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Stellar performances at Farley Mount – HXC – 11 October 2014 

Ian Kennedy reports from the Hampshire League race.


A fabulous performance from our under-15 girls at Farley Mount

Farley Mount is one of this club’s favourite venues for cross-country racing, so it was a pleasure to welcome it back to the Hampshire League calendar after a year out. We have a tradition of turning up there on glorious sunny days, but the journey to Winchester was in pretty grim conditions on the morning of the race. Fortunately the forecast downpours for racetime didn’t materialize and most of the day was spent in bright conditions. The mood in the WAC camp was also suitably sunny after an encouraging opening cross-country race at Avon Heath in the Wessex League the previous weekend. As it turns out there were more seriously good performances from WACers on this day.

We got underway with six girls competing in the under-13s race. Abbie Lovering  led the team home in 16th place (remember she’s lower year of the age group so this is a very good result). Beth Kingswell-Farr (25th) once more offered excellent support. Duking it out were good friends Hannah Fairchild and Jess Bourne who came in just three seconds apart in 40th and 41st. Making a very encouraging cross-country debut for the club was Holly Nixon in 48th, and the team was completed by Fern Morrison in 71st. The team came 7th overall.

We didn’t manage to field as many as our promising young under-13 boys as we might have liked. The old man of the team, Tom Morrison (40th), led the team home. His nearest rival was Zac Fenwick (49th). It’s great to see Zac competing more often – he’s been a regular a training for quite some time now. Two of our younger runners completed the team – Joe Baynham and Jack Moss-Wilcox – and both produced decent performances.

Next up were the under-15 girls. Our girls were buoyant after a clean sweep in the Wessex League the previous week, but a Hampshire League race would provide a much sterner test. All the team point scorers put in superb performances. Grace Copeland sat with the leaders for one lap, then cruised away from the field to win by a big margin (30 seconds). Let’s not forget that Grace has only just moved into this age-group … an excllent performance. Lucy Ballam’s previously best finish in the Hampshire League was a 21st, here she bagged eighth position! Lucy Anderson is fast-improving too and it could be argued that this was her best XC performance yet. With these three on this sort of form we were able to claim our best ever team finish in a Hampshire League race. We finished equal on points with City of Portsmouth and Aldershot, Farnham & District (on countback we were placed 2nd). Elise Gill completed our under-15 girls line-up. The race fell on Grace’s 14th birthday so there was chocolate cake post-race, but her team-mates had delivered the perfect birthday present!

In the following race (u15Bs) we had another emphatic race win. This time it was Tom Bourne who delivered. Like Grace he was with the leaders with a lap to go. In the final stages of the race he pulled out a 20 second margin over the 2nd placed runner. Tom got good support from his team mates too. Liam Murphy-Parry (23rd) has hit a hot streak and he had another good race here, with Michael Johnson in 31st. Another making big gains at the moment is Matt Yates (38th) who just got the better of his team-mates Elliott Symes (42nd) and Dan Baynham (45th) this time around.

In the under-17 women’s race Abbie Hine was our lone runner. Her recent improvement in form continued here with an excellent top 10 finish. It was good to see four WAC runners in the under-17 men’s race. Jason Sotheran finished an impressive 8th, and Piers Copeland (24th) did pretty well too despite a niggly foot injury impacting on his training. Sam Davies is a 100%er, and he put in another spirited performance. Unfortunately for Sam he ended up in the first aid tent, having over-extended his knee in a sprint to (successfully) defend his position on the line. Completing the under-17s line-up, after a spell away, was Tom Boulton.

Unfortunately we didn’t manage to field a complete team in either of the senior categories. For both men and women it was our under-20s who led the team home – Charlotte Bourne in the case of the women, and Ryan Walbridge for the men. Making her cross-country debut for WAC was Jeannette New, our only other female runner. Our men’s team had some familiar faces in it – Mark Copeland, Pete Kingswell-Farr and Paul Hine. Although Mark has become one of the pillars of the men’s team,  this was just the 4th anniversary of his starting running (he debuted at Farley Mount in 2010) … inspired by his kids no doubt!

WACers times and results were:

Under-13 girls (91 finishers) – 7th team

16 – Abbie Lovering – 13:20
25 – Bethanie Kingswell-Farr – 13:37
40 – Hannah Fairchild – 14:09
41 – Jessica Bourne – 14:12
48 – Holly Nixon – 14:27
71 – Fern Morrison – 15:13

Under-13 boys (87 finishers) 10th team

40 – Tom Morrison – 13:11
49 – Zac Fenwick – 13:23
51 – Joe Baynham – 13:37
56 – Jack Moss-Wilcox – 13:35

Under-15 girls (67 finishers) 2nd team

1 – Grace Copeland – 16:28
8 – Lucy Ballam – 17:37
12 – Lucy Anderson – 18:09
67 – Elise Gill – 27:15

Under-15 boys (65 finishers) 7h team

1 – Tom Bourne – 14:44
23 – Liam Murphy-Parry – 16:20
31 – Michael Johnson – 17:02
38 – Matt Yates – 17:45
42 – Elliott Symes – 17:58
45 – Dan Baynham – 18:11

Under-17 women (35 finishers)

10 – Abbie Hine – 21:33

Under-17 men (47 finishers) – 6th team

8 – Jason Sotheran – 17:01
24 – Piers Copeland – 18:13
34 – Sam Davies – 19:39
47 – Tom Boulton – 26:27

Senior women (135 finishers) 2nd team in Div. 2

64 – Charlotte Bourne – 28:45 (22nd u20)
117 – Jeannette New – 33:55

Senior Men (236 finishers) 7th team in Div. 2

67 – Ryan Walbridge – 38:50 (15th u20)
146 – Mark Copeland – 43:03
180 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 46:33
218 – Paul Hine – 51:52

Full results for the Hampshire League will be found at



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