Wimborne Athletic Club

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WACers on XC County duty – 11 March 2017

Ian Kennedy reports from the Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships at Loughborough

It was another big weekend for Wimborne AC’s cross-country team.  The club made a significant contribution to the Dorset team, providing in excess of 20 athletes over all the age groups.

If you are not sure how significant an event the Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships, then takes a look at who won the senior races on the day – GB stars Jess Judd and Andy Vernon.  The younger age-group races will contain the stars of tomorrow.

The race venue was near Loughborough, so this was another long haul for Dorset-based athletes.  Some chose to travel on Friday and stay in the East Midlands overnight, while others were setting their alarms for an early start. 

With the team tent erected and proudly displaying the St Wite’s Cross it was time to turn our attention to race preparation.  Although the course didn’t look overly muddy, the mud was of a kind that really stuck to the soles of your shoes.  Many opted for longer spikes.


Results with WAC athletes shown in red

Dorset got off to a subdued start; the first race was the one where we had the least number of runners – just Niall Instone (Poole AC).  This was one of only two races where we were unable to record a team score.

U20 men

155 – Niall Instone – 35:08

The under-13 boys were next; we were able to boast a full complement of eight in this one.  This race produced the best Dorset male performance of the day – William Rabjohns (PAC) came 11th.  Next in for Dorset was the first of the Wimborne AC runners – Tom Fuller, and Cameron Corbin and Finn Pardy (both PAC) completed the team scorers.  Josh Smith (PAC) was next, with the WAC pairing of Joel Green and Ollie Rawles.  These three finished around 10 seconds apart.  The team was completed by Liam Nixon (PAC) and finished 22nd overall.

U13 boys

11 – William Rabjohns – 12:10
106 – Tom Fuller – 13:06
130 – Cameron Corbin – 13:14
146 – Finn Pardy 13:19
191 – Josh Smith – 13:33
216 – Joel Green – 13:41
239 – Oliver Rawles – 13:52
283 – Liam Nixon – 14:27

The senior women’s 8km race was next up.  Verity Ockenden, who’s recently returned to the area from South Wales (and prior to that the USA) led the team home (28th).  Next in was Nikki Sandell (Bournemouth AC) in 168th, and Judith Vlaarkamp (Lytchett Manor Striders) and Hannah Acquah (WAC) secured the other team points.  The irrepressible Sarah Swift (PR) was next, then WAC’s Becca Ellis on her county debut.  The team was completed by Kirstin Hay (PAC).  Our women were 24th team on the day.

Senior women

28 – Verity Ockenden – 31:39
168 – Nikki Sandell – 36:14
238 – Judith Vlaarkamp – 39:27
244 – Hannah Acquah – 39:56
258 – Sarah Swift – 41:57
260 – Becca Ellis – 42:29
261 – Kirstin Hay – 43:39

The under-15 boys were set to cover 4.5km.  Ruben Wilson-Connell (PAC) was first Dorset home (89th).  Seth Lake was 1st WAC, with Nathaniel Willmore (Poole Runners) and Tom Farwell (Bournemouth AC) the other scorers.  A quartet of WAC runners completed the line-up – Josh Davey, Sam Hughes, Charlie Davies and Zach Fenwick.  For Sam this was his county debut.  The team came 39th.

U15 boys

89 – Ruben Wilson-Connell – 17:13
210 – Seth Lake – 18:20
230 – Nathaniel Willmore – 18:36
241 – Tom Farwell – 18:44
246 – Josh Davey – 18:48
260 – Sam Hughes – 19:12
270 – Charles Davies – 19:41
290 – Zach Fenwick – 20:31

In the under-17 women’s race the first three Dorset runners came in closely packed.  With WAC’s Hannah Slater sandwiched between Purbeck Runners’ Lola Brown-Araujo and Issie Taylor (PAC).  The final point scorer was Alice Forster (PR), resulting in each of the four point scorers coming from different clubs.  The under-17 women’s team was completed by Carla Sheppard (PAC), Lita Short (PR) and Kate Stanger (BAC) and came 24th.

