Wimborne Athletic Club

Home                Club Info                Cross Country                Road Running                Sportshall                Track & Field

Holly and our U15 Girls are SW England Champions – 20 December 2015

Ian Kennedy reports from Bicton, Devon

  Holly Nixon - U13 Girls Champion

In recent years the South West Championships have given many Wimborne athletes their first opportunity to represent their county for cross-country.  This tradition continued this time around.  Red vests were exchanged for green ones in the races from under-13s upwards with one exception (more on that later).  Wimborne AC made a significant contribution to the Dorset team overall, being the best-represented club for the county on the day.

Bicton is a challenging course.  On this occasion we had to contend with windy conditions and some heavy showers.  This didn’t dampen the spirits in any way, as the mood was festive in the team tent – we’d brought a Christmas tree (complete with lights), along with musical accompaniment in the form of an mp3 player pumping out ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’ et al.


The race programme opened up with the non-championship under-11s races.  Wimborne had representation in the boys’ race in the form of Jay Dunn and Thomas Jeffery, both out there gaining valuable experience.

U11 boys – 35 runners
22 – Jay Dunn (WAC) – 6:38
27 – Thomas Jeffery (WAC) – 6:50

Championship racing commenced with the under-13 girls … and what a way to start!  Eight girls represented Dorset in this race, three of them were WACers – Holly Nixon (pictured above), Charlotte Piper and Ella Jeffery.  Charlotte and Ella both made their XC county debuts.  Holly’s first county race was the previous year’s SW Champs at Bicton where she finished mid-field.  On the first lap Holly reached the hairpin at the top of the climb from the lake in around seventh or eighth position, she was looking strong before disappearing into the far paddock.  She was back in sight at the end of the first lap and was looking even stronger, this time with a slender lead.  Having got to the front Holly’s focus never faltered as she steadily built on her advantage.  She crossed the line as South West England Cross-Country Champion, winning by a margin of 10 seconds.  Holly had a good race in the County Championships the week before, coming second to team-mate Abbie Lovering but until Bicton had never recorded a race win in any league or championship race.  The win is all the more impressive when you think of the year she’s had.  She had missed all competition between May and October.  Holly may well need to work harder than most of us to stay fit and healthy in the future, but clearly the rewards are there when she can do it.  Charlotte’s South West Championships debut was stronger than Holly’s last year so she can take encouragement from that, and Ella also did her green vest proud on the day of her debut.  The first four finishers score for the county – this meant that Holly, Phoebe Clark of Exeter Harriers, Charlotte and Maddy Herbert of Dorchester AC scored the points that secured Dorset a fifth place finish.

U13 girls – 54 runners – Dorset 5th team
1 – Holly Nixon (WAC) 11:24
12 – Phoebe Clark (Exeter Harriers) – 12:00
24 – Charlotte Piper (WAC) – 12:19
31 – Maddy Herbert (Dorchester AC) – 12:20
40 – Ella Jeffery (WAC) – 13:06
47 – Gilly Robson (Poole Runners) – 13:58
49 – Saccara Day-Busst (PR) – 14:22
53 – Gemma Wyatt (DAC) – 15:36

The county’s under-13 boys’ team was dominated by Wimborne runners.  Of the nine starters eight of them were WACers.  The team was led home by the only non-WACer, Liam Openshaw of Poole AC.  Claiming the three other scoring points for the county were Charlie Davies, debutant Tom Fuller and Max Meadwell … Dorset were 4th county on the day.  There were also club medals to scrap for, and it was in this race where we claimed our first team medals, with the fourth scorer for the team being Jack Moss-Willcox.  Completing the team on the day were three more WAC county debutants – Oscar Street, Ollie Rawles and Matt Lissenburg (all gaining valuable experience).  Josh Jack was our other starter, unfortunately Josh twisted a knee on the even ground and pulled up, unable to finish.

