Wimborne Athletic Club

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Wessex League Cross Country – Avon Heath – 22 March 2009

Our final race of the season at Avon Heath saw glorious weather. Those who competed last year will remember that snow fell as we were packing up to go home from this fixture last year!

This race is the nearest fixture to our Wimborne base, and it was great to see a good turnout of under-11s and in the older age groups we had cross-country debuts from Celia Ireland, Roger Ireland and Andrew Olden. The course itself is a super one to run on, twists and turns on sandy heathland and also a lengthy flat straight as we approached the end of the lap. Elsewhere on the course there are some undulations but nothing too taxing. 

In the under-11s Piers Copeland made it a hat trick of wins in the final three meets of the season. Equally impressive was his sister Grace who was the next WACer in. Leanne Symington was next, in what was probably her best run of the season. It was great to see Kelly and Phoebe O’Mahony back in action (they had also competed at Kings Park in November) and they were not far behind Leanne and had very strong race finishes.  

In the under-13 girls race we had Sharon Hutchings and Alex Vaughan-Johncey. Alex has been out injured for much of the season it was just great to see her competing again and starting to make up for lost time. Sharon has been a superb competitor all season. She knew that she lay outside the medal positions (in 4th place) at the start of the day and was absolutely determined to do something about it. She took the race to the field and lead for most of the way before being chased down on the long straight before the sharp curve leading to the finish line. The top four finishers all came in within 10 seconds of each other. We would have to wait until the awards presentations to see if Sharon’s brave run was to reap a reward (see below).


Jordan is being pursued by James Williams of Mendip AC
in the under-13s race in the final stages.

Jordan Symington was our sole representative in the under-13 boys race. Jordan runs in an economical style and looked very comfortable, unfortunately he was just caught in a sprint for the line by a Mendip AC runner.

With Roger Ireland making his debut, it was excellent to see a complete team of WAC under-15 boys once again. Jack Snook and Callum Kennedy have been having their own private battle within this age-group all season. It was Jack who led our team home. Roger’s finish gave us that all important 3rd man home and the boys collectively finished first under-15 team on the day.


The under 15 boys and under-17 women’s race was run concurrently, the runners are seen here getting away from the start. The red shirts are, from left to right, Jack, Laura, Maddy, Roger and Callum.

We also fielded a complete team in the under-17 girls race (where teams of two are required). Maddy Vaughan-Johncey led the line, as she has all season.  Laura Harvey saved her best until last and she really came good in the final race of the season closing to within 10 seconds of Maddy by the end of the race. Our under-17 girls team took 2nd place.

In the senior women’s race there has been a bit of a scrap to be top WACer, with very little between Lyn Hutchings and Kirsty Harvey for much of the season. Lyn came out on top at Avon Heath. They had support from Jill Harsent. This was Jill’s last XC race for us before moving away from the area  – her commitment and contribution to the XC team over the years has been magnificent and she will be missed.  Next in was Annemarie Pearson who has been a great asset to the team all season having run in every Wessex League race this year. Annemarie was followed home by Celia Ireland, making her WAC XC debut, and if the photographs are anything to go by (see below), thoroughly enjoying the experience. Our ladies’ team finished 1st on the day.

In the senior men’s race it was great to see a rare Wessex League appearance from Stewart Little. Stewart was comfortably first WACer home, next home was our debutant Andrew Olden with Ian Kennedy in pursuit. Jeff Hinsley was next in, with Graham Whiffen uncharacteristically finishing down the WAC finishing order behind him. Graham did have a solid excuse though, inasmuch as this was his second event of the day having competed in an orienteering race in the morning! Kevin Elliott who is a recent recruit to WAC XC finished in close proximity to Graham. Our men’s team finished 2nd team on the day.

Steve Snook had competed in all the Wessex League race so far, but was unable to compete in this one due to a back injury. However, Steve was there amongst our vociferous supporters, and managed to capture most of us on his camera. Click here to see Steve’s slide show of the event.

