Hunts AC athletes in hot form in opening round of the Frostbite series

Polly Smith of Hunts AC.

Polly Smith of Hunts AC. - Credit: Archant

Hunts AC celebrated a fine start to the cross-country season with success in the opening round of the Frostbite Friendly League.

The club’s junior side collected overall team honours and the seniors captured second spot at Priory Park in St Neots.

Joey Croft saw off 217 rivals to win the junior race, held over a 1.5-mile course, in 6:50 and Shannon Flockhart made it a club double by being the first female finisher in 7:37.

Oliver Pocklington (16th in 7:56), Charlie Evans (17th in 7:56) and Seb Darnell (27th in 8:20) were the other scoring runners in the team event.

Dave Connell led the senior challenge with seventh place in a field of 472 runners. He completed the five-mile course in 27:54 and was well supported by fellow points-scoring males Simon Margot, Tom Walker, Ian Gallagher, Alex Smith, Mo Khurshid and Wayne Gimblett all inside the top 40.

Teenager Khurshid was something of a revelation when clocking 30:09 in his first race for the club having only joined a couple of days prior to his debut performance.

Siobhan Skinner shrugged off an asthma attack to lead home the Hunts AC female contingent in 33:08 while Rachel Sweatt had to pick herself up from a fall during her first-ever five-mile race to cross the line 10 seconds later. Polly Smith was their other points-scoring finisher in 33:39.

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Dave Connell and Polly Smith took the titles when Hunts AC staged its annual 10,000m championship. Cornell, ranked 36th in the country in the M40 category, is capable of running a couple of minutes faster than the 36:46.3 he posted in this event while Smith, who is fifth nationally in the Under 20 Women’s rankings despite being only 17, ran 42:40.7