Wimborne Athletic Club

Home                Club Info                Cross Country                Road Running                Sportshall                Track & Field

Inter-Counties XC Championships  – 5 March – Birmingham 

Record number of WACers represent Dorset in cross-country.

For the second successive year Cofton Park in Birmingham was the venue for the Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships. All five of the young Wimborne athletes who were selected the previous year (Abbie Hine, Piers Copeland, Sharon Hutchings, Ryan Walbridge and Callum Kennedy) once more made it through the selection process and they were joined by a further five team-mates all making their debuts at this level (Maddie Williams, Tom Boulton, Jamie Brash, Chloe Morris and David Long).

The first achievement is to get selected, and with only eight places available in each race per county this means that this event offers the highest level of competition available. This is borne out by the presence of TV cameras which covered the whole event on Sky Sports.

The race programme started with the Under-20 men. Wimborne had no representation in this category. Next up were the under-13 boys, Dorset only had six entrants on the day after suffering a couple of late withdrawals. This meant that half the county team were Wimborne athletes. Our boys gave us plenty to cheer. Piers Copeland had a fantastic race, finishing 17th in a field of this quality is a fine achievement (and he has another year in this age-group). Piers was second Dorset runner behind 11th placed Harrison Yarnold of Dorset Pentathletes. Harrison was just five seconds ahead, so odd dropped seconds make a real difference at this level. Both Tom Boulton and Jamie Brash can be very satisfied with their first races at this level, it gives them a benchmark and with another year’s commitment to cross-country running let’s see where that takes them. The Dorset under-13 boys came 24th team.

Next WACer to head for the start line was Ryan Walbridge for the under 15s’ race. The County’s team in this age-group looked very strong on paper. Indeed, there was strength in depth that continued beyond the eight selected and into the reserves. Like Piers, Ryan is in the younger half of the age-group and so it should be a little easier next year. This team was led home by a fine run from Poole Runners’ Ben Wilson (he finished 15th). Ryan rubbed up against his regular rival from the local cross-country leagues Declan Toth of Bournemouth AC. In both Hampshire and Wessex leagues these two finished on equal points over the season, but at Birmingham Ryan just edged it. An excellent team score gave Dorset 8th place.

One of the best performances of the day from a Dorset point of view came in the under-13 girls’ race. Lizzie Hood of Poole AC recorded a top 10 finish and was first Dorset in. For Abbie Hine this was her second time at this level. It’s great to see Abbie’s form improving again after a little bit of a mid-winter blip. Maddie Williams has made fantastic progress since giving serious attention to cross-country running. In her first season not only did she qualify for this event but gave a great account of herself on the day. The under-13 girls’ team came 14th.

In the under-17s’ race we had David Long and Callum Kennedy. Our team had a very compact look about it, with five of our runners finishing within just over a minute of each other. Despite a horrible season injury-wise, Fergus O’Reilly of Bournemouth AC led the team home. The next four Dorset places changed hands a few times before settling down with Tom Austin (Weymouth), Jamie Grose (Bournemouth) then David and Callum and then Aaron Walrond (Bournemouth) completing the team. The team in this race came 39th.

The final race of the day with Wimborne interest was the under-15 girls. We had Sharon Hutchings, who ran here last year, along with Chloe Morris making her debut at this higher level. Sharon is running into real form as the season closes and hopefully this will continue when she gets back onto the track in April. Sharon was second Dorset runner home, Emma Butterworth  (Poole AC) had been first in. Chloe Morris put in a typical solid performance steadily making up places as the race developed. Dorset were 30th team.

All our athletes can feel pleased with what they achieved on the day. To read Athletics Weekly’s account of the day go to this site


WACers times and results were:

Under-13 Boys – 3000m – (297 finishers, 24th team)

17 – Piers Copeland – 11:03 (2nd Dorset)
252 – Tom Boulton – 12:41 (4th Dorset)
271 – Jamie Brash – 12:57 (5th Dorset)

Under-15 Boys – 4500m – (298 finishers, 8th team)

170 – Ryan Walbridge – 17:06 (7th Dorset)

Under-13 Girls – 3000m – (305 finishers, 14th team)

223 – Abbie Hine – 13:23 (7th Dorset)
235 – Maddie Williams – 13:33 (8th Dorset)

Under-17 Men – 6000m – (285 finishers, 39th team)

242 – David Long – 22:34 (4th Dorset)
258 – Callum Kennedy – 22:57 (5th Dorset)

Under-15 Girls – 4000m – (291 finishers, 30th team)

164 – Sharon Hutchings – 18:20 (2nd Dorset)
262 – Chloe Morris – 19:45 (7th Dorset)

Full results for the event will be found at



Web Design by