Hampshire League Race 5 – 11 February – Salisbury
The curtain comes down on
our most successful Hampshire campaign yet.
The weather forecast for
the final Hampshire League cross-country race of the season, was not
promising. It was predicted that the temperature might not go above 0ºC.
Fortunately the Met Office was being overly pessimistic. The sun shone
brightly all day, and, although it was cold, we have raced a number of
times at Salisbury in more inhospitable weather.
The cold weather overnight
did mean that the ground had frozen, and it was only thawing out slowly.
This made it difficult to decide what footwear to race in. Most of us
ran in spikes, and certainly as the meeting progressed the surface
became more and more treacherous. Although the top surface was greasy,
if you did go down it was going to hurt, as the ground remained very
hard. By the final race of the day it was really slippery.
Just a few of our 2011/2012
cross-country stars at Salisbury.
Left to right: Callum, Chloe, Jason, Piers, Abbie, Scooter,
Jess (one for the future), Charlotte, Maddie, Ella and Grace.
The first race was the
under-13 girls. Grace Copeland was well aware that a good run today
would give her the silver medal position for the season, she was lying
in third place in the averages at the start of the fixture. Grace got
away from the start line smartly, and occupied second place for almost
the entire race. This fine run was enough to secure her a 2011/2012
silver medal. This is a fabulous achievement, as Grace only turned
11-years old in October, and she still has two more years in this age
group. Maddie Williams, had run superbly the previous weekend at the
South-West Schools Cross-Country Championships at Exeter. This rich vein
of form continued at Salisbury as she recorded her highest finish yet in
a Hampshire League race by a significant margin.
Next up were the under-13
boys. There was plenty to play for here, as, if we put in the big team
performance, and other teams’ results went our way, this age-group could
become the first ever Wimborne team medallists in the Hampshire League.
Of course we could only concentrate on our own performance, and then
hope for the best. It was fabulous to see seven red shirts on the start
line for us. Making their Hampshire League debuts were Allenbourn school
mates Liam Murphy-Parry and Elliott Symes and they supplemented the four
regulars who have performed so well throughout the season so far.
also delighted to welcome back Jamie Brash after some time out.
Copeland has led the line for the under-13 boys, all season and, in
fact, he was in an unassailable position in the aggregates and knew that
the individual gold medal was his. However, despite a sore ankle he was
determined to do his bit to attempt to secure a team medal too. The
position the team found itself in was due to Piers’ superb season, and
the meteoric rise in form of Tom Bourne, this pairing have received
excellent support from both Tom Boulton and Ryan Long. Piers claimed
second place on the day, and once again Tom Bourne was near the head of
the field too. The real revelation in this race were the performances of
our two rookies, Liam and Elliott. They were the third and fourth
Wimborne vests over the line, splitting the team which has served us so
well all season. Just like Grace, Liam and Elliott only turned 11 over
the winter, so they have two more years in this age group. With Tom
Bourne going into next season still as an under-13, the future looks
his long lay-off, and only recent return to training, Jamie wasn’t too
far away from Ryan by the end of the race.
With our top three scoring
the team points, Liam had fought his way into a scoring position. With
only the invincible Aldershot, Farnham & District under-13 boys team (in
2011/2012 at least) ahead of us, we had equalled our best ever team
score in the Hampshire League. Unfortunately the other results we needed
to go for us didn’t work out, so our boys were denied team medals on
what you might call ‘goal difference’!
Piers has just collected
his gold medal from Mike Gratton.
six runners on the start line in the under-15 girls’ race.
The team was led home by strong runs from both Sharon Hutchings and Abbie Hine, 8th and 11th respectively.
Sharon (7th for the whole season) just missed out on an individual
medal. Our next three runners have had so little between them in recent
races, and the team has benefitted hugely from the competitiveness
between them. This time around the finishing order was Charlotte Bourne,
Chloe Morris and Ella Hearne (which is indeed the order they finished in
the averages). Becca Skeats completed the team and ‘Scooter’ recorded
her highest ever league placing in the Hampshire League. The third place
we scored on the day was the under-15 girls’ best team performance of
the season. The team finished in 4th place at the end of the
season, so they also just missed out on team medals.
We haven’t managed to get a
full under-15 boys team out all season. So we were delighted to welcome
another debutant, Jason Sotheran, to the ranks. Unfortunately, Ryan
Walbridge, who had been an ever-present up to this point was away on a
school trip, so he was unavailable. Although up until this meeting we
have had only two under-15 boys, they have been doing a great job. A
medal was collected on Ryan’s behalf at the end of the meeting (5th
in the league). Jordan had a fantastic run at this venue in November in
the Wessex League and was no doubt looking forward to a return visit.