U17 women

105 – Lola Brown Araujo – 22:56
111 – Hannah Slater – 23:02
113 – Issie Taylor – 23:02
134 – Alice Forster – 23:16
189 – Carla Sheppard – 24:08
204 – Lita Short – 24:12
271 – Kate Stanger – 27:36

Despite not all the county’s best athletes being available, the best Dorset team results came in the under-20 women (12th).  Leading the charge was PR’s Serena O’Connor in 16th.  WAC’s Mary Butler was next in with Bridget Dence (BAC) and Lissie Hood (PAC) collecting the rest of the team points.  Rachael Jeffries (PAC), Flora Johnson (Dorchester AC) and Maddie Williams (WAC) completed the team.

U20 women

16 – Serena O'Connor – 23:41
68 – Mary Butler – 26:00
85 – Bridget Dence – 26:22
133 – Lissie Hood – 28:11
137 – Rachael Jeffries – 28:29
154 – Flora Johnson – 29:25
166 – Maddie Williams – 30:39

The best two individual Dorset performances came in the under-13 girls’ race.  We had two placed in the top 10.  Emily Shaw (WAC) was 4th and only one second away from the 2nd placed runner, and Emilie Castagna (PAC) 7th.  Emilie’s team mate Ashia Wilson was 3rd Dorset, with the final scoring position falling to WAC’s Abbi Slade.  The team was completed by Heidi Taylor, Izzy Rabjohns (both PAC), Susanna Forster (PR) and Anya Sandell (BAC) and placed 17th.

U13 girls

4 – Emily Shaw – 12:47
7 – Emelie Castagna – 13:07
81 – Ashia Wilson – 14:07
242 – Abbi Slade – 15:15
262 – Heidi Taylor – 15:31
284 – Izzy Rabjohns 16:05
287 – Susanna Forster – 16:15
294 – Anya Sandell – 16:27

Dorset under-17 men’s took a bit of a battering leading up to race day with runners becoming unavailable.  Dominic Willmore (PR) led the team home, and there was a strong run from Dan Baynham to be next Dorset in.  The remaining scoring positions were claimed by Joe Mitchell (PR) and WAC’s Michael Johnson.  Cam Telford (PAC) and Ed Dart (WAC) completed our team, they came 34th.

U17 men

71 – Dominic Willmore – 21:42
158 – Daniel Baynham – 22:51
199 – Joseph Mitchell – 23:27
202 – Michael Johnson – 23:30
214 – Cameron Telford – 23:44
244 – Edward Dart – 24:59

Our first four in the under-15 girls packed pretty closely to give a respectable team score for the county (15th).  Those four were separated by just 14 seconds; they were Abbie Lovering (WAC), Fern Kimber (PR), Amy Mercer (WAC) and Maddy Johnson (DAC).  This was the age-group with the greatest number of WAC athletes in it.  Maddy Herbert (DAC) found herself sandwiched between Holly Nixon (WAC) and the WAC pairing of Demi Goddard and Anna Kelliher.

U15 girls

60 – Abbie Lovering – 17:00
71 – Fern Kimber – 17:07
79 – Amy Mercer – 17:12
86 – Madeleine Johnson – 17:14
146 – Holly Nixon – 17:43
192 – Maddy Herbert – 18:13
206 – Demi Goddard – 18:20
231 – Anna Kelliher – 18:39

The final race of the day was the men’s; they were to cover 12km.  Having started the meeting with an incomplete entry, so we finished it.  Chris Perham was a respectable 35th, with the only support available to him being from PAC’s Brian Underwood.

Senior men

35 – Chris Perham – 40:25
195 – Brian Underwood – 44:41

For the school-age athletes is doesn’t let up, in a week’s time they have another long haul – to Norwich – for the English Schools Cross-Country Championships.




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