The racing was now done for the season and within half an hour of the last race finishing we were ready for the end of season Wessex League medal and trophy presentations. It was pleasing to see that Sharon’s heroic run earlier in the day put her into the medal positions and she was the first of our WACers to go up to her receive her award. Our girls, did particularly well, a great reward for the commitment they have shown to cross-country over the entire season. Fortunately Graham Whiffen’s form in the previous Wessex races meant that despite what was, by his standards, an off-day, he still managed to claim a 3rd place in the senior men’s category


Kirsty, Lyn and Annemarie with the Ladies team trophy
and their individual medals at Avon Heath.

Spare a thought for Piers Copeland. Unfortunately aggregates are not calculated for the under-11s, if they were we would be showing another winner. Piers ran in four races, he started with a 4th place and followed that with a hat trick of wins. Just missing out on medals were Callum Kennedy and Laura Harvey, they finishing 4th in their age-groups. Laura did have the consolation of knowing that she played a massive role in landing the under-17s team award along with Maddy

Here is a list of our medalists:

Individuals

U13G – Sharon Hutchings – 3rd

U17W – Maddy Vaughan Johncey – 2nd

U20W – Kirsty Harvey – 1st

Senior Women – Lyn Hutchings – 1st

Senior Women – Kirsty Harvey – 2nd

Senior Women – Annemarie Pearson – 3rd

Vet Women – Lyn Hutchings – 3rd

Senior Men – Graham Whiffen – 3rd

Vets 45-49 – Steve Snook – 2nd

Teams

U17W – 1st

Senior Women – 1st

Senior Men – 2nd

Veteran Men – 1st

Senior Men ‘A’ teams – 2nd

Senior Men ‘B’ teams – 1st

WACers times and results on the day were:

Under-11s (2nd team)

1 – Piers Copeland – 5:07

5 – Grace Copeland – 5:57

11 – Leanne Symington – 6:04

17 – Kelly O’Mahony – 6:21

19 – Phoebe O’Mahony – 6:37

Under-13 Girls

4 – Sharon Hutchings – 7:52

8 – Alexandra Vaughan-Johncey – 8:21

Under-13 Boys

10 – Jordan Symington – 11:34

Under-15 Boys (1st team)

8 – Jack Snook – 17:19

9 – Callum Kennedy – 17:42

11 – Roger Ireland – 24:46

Under-17 Women (2nd  team)

4 – Maddy Vaughan-Johncey – 20:29

5 – Laura Harvey – 20:38

Senior Women (1st  team)

4 – Lyn Hutchings – 22:01

6 – Kirsty Harvey – 23:16 (also 2nd U20)

9 – Jill Harsent – 24:39

11 – Annemarie Pearson – 27:06

13 – Celia Ireland – 31:48

Senior Men (A team – 2nd, B team – 5th, Vets – 2nd))

5 – Stewart Little – 35:30

17 – Andrew Olden – 41:13

18 – Ian Kennedy – 41:19

23 – Jeff Hinsley  – 42:09

24 – Graham Whiffen – 43:XX

25 – Kevin Elliott – 43:XX

Full results for the Wessex League will be found at  www.wessexleague.com

Full end of season aggregates for WACers are as follows:

Individuals

U13G – Sharon Hutchings – 3rd

U17W – Maddy Vaughan Johncey – 2nd

U17W – Laura Harvey – 4th

U20W – Kirsty Harvey – 1st

Senior Women – Lyn Hutchings – 1st

Senior Women – Kirsty Harvey – 2nd

Senior Women – Annemarie Pearson – 3rd

Vet Women – Lyn Hutchings – 3rd

 

U13B – Jordan Symington – 9th

U15B – Callum Kennedy – 4th

Senior Men – Graham Whiffen – 3rd

Senior Men – Steve Snook – 9th

Vets 45-49 – Steve Snook – 2nd

Teams

U17W – 1st

Senior Women – 1st

Senior Men – 2nd

Veteran Men – 1st

Senior Men ‘A’ teams – 2nd

Senior Men ‘B’ teams – 1st

 

Full aggregates for the Wessex League will be found at  www.wessexleague.com

 

 
 
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