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Maddy Johnson on fire in scorcher at King’s Park  – 13 October 2018

Ian Kennedy reports from the Hampshire League

The WAC u13-boys warm up at King’s Park

With complex computer models now used by the Met Office, it means that weather forecasting has become increasingly more accurate over the years. Earlier in the week 40mph winds, thunder and lightning were predicted for Bournemouth on race day – this was one of those rare occasions when the forecasts were wrong. King’s Park, as those who use the track know too well, has a reputation for being windy, but there was not a breath of wind on Saturday. I’m not sure what temperature we hit, but the mercury was rising. It’s not a problem we encounter to often in cross-country. It was the men’s race, being the longest, that was impacted the most with a higher than number of DNFs. Fortunately all WACers completed.

There are not under-11s races at every Hampshire League fixture, possibly this is a factor in why we see such a significant drop in the number of WAC under-11s competing in this league when compared to the Wessex, even when it is a nice local fixture. In the girls’ race, as she did the previous week at the Wessex, Evie Fuller led the team home. She had support from Ella and Isabelle Fazakerley.

U11 girls (55 finishers)

19 – Evie Fuller – 9:17
49 – Ella Fazakerley – 10:53
52 – Isabelle Fazakerley – 11:17

Harry Butcher was our only red vest in the boys’ race, he ran to a very impressive 7th place in a field of 59.

U11 boys (59 finishers)

7 – Harry Butcher – 8:05

Having got a great turn-out the previous week from our under-13 girls, poor Ruby Sargeant was out there on her own for this one! The standard of the field in the two leagues is different, so it’s hard to compare, but it looks like Ruby is heading in the right direction with two races done.

U13 girls (73 finishers)

59 – Ruby Sargeant – 13:48

Although the U13 girls were depleted, the boys from that age-group were out in full force – there were eight of them! Despite taking a tumble, Tristan Green was still the first red vest home. Jack Williams was making his first XC appearance this season and he was next in. Once again there wasn’t much in it but positions were reversed between Josh Fazakerley and Jago Smith this week. Our team was completed by Tom Williams, Oscar Davis, Archie Cunningham and Jack Doran.

 U13  boys (107 finishers) – 8th team

25 – Tristan Green – 11:59
37 – Jack Williams – 12:17
41 – Josh Fazakerley – 12:25
46 – Jago Smith – 12:33
64 – Tom Williams – 13:01
69 – Oscar Davis – 13:05
75 – Archie Cunningham – 13:15
99 – Jack Doran – 15:06

We had just enough for a team in the under-15 girls. There was plenty of quality on show, even if we were a little light on numbers. Emily Shaw led the race early on, but eventually two runners broke away. Daisy Baker came 5th, she looked stronger as the race developed. There was fantastic support from Sarah Graham who claimed 23rd in a strong field, despite being ‘year young’. The girls were 3rd team.

U15 girls (59 finishers) – 3rd team

3 – Emily Shaw – 15:11
5 – Daisy Baker – 15:17
23 – Sarah Graham – 16:35

The under-15 boys were led in by Tom Fuller, with Ollie Rawles next. The final points scorer was Jay Dunn. Both Jay and Matthew Lissenburg (our other runner on the day) have some digging in to do this season as they are both ‘year young’.

U15 boys (73 finishers) – 10th team

24 – Tom Fuller – 14:28
55 – Ollie Rawles – 16:10
64 – Jay Dunn – 16:40
68 – Matthew Lissenburg – 17:32

The under-17s women’s race brought the performance of the day from a Wimborne athlete. Maddy Johnson, competing for the first time in red at cross-country claimed a convincing win. She’s had good performances in this highly competitive league before, this one was her best result yet. A fabulously strong and gutsy performance from 100%er Holly Nixon also saw her placed comfortably inside the top ten. Emma Graham’s race was an extremely important one for WAC, as it enabled us to register a team score. The U17W were 3rd on the day.

U17 women (34 finishers) – 3rd team

1 – Maddy Johnson – 15:16
7 – Holly Nixon – 16:05
34 – Emma Graham – 21:47

We only had two under-17 men. Charlie Davies and Ben Martin. There is often not too much between them in races. Here it was Charlie who had bragging rights.

U17 men (32 finishers)

20 – Charlie Davies – 23:11
23 – Ben Martin – 23:42

Having done so well to get a senior women’s team out the previous week, it was disappointing that we couldn’t repeat the feat at King’s Park. I was super-impressed with Minty Stubbs’ commitment, she’d travelled all the way down from Oxford to compete. She hadn’t been at the Wessex meeting six days earlier as she had taken part in British Shooting’s Target Sprint Championships (3x400 combined with rifle shooting). Congratulations Minty on becoming British Junior Women’s Target Sprint Champion. Minty was 65th in a field of 190 at King’s Park and was 11th under-20.

Senior women (190 finishers)

65 – Minty Stubbs – 26:11 (11th under-20)

It’s great when someone who’s progressed through the age-groups finally makes it into the seniors team. Michael Johnson was certainly good value. He was 91st amongst 238 finishers on a day when many struggled with the heat. Michael was also 15th under-20, he’s ‘year young’ in and age group spread over three (not two) years. We saw another absolutely rock solid performance from Pete Kingswell-Farr and Gerrard Lissenburg making his Hampshire League debut for us had a strong run too. It was great to welcome Andy Olden into the team, having most recently seen him at Exeter when he made a valuable contribution to WAC’s South West League track team.

Senior men (267 finishers) – 7th in Div. 3

91 – Michael Johnson – 36:11 (15th under-20)
207 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 42:47
221 – Gerrard Lissenburg – 44:06
238 – Andy Olden – 46:27

The next Hampshire League race is at Wellesley Woods, Aldershot. It’s a course we used for the first time last season. The feedback from those who ran was that despite being flattish it was an interesting course. Hopefully we’ll avoid the torrential rain we encountered last time around.



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