Jason and Jordan ran in close company during the first half of the race,
before Jason eventually edged away to be first Wimborne home – another
excellent debut. Jordan recorded his highest placed finish of the
Hampshire League season … and then he cycled back to Ferndown!
Callum Kennedy was our only
under-17. He was the only Wimborne athlete to come crashing to the
ground in the tricky conditions. This happened while he was working hard
to stay with the lead group. Despite gashing his knee on the hard
ground, he was able to pick himself up and continue, without being
caught by the pursuing group.
Lynn Hutchings has had a
superb season, and although she has had occasional support, we haven’t
managed to field a complete ladies’ team often enough. We were delighted
to welcome back Trudi Carter, who was competing in her first
cross-country race for some time. Lynn recorded her highest finishing
position of the season.
Shouts of ‘Uncle Pete,
Uncle Pete’ brings a smile from Pete Kingswell-Farr.
The final race of the day
was the senior men – who had 9.6k to do. The thawing conditions made
running progressively more treacherous. As he has done all season,
Graeme Furley led the men’s team home. Best supporting performance, once
again went to Mark Copeland – Graeme and Mark have both been selected to
represent Dorset in the upcoming Inter-Counties Championships. Next in
was Ian Kennedy, and behind him was a closely fought duel between
team-mates Simon Bourne and Gerry Hutchings. Pete Kingswell-Farr
completed the Wimborne team.
WACers times and results were:
Under-13 Girls (56 finishers)
2 – Grace Copeland – 8:53
13 – Maddie Williams – 9:35
Under-13 Boys (60 finishers) –
2nd team on the day
2 – Piers Copeland – 11:10
7 – Tom Bourne – 11:22
27 – Liam Murphy-Parry – 12:40
30 – Elliott Symes – 12:44
31 – Tom Boulton – 12:47
41 – Ryan Long – 13:17
48 – Jamie Brash – 13:44
Under-15 Girls (44 finishers) –
3rd team on the day
8 – Sharon Hutchings – 12:15
11 – Abbie Hine – 12:42
18 – Charlotte Bourne – 13:03
23 – Chloe Morris – 13:20
26 – Ella Hearne – 13:32
37 – Rebecca ‘Scooter’ Skeats – 14:36
Under-15 Boys (40 finishers)
16 – Jason Sotheran – 14:29
27 – Jordan Symington – 15:43
Under-17 Boys (28 finishers)
11 – Callum Kennedy – 18:46
Senior Women (70 finishers)
29 – Lynn Hutchings – 23:22
56 – Trudi Carter – 27:13
Senior Men (151 finishers) (Wimborne
6th in Div. 2, Wimborne Vets 4th in Div 2)
42 – Graeme Furley – 35:11
81 – Mark Copeland – 38:33
113 – Ian Kennedy – 42:47
127 – Simon Bourne – 44:10
128 – Gerry Hutchings – 44:16
145 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 47:07
As the meeting unfolded,
the season’s final aggregates were being calculated, so that the
presentations could be made. The awards were presented by Mike Gratton (Commonweath
Games medallist, and winner of the 1983 London Marathon). Last year
Piers (U13) became Wimborne’s first ever Hampshire League trophy winner
as he finished 5th in the averages. As a second-year
under-13 he has been in sparkling form all season, and this time around
he claimed the top prize – first in age group. However, Piers was just
one of a number of WAC medallists this time around – and we had a few
near misses too. The other medallists in the 2011/2012 season were
Piers’ sister Grace (U13) in 2nd, Tom Bourne (U13) in 6th,
Ryan Walbridge in 5th (U15).
Others who recorded
averages for the season were:
Under-13 Girls – Maddie
Under-13 Boys – Tom
Boulton (24th), Ryan Long (25th)
The under-13 boy’s team
finished the season in 4th place.
Under-15 Girls – Sharon
Hutchings (7th), Abbie Hine (12th), Charlotte Bourne (23rd), Chloe
Morris (24th), Ella Hearne (25th), Scooter (31st)
The under-15 girl’s team
finished the season in 4th place.
Under-17 Men – Callum
Senior women – Lynn
Hutchings (24th – 10th as a vet)
Senior men – Graeme Furley
(25th), Mark Copeland (47th – 16th as a vet), Ian Kennedy
(68th – 31st)
The senior men’s team
finished the season in 6th place (of 10) in Division 2. In
the veteran’s category we came 4th of 22 in Divison 2.
Full results for the Hampshire League
will be found at