U13 boys – Wimborne 3rd team – Dorset 4th County – 45 runners
7 – Liam Openshaw (PAC) – 10:42
15 – Charlie Davies (WAC) – 11:10
16 – Tom Fuller (WAC) – 11:15
20 – Max Meadwell (WAC) – 11:23
21 – Jack Moss-Willcox (WAC) – 11:25
27 – Oscar Street (WAC) – 11:42
38 – Ollie Rawles (WAC) – 12:15
39 – Matt Lissenburg (WAC) – 12:28

The other age-group where Wimborne is particularly strong in is the under-15 girls.  Dorset’s team consisted of 10 runners; eight of these were from Wimborne.  The impressive Maddy Johnson of Dorchester AC (she’s lower half of the age-group) led the county team home.  Behind her there had been a tussle for the right to be the first Wimborne runner in between Hannah Slater and the fast-improving Caitlin Rogers.  Caitlin has yet to beat Hannah in a cross-country race, but she gave her a fright here, with Hannah only catching her in the final stages.  Hannah hasn’t been a Dorset resident yet for nine months (she qualifies from February onwards) so she was a rare sight in Wimborne red amongst all the green of Dorset.  I’m sure Hannah would have preferred to be sporting the county vest along with her team-mates, but in some ways it was fitting that the runner who led the club home as South West England Champions was wearing a club vest.  We also picked up county medals in this race here with WACer Anna Kelliher claiming the fourth scoring spot for the county.  The critical fourth position for the WAC team went to Beth Kingswell-Farr.  Next Wimborne home, was Amy Mercer.  She’s struggling with a cold/breathing issue at the moment so was unable to do herself full justice on the day … hopefully we’ll see Amy back to her best soon.  Izzie Kingswell-Farr was next in, with Sophia Orr completing the Dorset/WAC teams.

Wimborne AC U15G – South West England Champions
Hannah, Beth, Caitlin and Anna show off their medals in a rare spell of sunshine

U15 girls – Wimborne 1st team – Dorset 3rd County – 41 runners
8 – Maddy Johnson (DAC) – 15:07
13 – Hannah Slater (WAC) – 15:39
15 – Caitlin Rogers (WAC) – 15:48
20 – Anna Kelliher (WAC) – 16:04
22 – Lita Short (PR) – 16:09
23 – Beth Kingswell-Farr (WAC) – 16:10
32 – Amy Mercer (WAC) – 17:14
34 – Erin Lee (DAC) – 17:28
37 – Izzie Kingswell-Farr (WAC) – 17:34
39 – Sophia Orr (WAC) – 17:56

There were good numbers of Dorset runners in the under-15 boys’ race (11), although only three of these were from Wimborne.  The Dorset team claimed bronze medals with the point scorers being Ben Lewis and Jed Skilton (both Poole AC), Luke Baker (Wells City Harriers) and Wimborne’s Michael Johnson.  Just outside the scoring positions was Elliott Symes, with Zach Fenwick our other WACer competing.

U15 boys – Dorset 3rd County – 50 runners
3 – Ben Lewis (Poole AC) – 12:54
18 – Jed Skilton (PAC) – 13:47
21 – Luke Baker (Wells City Harriers) – 13:53
25 – Michael Johnson (WAC) – 14:07
33 – Elliott Symes (WAC) – 14:22
39 – Nathaniel Willmore (PR) – 14:53
43 – Jacob Dunning (PR) – 15:28
44 – George Biss (WCH) – 15:40
45 – Zach Fenwick (WAC) – 15:43
46 – Adam Sparks (DAC) – 15:50
49 – William Brodie (PR) – 17:29

The under-17 women’s race produced Dorset’s other individual regional champion – Serena O’Connor of Poole Runners.  Serena still had some serious work to do on the final lap, but in the latter stages she was immensely strong and eventually won convincingly.  Second runner for Dorset, and currently enjoying some fine form, was WAC’s Maddie Williams.  Also scoring points for the county were Katrina Ashford of Poole Runners and Flora Johnson of Dorchester AC.  County debutant Minty Stubbs of Wimborne completed the Dorset team with Flora and Minty having run in close proximity for much of the race.  WAC’s Lucy Ballam was out of sorts and unfortunately had to pull up.  The Dorset team were 4th on the day.

