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ATHLETICS: Pank clinches ladies title despite Hawtin triumph
MICHELLE Pank secured the ladies’ Mota-Vation Series title, despite finishing second in the final round at Oxford.
Alchester’s Pank beat championship rival Jess Bruce (Headington Road Runners) by 44 seconds in humid conditions to clinch the overall and senior ladies’ crowns.
But Pank had to play second fiddle to Melissa Hawtin (Oxford City) on the night after she collected her second win from two appearances.
Hawtin completed the 4.03-mile road course in 23mins 42secs to finish 29th overall, with Pank 43rd in 24.26 and Bruce 58th in 25.10.
There was a similar story in the men’s competition, where Oxford City’s Darrell Bellinger upstaged David Bruce (Highgate), who had secured the senior and overall titles in the previous round at Combe.
Bellinger, the series winner in 2012, only competed three times this summer, but showed he is back to top form with victory in 20.16.
Dan Hamilton (Abingdon) was second in 20.35, which sealed his runner-up position in the senior men’s standings.
Bruce was beaten into fourth place by James Bolton (Woodstock Harriers), who clinched the vet 40 title with four wins from four races.
City duo Julian Richardson and Steve Male were second and third behind him.
The remaining men’s category to be decided saw Stewart Thorp edge out Oxford City clubmmate Roy Treadwell to retain his vet 60 crown.
Likewise, the vet 55 ladies’ event came down to the final race, with City’s Gwyenth Hueter pipping Kate Williamson (Eynsham Road Runnners).
Erika Davies (Radley) sealed the under 19 ladies’ title, athough Oxford sisters Lauren and Beth Hawtin beat her on the night.
Oxford City were dominant winners of the men’s team competition, finishing almost 600 points clear of nearest challengers Woodstock.
Headington came on strong to seal the ladies’ team honours after being just six points ahead of Alchester with one round to go.
For the men, Witney’s Alan Reynolds (vet 50) and Oxford’s Matthieu Marshall (under 19) had already won their categories with a race to go.
Likewise, for the women, Alchester’s Sam Usher (vet 35), Kidlington’s Sue Morton (vet 45) were champions after round four.
Usher finished ahead of Adrienne Hopkins (Headington) and Alchester clubmate Kate Hutchings in the final standings.
New winners on the night were Mark Richards, who took the vet 50 men’s honours and Headington clubmate Anita James in the vet 45 ladies’ division.
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