Wimborne Athletic Club

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Hants League – Goodwood – 10 November 2012

WAC’s seniors top their Division.

Thirty WAC racers headed off to Goodwood, with around half of those travelling on the team bus. The venue itself is a very exposed spot, up on the downs high above the town of Chichester – unusually there was barely a breath of wind, and for November it was reasonably warm. Amongst our runners we had some cross-country and Hampshire League debutants.

The team were in high spirits at Goodwood

First race of the day was the under-13 girls. We had Grace Copeland and Elise Gill competing for us, just as they did at Farley Mount in the first Hampshire meeting. Both of them improved on their Farley Mount results by one place – if that happens again in the next race meeting we’ll be celebrating a race win! The winner in both under-13 girls races so far has been Josie Csura of City of Portsmouth, but Grace is closing. Elise is making progress to, claiming new scalps with each race. If we can field one more under-13 girl we can start registering team scores.

Tom Bourne and Matt Yates who both raced at Farley Mount, saw their team completed by Tom Stokes. Tom Bourne’s fine form continues, and he replicated the third place he recorded in the first race of the season. Matt is making good progress, he gained five places over his position at Farley Mount. With Tom Stokes putting in a solid performance too – we recorded a fifth place team score.

There was a big field for the under-15 girls. Indeed, both U15G races so far this season have had 72 finishers. That makes it easy to check the progress of our girls. They all improved, Abbie by four places, Maddie by two and Ella by five. What was really impressive about the three performances was just how strongly these three finished their races. Abbie and Maddie put in a big effort in the last 200m to protect their positions. Ella had to resist a really determined challenge which saw her passed (and seemingly dropped) twice, but Ella’s belief never faltered and she came back to reclaim the position on the line.

On a day when there were a number of fine runs, performance of the day may well have come from under-15 Jason Sotheran. He was awarded third place, in what was a dead-heat for second place, and indeed there was discussion amongst the race officials to decide how to award positions. This fine run came on the back of a superb performance in the Schools XC races on the previous Thursday. Jason’s dramatic improvement in form makes him a contender for a race win in subsequent meetings. It was a great race for Wimborne as Piers Copeland also recorded a top ten finish (8th equalling his performance at Farley Mount), and Tom Boulton completed our team. Jason, Piers and Tom were 6th under-15 team on the day.

It’s great to have so many under-17 women competing for us. The finishing order was a repeat of what happened at Farley Mount. Once again Sharon Hutchings was first red home, with Charlotte no too far behind. The big improver in the under-17s is Becca ‘Scooter’ Skeats, but also moving in the right direction once again is Chloe Morris.

The next race was the senior women – we had but one runner in this one. Needless to say this was cross-country stalwart Lynn Hutchings. Although Lynn was on her own today there are signs that we may be able to remedy this later in the season.

Then it was the under-17 men. We had old hand Ryan Walbridge and, making his Hampshire debut, Josh Downie. Is this the toughest race on the programme! It has a relatively small field of experienced and highly competitive athletes. Ryan did a solid job to claim 18th place. Josh should be really pleased with his first Hampshire result. He got amongst a group of very experienced runners. His result suggests, as he has only just starting training with us, that there is plenty more to come as the season progresses.

Sporting warpaint, Josh made a fine Hampshire League debut

The final race of the day was the senior men. After Farley Mount, where we came second in Division Two, there had been a concerted effort to strengthen the men’s team in a bid to build a promotion campaign. Second in the division would see us promoted. This recruitment push brought its rewards. There were 13 of us on the start line. Once again we were led home by Callum Kennedy, but only a few seconds back was newly re-signed second-claimer Colin Read, with Graeme Furley only another 30 seconds down. Steve Wyatt improved significantly on the position he scored at Farley Mount and XC debutant Tjiwolt Wierda claimed the final point scoring position. The two Marks were next, Copeland and Buffery (a Hampshire XC debut), and the remainder of the team was made up of the XC faithfuls. This was our best ever men’s team performance. We were the first Division 2 on the day, and now sit at the top of the Division 2 table. The top two teams will go up at the end of the season, but there is plenty of work to do to secure promotion as two other clubs are mounting serious challenges – Eastleigh and Haslemere Border. Two into three doesn’t go, so one of us is going to be disappointed – let’s make sure it’s not us.

All in all it had been a fabulous day at the races!

WACers times and results were:

Under-13 Girls (85 finishers)

2 – Grace Copeland – 11:36
82 – Elise Gill – 16:33

Under-13 Boys (59 finishers) – 5th team

3 – Tom Bourne – 11:05
26 – Matt Yates – 12:15
42 – Tom Stokes – 13:13

Under-15 Girls (72 finishers) – 8th team

18 – Abbie Hine – 16:45
25 – Maddie Williams – 17:26
38 – Ella Hearne – 18:06

Under-15 Boys (74 finishers) – 6th team

3 – Jason Sotheran – 14:40
8 – Piers Copeland – 15:18
63 – Tom Boulton – 19:01

Under-17 Women (30 finishers) – 4th team

12 – Sharon Hutchings – 18:05
22 – Charlotte Bourne – 19:04
24 – Becca Skeats – 19:28
29 – Chloe Morris – 21:05

Under-17 Men (51 finishers)

18 – Ryan Walbridge – 17:06
44 – Josh Downie – 18:36

Senior Women (10 finishers)

59 – Lynn Hutchings – 27:06

Senior Men (227 finishers) – 1st team Div. 2

44 – Callum Kennedy – 32:04
47 – Colin Read – 32:13
53 – Graeme Furley – 32:43
82 – Steve Wyatt – 34:12
105 – Tjiwolt Wierda – 35:23
123 – Mark Copeland – 36:12
133 – Mark Buffery – 36:55
147 – Iain Donnelly – 37:53
158 – John Hutchings – 38:30
195 – Gerry Hutchings – 41:10
212 – Simon Bourne – 43:58
218 – Ian Kennedy – 45:16

Full results for the Hampshire League will be found at




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