Wimborne Athletic Club

Home                Club Info                Cross Country                Road Running                Sportshall                Track & Field

‘Cracking’ XC performances at Prospect Park  – 10 January 2015         

Ian Kennedy reports from the Hampshire League.


Lucy Ballam’s run at Prospect Park was one of a number
of very fine Wimborne performances

We had a terrific day at Prospect Park at Reading, collectively the meeting produced many significantly improved performances from team members. Amongst our junior runners almost everyone improved compared to their runs at Popham (the previous HXC race) – and we’d had a pretty decent meeting there too!

The weather forecast for Reading had not been good – high winds and rain. Indeed, when we where travelling on the M4, with less than 10 miles to go, it was lashing it down with gale force winds. Somehow, within less than half an hour, that weather blew itself out and conditions once we were racing were pretty decent.

The racing got underway with the under-13 girls. The team was led home by Abbie Lovering and Beth Kingswell-Farr, and once again there was little to choose between them. This time it was two seconds, it had been ‘same time’ six days earlier at Bicton. The girl’s came 14th and 15th, Beth’s highest finishing position in the Hampshire League so far. Anna Kelliher and Holly Nixon were our next pairing home, separated by four seconds – and just like Beth – Anna and Holly also claimed their best finishing positions in the HXC thus far. Jess Bourne was next in, and the team was completed by Izzie Kingswell-Farr. Izzie had made a massive improvement on her time since the previous HXC meeting at Popham.

The habit of crossing the line in close proximity to your own team-mates continued in the under-13 boys race. This time eight seconds covered Charlie Davies to Zach Fenwick and Jack Moss-Willcox. It was great to have Charlie back from illness, he’d missed the South-West Championships the week before. He seems back up to speed now, and four days after this meeting he banged in a big performance, a 10th place in the Dorset Schools XC Championships. Both Charlie and Jack claimed their best finishing positions yet in the Hampshire League.

In the under-15 girls’ race there was a terrific contest at the head of the field, and a long way ahead of the rest between WAC’s Grace Copeland and Maddie Deadman of Basingstoke. In the end Grace had to settle for 2nd, conceding two seconds to Maddie. These two were more than 30 seconds up on the 3rd-placed runner. Statistically Grace’s was an improved performance over Popham, but she came up against someone running a blinder! Grace remains top of the Hampshire League averages. Lucy Ballam’s progress continues apace. Fifth is her highest ever finish. Lucy made her WAC XC debut in the corresponding fixture last season … she came 34th that day.  She currently lies in 5th place for the season in the individual averages. Lucy Anderson produced another well-considered and solid performance to claim 25th, and her points helped to ensure that our under-15 girls team finished 3rd on the day (we are also in 3rd place over the season). Time-wise, the biggest improver of all in the whole WAC team at Reading since the previous HXC was Elise Gill who came in 64th.

The under-15 boys’ race produced a Wimborne race winner. Tom Bourne bounced back from a disappointing (by his high standards) race at Popham, to claim a superb win after a very well-judged run. Tom is currently lying in 2nd place in the Hampshire League averages. Also in the top 10 at Reading, with his best HXC performance yet, was a flying Joey Kelliher, and also getting a big one in, was Michael Johnson – 20th is his best finished yet as an under-15. It didn’t stop there, as there was also the best HXC performance so far, by a considerable margin, from Matt Yates who came in 21st. All our U15Bs had been firing on all six, helping the team to fourth place on the day and for the season overall so far.

It seemed a bit odd sending out just a solitary athlete in the under-17 women’s race, but Abbie Hine was our sole representative. Abbie is one of the club’s most experienced cross-country athletes, having racked up more than 20 HXC performances for the club over the years. Abbie claimed 4th place at Prospect Park, her best HXC finish yet. I’m looking forward to the first HXC podium finish from her! Abbie now finds herself in the 8th place in the season’s averages.

In the under-17 men’s race there was more to celebrate, as Jason Sotheran’s 3rd place was his best HXC performance for more than two years! Jason currently is 8th in the individual averages for the season. Piers Copeland, despite the cast on his wrist, also got in a top 10 finish, equaling his season’s best performance with a 9th. Meanwhile Sam Davies’s improving form continued, as he claimed his best yet HXC finish. With these guys flying we claimed our highest team finish in this age-group this season – a third. Tom Boulton is working on a comeback. He was on the start line after a long lay-off. Unfortunately Tom recorded a ‘DNF’ at Prospect Park.

In the women’s race we had but one racer. Albeit it was the Dorset u20 County Champion Charlotte Bourne. Charlotte had her best HXC performance since moving up into the senior race at the start of this season.

The final race on the card was the senior men’s … just shy of 10km. As he has done each time he has competed in the HXC this season, Ryan Walbridge led WAC’s senior men’s team home. He claimed his highest place finish since stepping up to the seniors at the start of the season. He is currently in 9th place in the individual averages for an under-20. Pete Kingswell-Farr was next red home, and statistically he was another of those improvers since Popham. With Richard Davies, Paul Hine and Ian Kennedy all running, we fielded a complete men’s team … although it seemed a bit odd not having Mark Copeland racing with us. Mark was ruled out by an injury sustained in a skiing accident … ask Piers!

On the face of it, this was just another league race, but with so many excellent performances HXC Prospect Park 2015 turned out to be a meeting to remember.

A great team performance from Wimborne’s red army.

WACers results were:

Under-13 girls (67 finishers) – 6th team

14 – Abbie Lovering – 10:18
15 – Bethanie Kingswell-Farr – 10:20
32 – Anna Kelliher – 10:48
34 – Holly Nixon – 10:52
39 – Jess Bourne – 11:01
57 – Isabelle Kingswell-Farr – 12:16

Under-13 boys (62 finishers) – 10th team

43 – Charlie Davies – 12:18
45 – Zach Fenwick – 12:25
46 – Jack Moss-Willcox – 12:26

Under-15 girls (64 finishers) – 3rd team

2 – Grace Copeland – 10:19
5 – Lucy Ballam – 11:02
25 – Lucy Anderson – 12:12
64 – Elise Gill – 16:09

Under-15 boys (49 finishers) – 4th team

1 – Tom Bourne – 13:02
9 – Joe Keliher – 13:38
20 – Michael Johnson – 14:31
21 – Matt Yates – 14:49

Under-17 women (28 finishers)  

4 – Abbie Hine – 16:02

Under-17 men (32 finishers) – 3rd team

3 – Jason Sotheran – 17:43
9 – Piers Copeland – 18:38
24 – Sam Davies – 20:18

Senior Women (119 finishers)

47 – Charlotte Bourne – 26:07

Senior Men (200 finishers) 9th team in Div. 2

45 – Ryan Walbridge – 32:11
145 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 38:54
74 – Richard Davies – 42:52
188 – Paul Hine – 45:45
197 – Ian Kennedy – 48:49

Full results for the Hampshire League will be found at


Web Design by