Wimborne Athletic Club

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Fine debuts at King’s Park – 11 January 2014

Reporting from our most local Hampshire league fixture.

An excellent WAC debut from Dan Baynham at King’s Park

It seems an age since the last Hampshire League race … and it was great to return with the sun shining and the mercury rising. Quite a few of our XC mainstays were missing for this meeting, but on the positive side we did see Joe Miles at a race for the first time since his horror injury in early November … he’s not running yet, but is on the steady road to recovery, and we had three debutants – Sophia Orr, Dan Baynham and Sarah Orr. Despite missing a number of key runners we still had over 30 reds competing.

It was an earlier start than usual with proceedings opening at 11.15 with under-11s races. In the girls’ race we were reduced to just one entrant – Lucy Gladdis. Lucy gave a good account of herself. We didn’t get too many in the boys’ race either –Charlie Davies ran well for 10th, and this was probably Derry Sowinski-Brown’s best XC race so far – he was 16th.

Despite our top under-13 girl Grace Copeland not competing (1st in the averages), we still managed to field an impressive seven girls in this age-group. Rising to the occasion and leading the team home was Jessica Bourne (21st) – Jess has made huge progress as the season has unfolded. Seemingly, finally, putting her injury woes behind her, Bethanie Kingswell-Farr is also on the up-and-up. Fern Morrison was next in, exchanging places with Isabelle K-F since last week in the South-West Championships. Despite conceding a place to Fern here, Isabelle is on a remarkable upturn of form, which began with a Parkrun in late December and continued into the SWXC. Compared to her last HXC race at Popham, nobody in the team comes close to her rate of improvement, although sister Beth has been making good progress too. Hannah Fairchild was next in for us in 58th, with the first of our debutants, Sophia Orr, finishing just ahead of Elise Gill.

Our top under-13 boy, Liam Murphy-Parry (6th in the averages), was also unavailable, but despite this, the team still claimed 4th place on the day. This was due to continued progress made by Michael Johnson, who was first red over the line. Putting in yet another solid performance was Elliott Symes who was next in (he currently lies joint 10th in the season’s averages). The revelation of the day must surely have been Dan Baynham. This was Dan’s first league race, although he had run in the County Championships as an unattached runner. Despite his lack of experience and limited time spent training with us, he was just two places back from Elliott … an outstanding performance. Completing the team was Tom Morrison, who is another, according to Bob’s stats, of the bigger improvers since the race at Popham in late November. This was an excellent team performance from these guys.

Unfortunately we’re not fielding a complete team of under-15 girls, however, the two runners we do have are doing a great job. Both Lucy Ballam’s and Maddie Williams’ stats show continued progress since Popham. Our girls finished 21st and 32nd in a field of 63.

In the under-15 boys we were missing another of our stars, Piers Copeland, who picked up an injury immediately after an outstanding podium finish in the South West Championships. Tom Bourne is top WAC runner in the Hampshire averages for the u15Bs, and he was first red over the line. Tom’s 9th place finish sees him lying in 4th in the averages. This is all the more impressive when we consider that Tom is ‘bottom-of age-group’. With Piers, Sam Davies, and longer-term absentee Joe Miles all missing, the scores of every team member mattered. Making valuable contributions on the day were Matt Yates (52nd) and Tom Boulton (62nd). The team finished 5th.

Our under-17 women’s team had a great result last week – 2nd team in South-West England, and all of those who ran that day were present at King’s Park. They replicated last weekend’s finishing order – Abbie Hine, Ella Hearne, Charlotte Bourne and Becca ‘Scooter’ Skeats. They finished 3rd team at King’s Park. Abbie is currently lying in 10th place in the season’s averages.

We have really struggled to get WAC’s women to compete this season in the Hampshire League. Lynn Hutchings ran in the first two races this season, we had no representation at all at Popham. Against that background we were very pleased to welcome WAC debutant Sarah Orr. What’s more Sarah’s 55th place was our highest ladies’ finish since Lynn’s race at Salisbury last season.

Sarah debuts in the sunshine

There’s been little to split Jason Sotheran and Ryan Walbridge in many of the races this winter – it’s Wessex League Champion versus County Champion. The positions in last week’s South-West England Championships were reversed with Jason as ‘top dog’ at King’s Park. Josh Downie put in another solid performance, and he continues to bang on the door for Dorset selection for the Inter-Counties in March. Our under-17 men were 6th team on the day.

The final race of the day was the seniors. Leading the men home was Callum Kennedy, he finished 31st (11th under-20). Callum now lies 5th in the under-20s averages. This was a decent effort, Callum had spent much of the previous week with an ice pack on his knee, and even first thing in the morning he was not a ‘dead cert’ to compete – he appears to have suffered no after-effects. Steve Wyatt was next in, and he is showing well in the veterans’ averages – placed at 7th. Mark Copeland (96th) and Pete Kingswell-Farr (139th) were next in for us. The team was completed by Stewart Little who is making a big contribution to our younger runners’ successes with the work he puts in at our Blandford sessions. For the third meeting in a row the seniors’ team finished 9th and we are inevitably 9th in Division 1 overall. The senior men’s veteran’s team were 5th on the day and lie 4th overall in Division One with one meeting to go. The problem we have is that, with the retirement from racing of Graeme ‘Bionic’ Furley, we are competing against teams made up of seniors (rather than veterans) and usually we’ve only got one ‘non-vet’, in our men’s team!

WACers results

Under-11 girls (36 runners)

23 – Lucy Gladdis  – 8:42

Under-11 boys (26 runners)

10 – Charlie Davies – 7:34
16 ­ – Derry Sowinski-Brown – 8:08

Under-13 girls (71 runners) – 7th team

21 – Jessica Bourne – 14:36
30 – Bethanie Kingswell-Farr – 14:53
48 – Fern Morrison – 15:42
53 – Isabelle Kingswell-Farr – 16:00
58 – Hannah Fairchild – 16:30
70 – Sophia Orr – 18:50
71 – Elise Gill –  19:10

Under-13 boys (52 runners) – 4th team

11 – Michael Johnson – 12:44
19 – Elliott Symes – 13:17
21 – Dan Baynham – 13:30
29 – Tom Morrison – 14:01

Under-15 girls (63 runners)

21 – Lucy Ballam – 16:43
32 – Maddie Williams – 17:41

Under-15 boys (62 runners) – 5th team

9 – Tom Bourne – 14:14
52 – Matt Yates – 16:59
62 – Tom Boulton – 19:26

Under-17 women (28 runners) – 3rd team

8 – Abbie Hine – 16:33
14 – Ella Hearne – 17:24
19 – Charlotte Bourne 17:51
28 – Rebecca Skeats – 20:51

Senior women (106 runners)

54 –  Sarah Orr – 25:28

Under-17 men (35 runners) – 6th team

14 – Jason Sotheran – 20:05
15 – Ryan Walbridge – 20:15
30 – Josh Downie – 22:35

Senior men (199 runners) – 9th team, 5th vets team

31 – Callum Kennedy – 33:14 (11th under-20M)
86 – Steve Wyatt – 37:27
96 – Mark Copeland – 38:08
139 – Peter Kingswell-Farr – 41:27
157 – Stewart Little – 43:01

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