U17 women – Dorset 4th County – 27 runners
1 – Serena O’Connor (PR) – 19:14
15 – Maddie Williams (WAC) – 22:43
18 – Katrina Ashford (PR) – 22:51
22 – Flora Johnson (DAC) – 23:33
23 – Minty Stubbs (WAC) – 23:48

We had good numbers, and real quality in the under-17 men’s team.  This race produced a hatful of medals.  Tom Bourne got involved in a duel at the head of the field, but eventually had to settle for an individual silver medal.  However, he did collect a gold medal on the day due to the quality of the support he received from his Dorset team-mates Ash Parker of Poole AC (4th), Dominic Willmore of Poole Runners (7th) and Andrew Dumbrell of Dorchester AC (16th).  We also picked up silver medals for the Wimborne team with Tom, Joey Kelliher, Sam Davies and Matt Yates scoring the points.

U17 men – Wimborne 2nd club – Dorset 1st County – 34 runners
2 – Tom Bourne (WAC) – 17:20
4 – Ash Parker (PAC) – 18:02
7 – Dominic Willmore (PR) – 18:15
16 – Andrew Dumbrell (DAC) – 19:18
17 – Joe Mitchell (PR) – 19:18
20 – Joey Kelliher (WAC) – 19:30
21 – Aidan Turner (Weymouth St Pauls Harriers) – 19:44
23 – Brandon Meredith (Bournemouth AC) – 19:53
24 – Michael Biss (WCH) – 20:08
26 – Sam Davies (WAC) – 20:19
27 – Matt Yates (WAC) – 20:22

There were only three Dorset runners in the u20/senior women’s race, all of them from Wimborne.  First home was Abbie Hine (she was 7th u20), just over 20 seconds ahead of Sarah Orr.  Completing the WAC/Dorset team was Charlotte Bourne, just back from university in Newcastle.  Charlotte was 9th under-20.

U20/Senior Women – 47 runners
28 – Abbie Hine (WAC) (7th u20) – 30:06
30 – Sarah Orr (WAC) – 30:27
39 – Charlotte Bourne (WAC) (9th u20) – 32:32

It was our under-20s who led the way in the senior men’s race.  Three of the first four Dorset vests over the line were from that age-group – Andy Smith (Poole Runners), Ryan Walbridge (Wimborne AC) and Fergus Johnson (Dorchester AC).  The first of the senior men was Dorchester’s Adam Gough, with Wimborne’s Rob Rawles next home making it a county debut double for the Rawles family.  Then Alex O’Neill (WAC) came in one place ahead of team-mate Pete Kingswell-Farr.  Alex’s position was vital as it secured team medals for the county team.  Dorchester’s Nigel Furness completed Dorset’s men’s team.

U20/Senior men – Dorset U20 Men 2nd County – 83 runners
36 – Andy Smith (PR) (6th u20) – 37:51
43 – Ryan Walbridge (WAC) (8th u20) – 38:24
51 – Fergus Johnson (DAC) (12th u20) – 41:05
60 – Adam Gough (DAC) – 42:45
69 – Rob Rawles (WAC) – 44:26
72 – Alex O’Neill (WAC) (16th u20) – 45:46
73 – Pete Kingswell-Farr (WAC) – 46:27
81 – Nigel Furness (DAC) – 51:38

It had been a good day’s work – a haul of 32 medals for Dorset and Wimborne athletes.

Individual gold medals for Holly and Serena, silver for Tom Bourne and bronze for Ben Lewis.


For Wimborne – Gold U15Gs, Silver U17M, Bronze U13Bs

For Dorset – Gold U17M, Silver U20M, Bronze U15Gs and U15Bs

Full results from the South West Cross-Country Championships can be found at



Web Design by