Wimborne Athletic Club

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 A show of respect at cross-country –12 November 2016

Ian Kennedy reports on the HXC at Kings Park

There was a sombre and reflective mood at the second of the Hampshire League cross-country meetings at King’s Park and for much of the day the very damp weather and poor light mirrored the atmosphere.  Two Aldershot, Farnham & District athletes – Stacey Burrows and Lucy Pygott – had been struck by a speeding car on a training night earlier in the week.  As a mark of respect, many wore black ribbons in remembrance of this pair of fine athletes.  Our thoughts were with the families, friends and clubmates of Stacey and Lucy.  All day the race starts were applauded off the line, and there was also applause out on the course for those AFD vests competing in the most difficult of circumstances.  On a day of solidarity many of the Aldershot runners finished races in groups, some with linked arms.

The meeting got under way with a pair of under-11s races.  Wimborne AC’s athletes haven’t embraced the under-11s races in the Hampshire League in the same way as they have in the Wessex League.  We had only one competitor, this was Harry Bunting.  Harry finished a very respectable 25th place in a field of 60 runners.

Red vests were thin on the ground in the under-13 girls’ race too.  Only Charlotte Piper lined up for us.  Charlotte pretty well replicated the form and performance that she showed in the first race of the season in Winchester.  We were, however, able to field five under-13 boys.  These were led home by Tom Fuller who claimed 18th place.  Ollie Rawles maintained his good early season form, this time without his shadow, Joe Goodwin, who was suffering with a cold.  Ben Harwood, who just squeezed ahead of team mate Jay Dunn, took a mighty step forward with a significantly improved performance since his Hampshire League debut only a month earlier.  Our team was completed with Matthew Lissenburg who was having to contend with an issue with his feet.  The team finished 8th on the day.

Our under-15 girls are an impressive unit, and once again they claimed 2nd place in the team competition against some very decent opposition.  Led home by Abbie Lovering, there was a huge improvement in form from Anna Kelliher to claim 11th place.  However, Anna only just beat another WAC athlete on a hot streak, Holly Nixon.  Next in, and making her WAC debut, was Lulu King.  Lulu was kept honest all the way to the line, with team mate Martha Pawson only a single second behind her at the finish.  There is so much strength of depth in this age-group for WAC at the moment, we had Demi Goddard in next, and then roughly evenly spaced were Beth Kingswell-Farr and Jess Bourne.  The team was completed by Izzie Kingswell-Farr.

The under-15 boys caught alight too … emulating the second place of the girls.  Harry O’Donoghue was first in for us (6th), with great support from Ben Martin.  The final scoring place for the team went to Seth Lake, he was not the least bit overawed on his HXC debut.  Charlie Davies and Jack Moss-Willcox completed a very strong line up for us.

In the two HXC races we’ve put out some fine under-17 women athletes, but so far never enough for a team.  At King’s Park Hannah Slater recorded her best ever HXC result and there was good support from Caitlin Rogers too.  We haven’t had the same issue with the under-17 men in the HXC.  Despite losing Tom Bourne through injury, our team had a very solid look about it and claimed 3rd place on the day.  Joey Kelliher has hit a rich vein of form and he was first red in.  Next was Michael Johnson, could this be Michael’s best performance so far in this league … remember he’s bottom of age-group!  Matt Yates and Elliott Symes completed what was a very solid quartet.

It’s been a joy to watch the WAC women’s team in action so far this season.  The present squad is the strongest we’ve ever had in this category.  Emma Martin always looks fantastic in training, now it’s happening for her in races.  She led the team home, (she was 7th under-20 and we all know how high the standard is in this league).  Abbie Hine’s (12th under-20) race was a big step forward from the season opener too, and with the final point scorer being Hannah Acquah who matched her excellent debut finishing position we were set for our best ever HXC women’s team score – 8th of 23.  Maddie Williams was next home, with Karila Faulkner on her WAC XC debut next and Jess Kennedy and Alicia Pawson completing team.

There was a, these days, relatively rare cross-country league appearance for Piers Copeland in the men’s category which lifted spirits in the camp.  Indeed it was Piers who was first man home.  Ryan Walbridge, who for most of the time since he moved into the age-group has been our first man home, settled for second red in.  Sam Davies put in a valiant effort to claim the next scoring position even though he tends to favour races of shorter distance.  Mark Copeland was next in, but he’s looking over his shoulder right now due to the fast-improving form of Pete Kingswell-Farr … family bragging rights are at stake here!  It was great to see Mike Jurd in action, having tempted him from road races for the day, and our team was completed by Gavin Rusling working hard since returning to XC racing after a 30 year lay-off!

Results for Wimborne athletes:

Under-11 boys (60 finishers)
25 – Harry Bunting – 8:40

Under-13 girls (58 finishers)
29 – Charlotte Piper – 13:45

Under-13 boys (65 finishers) – 8th team
18 – Tom Fuller – 11:46
28 – Ollie Rawles – 12:13
41 – Ben Harwood – 12:47
44 – Jay Dunn – 12:51
48 – Matthew Lissenburg – 13:04

Under-15 girls (57 finishers) – 2nd team
5 – Abbie Lovering – 15:28
11 – Anna Kelliher – 15:55
13 – Holly Nixon – 15:58
22 – Lulu King – 16:16
23 – Martha Pawson – 16:17
31 – Demi-Marie Goddard – 16:46
33 – Beth Kingswell-Farr – 16:55
37 – Jess Bourne – 17:06
46 – Izzie Kingswell-Farr – 18:11

Under-15 boys (51 finishers) – 2nd team
6 – Harry O’Donoghue – 14:09
13 – Ben Martin – 14:24
22 – Seth Lake – 14:57
28 – Charlie Davies – 15:09
33 – Jack Moss-Willcox – 15:33

Under-17 women (33 finishers)
3 – Hannah Slater – 15:56
15 – Caitlin Rogers – 16:51

Under-17 men (35 finishers) – 3rd team
7 – Joey Kelliher – 20:47
11 – Michael Johnson – 21:09
17 – Matt Yates – 21:56
22 – Elliott Symes – 22:49

Senior women (155 finishers) – 8th team
28 – Emma Martin – 23:54 (7th u20)
61 – Abbie Hine – 26:12 (12th u20)
65 – Hannah Acquah – 26:20
80 – Maddie Williams – 27:45 (14th u20)
101 – Karila Faulkner – 29:29
120 – Jessica Kennedy – 30:37
134 – Alicia Pawson – 32:15

Senior men (244 finishers) – 6th team in Div. 2 and 9th team in Vets Div. 1
50 – Piers Copeland – 34:12 (13th u20)
94 – Ryan Walbridge – 36:28 (22nd u20)
147 – Sam Davies – 38:36 (31st u20)
179 – Mark Copeland – 40:13
187 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 40:50
204 – Mike Jurd – 42:39
211 – Gavin Rusling – 43:38



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