Wimborne Athletic Club

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Wessex XC League – Ham Hill – 21 October 2012

Five WAC winners in the October sunshine.

This was our annual visit to what is easily the most demanding course in the cross-country league season. Parts of the course were really muddy, while other sections were rock hard … and the hill! Well, it was no less steep than it had been the year before! All in all we were in for quite a challenge. The sun shone and what was most pleasing was the big increase in runners from the corresponding event last season, 89 last year … 121 this. A sign that the league is progressing in the manner hoped for.

The race starting at the earlier time of 11.45 and it was really encouraging to see just how many runners were on the start line for the combined u17/u20/seniors’ race and also the much wider range of club vests in evidence since last year. The under-17, under-20 and senior women were to do one small lap and one big one, whilst the under 20 men and the seniors were facing the daunting prospect of one small lap and two big ones.

The under-17s race in cross-country is a ferociously competitive one. We had WAC stalwart Ryan Walbridge and WAC debutant Josh Downie up for this and forming our U17s men’s team. For our under-17 women we could boast three racers – Charlotte Bourne, Sharon Hutchings and Chloe Morris. In this age-group we need two runners to register a team score, so it was great to know we would be scoring team, as well as, individual points for both men and women. Unsurprisingly it was Ryan and Josh who were the first WACers to cross the finish line. Ryan claimed a third place, whilst Josh had a very encouraging debut as he was well-placed amongst the senior men as they peeled off for their extra lap.

It was the turn of our women to come in next. The first of these was Charlotte Bourne, who is enjoying a purple patch at the moment. The course suited her great strength and stamina and she was 3rd U17W overall. Charlotte’s form is no fluke … it’s a great reward for lots of hard work. It’s the first time that Charlotte has headed Sharon home. Sharon had been our lead under-17 woman until she turned an ankle on this tricky course, but she still made it to the finish line, albeit losing time in the latter stages. She got an ice pack on the injured ankle and it’s on the way to recovery already. Completing the under-17s’ team was Chloe. She got off the start line pretty smartly but her stamina let her down in the latter stages, that hill is a killer!

Sandwiched between Charlotte and Sharon at the finish line were our senior women – Lynn Hutchings and XC debutant Helen Edbrooke. What a difference a week makes! The previous weekend in the Hampshire League we had been unable to field a single senior woman. Lynn who has been the mainstay of the ladies’ team in recent years had been out injured and it looked as if she would be out until the new year. Seven days on and Lynn is not just back but winning, with our XC rookie Helen making it a fabulous 1-2.

With 10 runners, we got into double figures for the men’s team. There were many of the old hands (or should that be feet) in evidence and we were joined by Mark Buffery making his WAC XC debut and Steve Wyatt making a Wessex League debut, just a week after his Hampshire League one. Callum Kennedy was keen to repeat the race win he recorded in the seniors’ race in the opening fixture. He duly managed this, finishing around 80 seconds ahead of the second placed man. Steve, as he had a week before, offered excellent support and with Mark Copeland leading the rest of the reds home it made for an excellent team result – first by some margin. Mark Buffery looked as if he enjoyed the experience and hopefully will become a regular face on the XC scene. Graham Whiffen’s form is starting to return after breaking his foot in an accident at work a year earlier.

First junior race of the day was the under-11s. We had one boy, Max Meadwell (a race winner last time out at Poole) and four girls – Jessica Bourne, Hannah Fairchild and Bethanie and Isabelle Kingswell-Farr. Of our young athletes, only Max had previous experience of this course, no doubt for most of the young runners it will have been the toughest cross-country race on their cross-country CVs so far. Last year Max was sixth at Ham Hill in a race with fewer runners, it’s a measure of how much progress he’s made that Max saw it as a disappointing result only improving to fourth this time. Keep up the great work in training and surely more race wins will come Max! All four of our girls started in the opening fixture at Poole. Jess Bourne was our first girl home – 9th, with all her team-mates following her home in formation – 10th-11th-12th! Hannah split the two sisters – Bethanie and Isabelle. These two were the biggest improvers since the last race. Both had been under the weather at Poole, with Issy having to pull out. They were able to show us just what they were really capable of at Ham Hill. Well done girls.

A strong finish from Jason to secure a 1-2 with Piers in the U15Bs

Unusually the sequence of races at Ham Hill varied from the norm, and it was the under-15s who went next. Some fine results were recorded here. In the opener at Poole, Piers Copeland was involved in a 1-2 with team-mate Joe Miles. He repeated the feat here, but with a different team-mate – this time it was Jason Sotheran. Great performances.

Our girls did well too with Abbie Hine and Maddie Williams coming 2nd and third, with Ella Hearne recording an important sixth place to record a team score – first!

The programme was completed with the under-13s race. What we lacked in quantity for the boys race we certainly made up for quality, Tom Bourne’s rich vein of form continues and like Callum and Piers he recorded his second Wessex League win of the season in real style.

Not one to be upstaged by the boys, Grace Copeland then maintained her 100% Wessex record too. Gracie was almost a minute ahead of her nearest rival. Pippa Hine was next in for us with a solid performance, especially impressive as Pip’s real speciality is over shorter distances on the track where she is deadly! Getting that key third score for the team was Elise Gill. Elise is in her first season with us and has been an ever-present since her debut at Poole.

Elise – improving with each race

It was a fabulous day’s racing, and our thanks go to host club Yeovil and race director Tim Hawkins who did a great job of staging the event. Team Dorset’s Lindsay Hole was working on results whilst the races were progressing so providing a much improved results service too.

More than 30 Wimborne runners took part, their times and results were:

Under -11 girls (15 finishers)

9 – Jessica Bourne – 6:24
10 – Bethanie Kingswell-Farr – 6:33
11 – Hannah Fairchild – 6:46
12 – Isabelle Kingswell-Farr – 7:05

Under -11 boys (10 finishers)

4 – Max Meadwell – 5:36

Under-13 Girls (12 finishers)

1 – Grace Copeland – 11:24
10 – Pippa Hine – 14:43
11 – Elise Gill – 16:40

Under-13 Boys (5 finishers)

1 – Tom Bourne – 10:20

Under-15 Girls (7 finishers)

2 – Abbie Hine – 15:51
3 – Maddie Williams – 16:12
6 – Ella Hearne – 17:13

Under-15 Boys (7 finishers)

1 – Piers Copeland – 13:04
2 – Jason Sotheran – 13:24

Under-17 Women (5 finishers)

3 – Charlotte Bourne – 22:21
4 – Sharon Hutchings – 24:36
5 – Chloe Morris – 29:21

Under-17 Men (9 finishers)

3 – Ryan Walbridge – 18:05
9 – Josh Downie – 21:18

Senior Women (11 finishers)

1 – Lynn Hutchings – 24:03
2 – Helen Edbrooke – 24:11

Senior Men (40 finishers)

1 – Callum Kennedy – 31:38
5 – Steve Wyatt – 34:29
9 – Mark Copeland – 35:03
17 – John Hutchings – 37:59
20 – Mark Buffery – 38:59
23 – Gerry Hutchings – 40:29
28 – Graham Whiffen – 42:17
30 – Simon Bourne – 44:11
33 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 44:50
36 – Ian Kennedy – 47:27

Full results for the Wessex League will be found at

http://www.teamdorsetathletics.co.uk

 

 
 
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