Exmouth Harriers ace Merson completes clean sweep of success in Westward League Cross Country season.

21:26 05 March 2014

Exmouth Harriers team

Exmouth Harriers team

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Despite the filthiest of courses Plymouth’s Central Park could throw at him last Sunday, Exmouth’s Tom Merson completed a clean sweep of victories in this winter’s individual competition for men at the final Westward League Cross Country event, writes Dave Eveleigh.

Required to finish five of six races Merson missed the first at Redruth then won at Newquay, Exeter, Westward Ho!, Bovey and Plymouth. Overall he won by almost a minute, taking 30:37 to cover around five-and-a-half hilly miles of saturated grassland while looking out for low hanging branches and avoiding flying off course like a Formula 1 car on the greasy, tight turns.

In ninth place in a time of 33:09 was Tony Hatchard. Dave Stone was 13th (33:31) and with that finish clinched third place for 2013/2014 in the Veteran Men Age 40-44 category.

Adam Miller was 21st in 34:26 and Mark Cox 35th in 36:21. These five collected Bronze Medals as the Exmouth team sealed something of a revival in this discipline at the club by finishing third Senior Men’s team in this season’s league.

Contributing with scores in earlier rounds were Jamie Pearson and Rob Orton. Dave Eveleigh found the going a lot tougher than over the tarmac at the Armada Relays here recently.

Dave was 92nd in 49:18. There were 94 men competing on Sunday. Almost two dozen clubs making up over 50 teams were represented and team captain Adam Miller must have been very satisfied that his team building work has put the club back on the local cross country map.

In the Women’s competition Cathy Newman was the outstanding individual, finishing second on the day over 33/4miles in 24:49, secon Woman overall for the season and first Woman Aged 50-54 overall. The Women’s team ended up seventh overall for the 2013/2014 competition, out of 43 teams, representing 19 different clubs.

Carly Miller has also done a great job of team building - for women’s cross country in the club.

This week-end she was 21st in 29:30 and Lisa Hatchard was 33rd in 32:07. The Women’s race was finished by 51 athletes.

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