Wimborne Athletic Club

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Wessex League Race 3  – 1 February 2009 – Salisbury 

It was a fresh old wind with a few snowflakes in it, that greeted us on this very open course on the slopes below the ancient hillfort of Old Sarum. There was a clash of dates with the Dorset Road Race League and this left the team numbers seriously depleted. Indeed we were not the only ones with this problem.

Once again the tent was worth its weight in gold, giving some much needed protection from a bitter wind. Once the racing started we soon had plenty to cheer about, however.

The under-11s race took off at a terrific pace, and almost immediately Piers Copeland started to build a significant lead.  Piers went on to claim his first race victory for the WAC cross-country team. His margin of victory was almost 20 seconds – a superb performance. Because Piers had the backing of Leanne Symington and his sister Grace, it meant that, apart from the race win, we were also second team in this age group. Both the girls also put in gutsy performances, with Grace determined to run despite being severely under the weather. We needed all three of them to score in order to get that team score. Well done.

In the under-13 girls, Sharon Hutchings, who had been severely out of sorts with a cold in training the day before, showed true grit in coming in with the pack, albeit a little further back than she has come to expect in the Wessex races. Sharon lies in fourth place in the league aggregates at present, and assuming she can shake off the cold quickly she has a very real chance of finishing in the season in the top three in her age group.

Jordan Symington ran hard in the under-13s, becoming involved in a battle with three Mendip AC runners. Jordan lies in 10th place in the aggregates and he has it in him to improve on that in the final two races of the Wessex League season.

Callum Kennedy was our sole representative in the under-15s, with Jack Snook out of the frame through illness. Callum put in a solid performance, and this leaves him in 9th place in the season aggregates with Jack in 12th.

Once again the field was severely depleted for the under-17s, and this time Maddy Vaughan-Johncey had to settle for 2nd place. Maddy is 2nd place in the aggregates too, but on equal points with first place, so it is all to play for. Laura Harvey who didn’t run at Salisbury lies in 4th place in the aggregates. Maddy and Laura currently hold 1st place in the team aggregates, however.

A combination of clash of dates, injury and illness meant that for the first time we failed to field a complete ladies team, and in fact no other club fielded a complete team either. Lyn Hutchings led our team, with support from Annemarie Pearson. We have four senior ladies in the averages, from third to sixth position. There is very little to choose between them points-wise and at present Lyn is top in 3rd, closely followed by Kirsty Harvey, Nicki Roe and Annemarie but this could all change in the remaining two races. Kirsty is also lying second in the under-20 age category in the aggregates.

We had four men in the final race of the day. Graham Whiffen was easily our first man in, with our vets, Ian Kennedy, Phil Burgess and Steve Snook in support. With two races to go Graham is top WACer in the averages in 7th, Guy Thompson is 15th, Steve Snook 17th, Phil Burgess 18th and Jeff Hinsley 21st.

WACers times at Salisbury were:

Under-11 (Team 2nd)

1 – Piers Copeland – 5:37
10 – Leanne Symington – 7:09
13 – Grace Copeland – 7:52

Under-13 Girls

10 – Sharon Hutchings – 9:20

Under-13 Boys

10 – Jordan Symington – 12:58

Under-15 Boys

41 – Callum Kennedy – 17:50

Under-17 Women

2 – Maddy Vaughan-Johncey – 18:46

Senior Women

4 – Lyn Hutchings – 31:35
5 – Annemarie Pearson – 35:35

Senior Men (4th team)

11 – Graham Whiffen – 32:41
20 – Ian Kennedy – 36:38
21 – Phil Burgess – 36:51
23 – Steve Snook – 37:48



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