Wimborne Athletic Club

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South West XC Championships – 4 January 2015  

Ian Kennedy reports from the East Devon.


Anna attacks the climb at Bicton, on her XC debut for her County

An encouragingly large contingent of Dorset runners (almost 80) entered the South West Cross-Country Championships at Bicton College in East Devon. Come the day, and we lost a few runners to illness and injury, however this did not stop us fielding strong Dorset teams in many of the age-groups. Wimborne AC was the club that provided the largest contingent of runners – almost half of them. Amongst the WAC runners were a number making their county debuts – Abbie Lovering, Anna Kelliher, Hannah Fairchild, Holly Nixon, Joe Kelliher and Max Meadwell.

The first race of the day was a combined boys/girls under-11s non-championship race. It was great to see two young WACers – Tom Fuller and Charlotte Piper –make the long trip to Devon. They finished 21st and 59th respectively in a field of 94 and will both have gained valuable experience, which will set them in good stead for future years. Abbie Lovering and Max Meadwell featured in this race in 2014, this year this pair returned for the under-13s races, and both made extremely valuable contributions to the county team on their Dorset debuts.

Maddie Johnson (2nd) of Dorchester AC, led the county team home. She showed the same impressive form we’ve seen from her in the Wessex League this season. Many of our debutants featured in this race and produced some fine performances. One of those, Abbie Lovering, was the next Dorset vest over the line, but this was not without a titanic tussle with team-mate Beth Kingswell-Farr – they were credited with the same time. Poole AC’s Holly Earley was next home for Dorset, having left it all out there on the course, giving total commitment. WAC’s strength in depth in this age-group was illustrated as the next six Dorset finishers – Anna Kelliher, Holly Nixon, Hannah Fairchild, Jessica Bourne, Fern Morrison and Izzie Kingswell-Farr – came from within our squad. Gemma Wyatt of Dorchester AC completed our interest in this race. With four to count, the county team came 3rd on the day, and in the club competition WAC’s strength in depth paid dividends and got us silver medals.

Weymouth St Pauls’ Ryan Purse was first Dorset runner in, but he was kept honest all the way as WAC’s Dorset debutant Max Meadwell was only three seconds behind him. Dorset’s next three runners – Jim Dence (BAC), Owen Silcox (PR) and Tom Farwell (BAC) then arrived in a cluster. They were followed by Nathaniel Willmore (PR) who was next home with WAC’s Tom Morrison another three places back.

WAC’s under-15 girls’ team has seen some terrific performances in the XC league races this season – and we had the full complement of them here. Shelby Cross of Dorchester and Lola Brown Araujo of Purbeck Runners added some extra firepower to the Dorset team. This race gave us our first WAC a podium finisher – Grace Copeland (3rd). Lucy Ballam (7th) offered great support with another impressive run. Just three seconds separated Shelby and Lola who were third and fourth for the county. Wimborne’s Lucy Anderson was next, with the WAC team being completed by Elise Gill. Wimborne was third team on the day.

WAC’s second podium finish of the day came courtesy of Tom Bourne – with a 2nd place in the under-15 boys’ race. This is another age-group where WAC have significant strength in depth. With a big contribution from Poole Runners’ Dominic Willmore to add into the mix, the county found itself amongst the medals (3rd) once again. The next four Dorset runners home were WACers. The first of these, making an impressive county debut was Joe Kelliher, who was followed in by Michael Johnson, the fast-improving Matt Yates and Elliott Symes. The Dorset team was completed by the Wells City Harriers pairing of Luke Baker and George Biss. WAC was third-placed team in the club competition.

Dorset has some quality in the under-17 women’s category which won them silver medals. Serena O’Connor of Poole Runners came an impressive 2nd and she got excellent support from Aiste Raizmaite of Poole AC in 4th place.  Scoring for the county team were Bridget Dence (BAC) and Flora Johnson (DAC) who were only separated by seven seconds. WAC’s pairing of Abbie Hine and Maddie Williams completed the Dorset team.

A fine performance from Jason Sotheran in 4th, led another medal-winning Dorset team home (bronze medals). Piers Copeland was next for us, he was running with his wrist in a cast, and came in 11th. Sam Brown Araujo (PR) and Neil Biss (WCH) secured the other scoring places for the Dorset team. Sam Davies is making big strides at the moment and he was the next vest home, just three seconds ahead of Aidan Turner of Weymouth St Paul’s Harriers. Bournemouth AC’s Brandon Meredith completed the Dorset team. The county team claimed bronze medals.

We were definitely light on older female athletes. We had only four spread across the under-20 and senior women age-groups. The quickest of these was Bournemouth AC’s Nikki Sandell on her Dorset XC debut. Next in, and the first of our under-20s, was WAC’s Charlotte Bourne. Maddy Vaughan-Johncey (PAC) who has represented the county many times was next green vest home, and our interest in this race was completed by WAC u20 Becca Skeats.

