XC in the sunshine at Popham – 6 December 2014
Ian Kennedy reports from the Hampshire League XC race.
The airfield windsock shows the benign conditions as Abbie and Beth
woods in the under-13s race
The cold biting wind that seems to be ever-present at Popham was, this
year, notable by its absence. Indeed, for most of the meeting we enjoyed
some winter sunshine. From a spectating point of view this is a good
course where it’s easy to watch the race unfold. A few of our regular
racers were unavailable, despite that, we still had almost 30 runners
Our first out there were the under-13 girls. The team was led home by
Bethanie Kingswell-Farr on this occasion, with Abbie Lovering in close
proximity. Securing the other point scoring position was the rapidly
improving Holly Nixon. Our team was completed by Fern Morrison and
Isabelle Kingswell-Farr. The team came 7th on the day, which
equals their best performance this season. We lie in the 7th
place in the league table after three meetings.
Max Meadwell treated us to another top 10 finish in the under-13 boys’
race (6th), his second in succession. Max got good support
from Tom Morrison who is coming under pressure from his team-mate Zach
Fenwick. Zach’s improvement in performance since the previous Hampshire
race was considerable. We needed all three runners to score, and they
put in the best team result of the season so far in this age-group (6th).
We are also 6th in the league, with City of Portsmouth just
ahead of us – and catchable!
Once again our under-15 girls team was led home by Grace Copeland. Grace
didn’t have it all her own way this time, as she had to settle for
second place behind Josie Czura of City of Portsmouth. Both Grace and
Josie had raced the previous weekend and it was clear they were both in
great form. It’s fantastic when you can compete against some of the best
in the country in one of your own local leagues. A brace of Lucys (Ballam
and Anderson) came in the other scoring positions, with the team
completed by Elise Gill. Lucy B got yet another top 10 finish, 3 out of
3 so far, and Lucy A was only just outside the top 20. It was another
good team score – 4th. Our consistency over the three
meetings means that we are second in the league. As individuals Grace is
top of the averages, whilst Lucy B is in 6th place.
Tom Bourne led the reds home in the under-15 boys;’ race, although by
his recent very high standards he’ll be a little bit disappointed with
his 7th place. Tom got excellent back-up from his team mates.
There were particularly impressive performances in the two point scoring
positions – from Joe Kelliher and Michael Johnson. Dan Baynham also
improved, finishing in his highest HXC position so far this season. The
team came 4th on the day, equaling the excellent result at
Goodwood – although that was achieved with different personnel. Tom is
in 2nd place in the season’s averages overall.
We’ve been a bit thin on the ground in the under-17 women’s age-group in
the Hampshire’s this season – to say the least! Until this meeting Abbie
Hine had been our only racer. This time she had company, with the
welcome return to HXC action of Maddie Williams. Both ran impressively.
Abbie got her third top 10 finish of the season, with a season’s best 8th.
Maddie looked really strong, and she came in a battling 15th
position. Abbie lies in 9th place in the season’s averages.
In the under-17 men’s race Piers’ run of good results continued here
with a season’s best 9th place finish. Sam Davies was our
only other runner in the age-group … and his 26th shows
significant progress since the start of the season. Piers and Jason
Sotheran (who didn’t compete at Popham) share 12th place in
the averages for this age-group.
Our senior men’s team was missing this season’s regular spearhead. With
Ryan Walbridge ill, it was Mark Copeland who led the team home. Support
came from Pete Kingswell-Farr, who was next in. The outstanding run from
a WAC senior came from Richard Davies who improved dramatically on his
performance at Goodwood. Completing the team and securing the final
scoring positions were Paul Hine and Ian Kennedy.
WACers times and results were:
Under-13 girls (77 finishers) – 7th team
17 – Bethanie Kingswell-Farr – 11:59
21 – Abbie Lovering – 12:02
36 – Holly Nixon – 12:22
61 – Fern Morrison – 13:29
77 – Isabelle Kingswell-Farr – 15:36
Under-13 boys (72 finishers) – 6th team
6 – Max Meadwell – 10:48
36 – Tom Morrison – 11:59
38 – Zach Fenwick – 12:09
Under-15 girls (64 finishers) – 4th team
2 – Grace Copeland – 13:45
9 – Lucy Ballam – 14:45
22 – Lucy Anderson – 15:42
64 – Elise Gill – 23:05
Under-15 boys (56 finishers) – 4th team
7 – Tom Bourne – 12:54
16 – Joe Keliher – 13:29
25 – Michael Johnson – 13:53
34 – Dan Baynham – 14:33
Under-17 women (30 finishers)
8 – Abbie Hine – 20:49
15 – Maddie Williams – 22:07
Under-17 men (37 finishers)
9 – Piers Copeland – 17:22
26 – Sam Davies – 19:27
Senior Men (256 finishers) 8th team in Div. 2
139 – Mark Copeland – 40:11
184 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 43:07
213 – Richard Davies – 45:59
228 – Paul Hine – 47:48
247 – Ian Kennedy – 54:15
Full results for the Hampshire League will be found at