Wimborne Athletic Club

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WACers in the medals, Reading HXC – 4 March 2017

 Ian Kennedy reports from Prospect Park

Our medal winning under-15 girls’ team waits for the gun - Left to right: Beth, Demi, Martha, Izzie and Holly

The final Hampshire League meeting of the season was at Reading.  It gave us a much later finish to the season than usual, as it was the race that had to be rescheduled from early January.  The revised date put this fixture in amongst a sequence of major races – Nationals, Inter-Counties and English Schools – and this had a serious impact on the number of runners taking part from all clubs.  We saw considerably smaller fields than what we’ve come to expect.

The first race with Wimborne interest in it was the under-13 boys.  Tom Fuller led the red vests home, and in doing so secured an individual top 10 finish for himself in the season’s aggregates (he was 8th).  He got great support from the tigerish Ollie Rawles.  Joe Healey was our third scorer and the team was completed by Jay Dunn.  The team finished 7th on the day, and 6th for the season.

Under-13 boys (59 finishers) – 7th team

13 – Tom Fuller – 10:59
23 – Ollie Rawles – 11:30
43 – Joe Healey – 12:13
56 – Jay Dunn – 12:45
 

Although there were a few of the regular under-15 girls missing we still fielded a very competitive team of five who came 3rd on the day.  Only Aldershot, Farnham & District and home team Reading were ahead of us, and we beat this year’s U15G champions, City of Portsmouth.  There were some strong WAC performances in this race with Holly Nixon, Demi Goddard and Beth Kingswell-Farr all looking sharp.  A head cold meant that Martha Pawson wasn’t able to hit the heights she managed at Truro a few weeks earlier.  Our team was completed by the always smiling Izzie Kingswell-Farr.  It’s been a great season for our under-15 girls.  They finish the season with bronze team medals.  Abbie Lovering didn’t race at Reading, but was at all the other HXC races won an individual bronze medal in this category.

Under-15 girls (38 finishers) – 3rd team
– bronze medalists

8 – Holly Nixon – 17:32
17 – Demi Goddard – 18:13
20 – Beth Kingswell-Farr – 18:42
29 – Hannah Fairchild – 20:12
32 – Izzie Kingswell-Farr – 20:43
 

For the boys in this age-group, we only had Ben Martin racing at Reading.  Ben has been pretty consistent all season.  He finished 13th in the averages.  The team didn’t record a score in two of the Hampshire League fixtures, and needed a big performance to stand any chance of medalling.  Unfortunately we didn’t get the numbers out there.

Under-15 boys (37 finishers)

18 – Ben Martin – 14:37
 

It’s not very often when we’ve got no under-17 men competing – but this was the case at Reading.  Team-wise we started the season well, with a 4th and 3rd place, but we dropped out of the reckoning as we didn’t have a complete team at the last three meetings.

 

We’ve fielded some very good runners in the under-17 women’s race, but too often we haven’t had enough of them at the same time to record team scores.  Looking strong at Reading in only her second Hampshire League meeting this season was Caitlin Rogers.  Over the course of the season Hannah Slater reeled of a series of fine performances – 4th, 3rd, 3rd and 3rd.  The Reading race was the only one she didn’t compete in, but the work done in the previous races secured her a silver medal.

Under-17 women (24 finishers)

13 – Caitlin Rogers – 18:45
 

Although the WAC women’s team was a little depleted at Reading they managed to complete the HXC season with a full team score in every single race.  There’s a tremendous team spirit in our women’s team and this had led to them having far and away their best season ever.  We finished the season in a lofty 5th position with only AFD, Winchester, Reading and Southampton ahead of us.  Spearheading the team’s results was Emma Martin.  She’s the league’s U20W bronze medalist and also finished 8th in the women’s overall aggregates.  The team’s success was built on the commitment of all of its members however.  At Reading Emma had spirited support from Jess Kennedy and Alicia Pawson.

Senior women (95 finishers) – 12th team

19 – Emma Martin – 21:40 (6th u20)
77 – Jessica Kennedy – 28:25
80 – Martha Pawson – 29:39
 

For the second race in a row our only senior men were two of our greatest stalwarts – Ryan Walbridge and Pete Kingswell-Farr.  It hasn’t been a vintage season for our senior men, but the contribution of these two in particular, has ensured our continued stay in Division 2.  Ryan finished the season in 5th place in the aggregates for under-20s.

Senior men (141 finishers)

54 – Ryan Walbridge – 37:25 (10th U20)
114 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 43:50
 

There have been some great individual performances over the course of the 2016/2017 Hampshire League season.  We’ve seen a race win from Emily Shaw and top three placings for Tom Bourne, Grace Copeland, Abbie Lovering (twice) and Hannah Slater (three times).  WAC’s stand-out teams have been the under-15 girls and the senior women.  There were individual medals for Abbie Lovering, Hannah Slater and Emma Martin.  There’s definitely a bit of ‘girl power’ at WAC at the moment.  Unusually for us we’ve struggled to get full teams out at a few races, particularly in the last two fixtures.  Some of this is down to successes elsewhere in indoor events or schools cross-country; however, it would be good to come back stronger next year team-wise in this league.

 

 

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