CITY of York Athletic Club’s men took a big step towards securing the West Yorkshire Cross Country League title by winning round three at West Park, Leeds.

York’s leading six men all finished inside the top 40 to take the spoils from Wakefield as runners battled the muddiest conditions of the series so far.

The club’s second successive victory leaves them five points clear of Wakefield, York Knavesmire Harriers and Valley Striders, who all lie in joint second place. Provided they finish fifth or better in the final round at Cleckheaton on December 8, York will be men’s champions.

On Sunday, they were led home by Alex Doyle in sixth place, having completed the 7.8 kilometre course in 29 minutes 15 seconds.

Teammate George Phillips was two seconds and one place behind, while Alex Dickinson (30.24) came 16th.

Jasper Baker (30.59), Steven Asquith (31.17) and Mark Cage (32.20) completed the scoring team in 23rd, 26th and 38th place respectively.

The race was won by Great Britain international and University of York PhD student Graham Rush (Leeds City) in 27.52.

Charlotte Mason was York’s top performer in the women’s race, finishing fifth in 21.49 over a 5.2km course.

This race was won in 19.54 by Pudsey & Bramley’s Alex Bell, a GB athlete who competed in this year’s International Association of Athletics Federations World Championships.

Knavesmire’s women finished second on the day and lead the championship one point ahead of Holmfirth Harriers.

City of York’s under-13 girls also topped the team standings on the day and, with clubs’ best three races counting for the season at junior level, they secured the title in the process.

Lottie Langan in second place led them home, clocking 8.41 for the approximate 2km course.

Amy Kennedy (8.48) and Laura Brooks (9.18) completed the scoring team in fifth and eighth respectively.

William Chalk was York’s leading under-13 boy runner over their approximate 3km course, finishing seventh in 11.40 as the club came fourth.

In the under-15 races, Isobel Nicholls and Luca Mastrolonardo both came fifth to help York’s teams to second place.

Nicholls clocked 15.02 and Mastrolonardo 15.58 for their respective distances of around 3.5 and 4km. Innez Khaddi (15.23) came seventh in the girls’ race.

York’s Joe O’Brien (17.47) finished fifth in the under-17 boys’ race over approximately 4.5km.

Senior men’s standings (top six): 1 City of York, eight points; 2= Wakefield, Knavesmire, Valley 13 points; 5= Wharfedale, Ilkley 14 points.