Wimborne Athletic Club

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Wessex XC League – Canford Heath – 30 September 2012

Off to a flyer at the start of the XC season.

The cross-country season started earlier than ever with the opening Wessex League fixture falling in September for the first time. Team Dorset has taken on much of the responsibility for the administration for the Wessex League and one of the more visible changes is that we are now allocated running numbers which are retained for the whole season. There were very encouraging numbers of competitors for the first race and the league welcomed some new clubs, plus the return of some old friends.

The first race in the Wessex League is the seniors’/under-17s’ race and all those new clubs really swelled the ranks – there were almost twice as many seniors compared with the corresponding fixture last year. Fifteen WACers lined up on the start for the first race of the new season. Unfortunately it should have been 16! We got off to the worst possible start – our star runner in our ladies team over the past few years (Lynn Hutchings) pulled up injured during warm up. Lynn could be out for a spell, we are looking forward to having her back soonest possible. All the under-17s and seniors start together with the younger runners and senior women covering a shorter distance. Ryan Walbridge was our sole under-17 man, but we could boast the most under-17 women we have yet fielded in an XC race (four – Sharon Hutchings, Charlotte Bourne, Becca Skeats and Chloe Morris). We had one senior woman – Rachel Gladdis, the rest of our starters were doing the full trip.

The early running in this race was made by Ryan and Joe Arundel of Bournemouth AC (both u17s) and they were soon joined by Callum Kennedy and Tim Hawkins (Yeovil). Joe and Ryan split from the main field to take the shorter course and these two were the first to reach the finish line, Ryan having to settle for second place on this occasion. Our women were in next, bizarrely they crossed the line almost exactly one minute apart from each other. Sharon (4th) was first home, with Charlotte, Becca, Chloe and Rachel following. In the senior men’s race Callum established a healthy margin over second-placed Tim Hawkins of Yeovil. Unfortunately a marshalling error occurred in the final stages of the race and Callum was directed around the course for an additional lap. Tim was the first senior man over the finish line but graciously conceded the win to Callum.

Max on his way to his first XC race win.

The next event was the under-11s race. The Wessex League gives a rare opportunity for our youngest XC runners to show what they can do. It was great that we had eight WACers in this one including debutants – Jessica Bourne, Hannah Fairchild, Caitlyn and Siobhan Hassell and Fraser Vivian. This race provided Wimborne’s second race win of the day. Max Meadwell won out in a sprint for the line to claim his first XC race win. Well done Max! Leading the way for the WAC girls was Jessica Bourne (6th). Bethanie Kingswell-Farr split the sisters – Sinead and Caitlyn, but unfortunately Beth’s sister, Isabelle, had to pull up.

In the under-13s race it got even better. We bagged a double! We had both the boys’ (Tom Bourne) and girls’ (Grace Copeland) race winners. They both won by handsome margins. Elliott Symes was well placed too in 5th, and there was solid support from Pippa Hine for Grace. Completing our under-13 line-ups were debutants Elise Gill and Alexander Long.

The final race of the day was the under-15s. The number of competitors in this age-group is quite low, but the quality of the field is good. Piers Copeland and Joe Miles scored an impressive 1-2 for us here in the boys’ race and won by a convincing margin. Abbie Hine (5th) led our girls’ team home with Maddie Williams and Ella Hearne scoring in consecutive places.

In all we had more than 30 runners, and 5 wins from 10 races is a great start to the season. Poole AC were the host club and our thanks go to them for the huge effort they put in to stage the race. Thanks are also due to Lindsay Hole (Team Dorset) and Alan Lewis (Poole Runners) who worked so hard on processing the results.

WACers times and results were:

Under -11 girls (25 finishers)

6 – Jessica Bourne – 5:15
9 – Hannah Fairchild – 5:19
13 – Sinead Hassell – 5:35
17 – Bethanie Kingswell-Farr – 5:39
19 – Caitlyn Hassell – 5:41

Under -11 boys (23 finishers)

1 – Max Meadwell – 4:38
21 – Fraser Vivian – 5:49

Under-13 Girls (19 finishers)

1 – Grace Copeland – 11:03
14 – Pippa Hine – 13:53
19 – Elise Gill – 16:37

Under-13 Boys (18 finishers)

1 – Tom Bourne – 10:19
5 – Elliott Symes – 11:06
18 – Alexander Long – 18:20

Under-15 Girls (8 finishers)

5 – Abbie Hine – 15:53
6 – Maddie Williams – 16:11
7 – Ella Hearne – 16:46

Under-15 Boys (7 finishers)

1 – Piers Copeland – 13:06
2 – Joe Miles – 13:23

Under-17 Women (9 finishers)

4 – Sharon Hutchings – 18:03
5 – Charlotte Bourne – 19:01
7 – Becca Skeats – 20:18
9 – Chloe Morris – 21:18

Under-17 Men (7 finishers)

2 – Ryan Walbridge – 15:14

Senior Women (10 finishers)

55 – Rachel Gladdis – 22:05

Senior Men (52 finishers)

1 – Callum Kennedy – NTR
17 – Mark Copeland – 30:38
19 – Iain Donnelly – 30:54
21 – John Hutchings – 31:06
33 – Gerry Hutchings – 33:28
40 – Simon Bourne – 35:15
42 – Graham Whiffen – 35:49
45 – Ian Kennedy – 37:31
46 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 37:49

Full results for the Wessex League will be found at




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