Penty finished in 10:32.15 ahead of Ashley Scott (11:16.20) and Emma Burgess, who was second in the Liddiard Cup last week and posted 11:47.75 this time.