We had rather more green vests lining up for the under-20s/men’s race. Dorset’s under-20 men were particularly impressive, and the first four Dorset finishers all came from the younger age-group. The results for the point-scorers below give the finishing positions on the day, but their finishing positions in the under-20 category were: Ben Westhenry (B&W) – 1st, Chris Perham (PAC) 4th, Dan Mulryan (PR) 7th and James Sewry (WSP) 8th. This means that the Dorset team would have come first in this age-group if it had been awarded as a separate category. Fifth Dorset runner home, and first senior man, was Bridport Runners’ Ben Renshaw, with Anthony Clark (BAC) just 10 seconds back. Behind Anthony were a trio of under-20s – Andy Smith (PR), WAC’s Ryan Walbridge and Fergus Johnson of Dorchester. The Wells City pair of Neil Biss and Nathan Baker claimed the final point-scoring places for the senior men for the county. Completing the county team were the WAC duo of Iain Donnelly and Pete Kingswell-Farr and Dorchester AC’s Nigel Furness.

Dorset runners results and times can be found below.

Key to clubs

B&W – Bristol & West AC
BAC – Bournemouth AC
BR – Bridport Runners
DAC – Dorchester AC
PAC – Poole AC
PR – Poole Runners
PUR – Purbeck Runners
WAC – Wimborne AC – shown in red
WCH – Wells City Harriers
WSP – Weymouth St Pauls Harriers

Under-11 boys and girls (94 finishers)

21 – Tom Fuller (WAC)
59 – Charlotte Piper (WAC)

Under-13 girls (61 finishers) – WAC 2nd club team, Dorset 3rd County team

2 – Maddie Johnson (DAC) – 12:17
13 – Abbie Lovering (WAC) – 13:15
14 – Bethanie Kingswell-Farr (WAC) – 13:15
25 – Holly Earley (PAC) – 13:45
27 – Anna Kelliher (WAC) – 13:50
36 – Holly Nixon (WAC) – 14:07
40 – Hannah Fairchild (WAC) – 14:22
44 – Jessica Bourne (WAC) – 14:31
55 – Fern Morrison (WAC) – 15:53
57 – Isabelle Kingswell-Farr (WAC) – 16:15
60 – Gemma Wyatt (DAC) – 17:25

Under-13 boys (47 finishers)

16 – Ryan Purse (WSP) – 12:07
17 – Max Meadwell (WAC) – 12:10
31 – Jim Dence (BAC) – 12:48
34 – Owen Silcox (PR) – 12:52
36 – Tom Farwell (BAC) – 12:56
40 – Nathaniel Willmore (PR) – 13:16
43 – Tom Morrison (WAC) – 13:42

Under-15 girls (50 finishers) – WAC 3rd club team

3 – Grace Copeland (WAC) – 15:24
7 – Lucy Ballam (WAC) – 16:14
26 – Shelby Cross (DAC) – 17:46
29 – Lola Brown Araujo (PUR) – 17:49
31 – Lucy Anderson (WAC) – 18:12
50 – Elise Gill (WAC) – 25:41

Under-15 boys (50 finishers) – WAC 3rd club team, Dorset 3rd County team

2 – Tom Bourne (WAC) – 13:58
5 – Dominic Willmore (PR) – 14:12
15 – Joe Kelliher (WAC) – 15:08
26 – Michael Johnson (WAC) – 15:38
32 – Matt Yates (WAC) – 15:50
37 – Elliott Symes (WAC) – 16:31
44 – Luke Baker (WCH) – 17:25
50 – George Biss (WCH) – 20:18

Under-17 women (29 finishers) – Dorset 2nd County team

2 – Serena O’Connor (PR)  – 20:26
4 – Aiste Raizmaite (PAC) – 20:58
9 – Bridget Dence (BAC) – 23:00
11 – Flora Johnson (DAC) – 23:07
13 – Abbie Hine (WAC) – 23:20
19 – Maddie Williams (WAC) – 23:58

Under-17 men (49 finishers) – Dorset 3rd County team

4 – Jason Sotheran (WAC) – 18:29
11 – Piers Copeland (WAC) – 19:17
18 – Sam Brown Araujo (PR) – 19:45
22 – Michael Biss (WCH) – 19:52
37 – Sam Davies (WAC) – 21:06
38 – Aidan Turner (WSP) – 21:09
46 – Brandon Meredith (BAC) – 22:29

Under-20s/senior women’s race (70 finishers)

27 – Nikki Sandell (BAC) – 28:40
59 – Charlotte Bourne (u20) (WAC) – 32:47
64 – Maddie Vaughan-Johncey (PAC) – 36:09
66 – Becca Skeats (u20) (WAC) – 36:46

Under-20s/senior men’s race (121 finishers)  

6 – Ben Westhenry (u20) (B&W) – 34:34 (1st under-20)
11 – Chris Perham (u20) (PAC) – 35:17
24 – Dan Mulryan (u20) (PR) – 36:58
28 – James Sewry (u20) (WSP) – 37:17
35 – Ben Renshaw (BR) – 37:34
43 – Anthony Clark (BAC) – 37:45
56 – Andy Smith (u20) (PR) – 39:04
62 – Ryan Walbridge (u20) (WAC) – 39:30
66 – Fergus Johnson (u20) (DAC) – 39:55
85 – Neil Biss (WCH) – 42:33
92 – Nathan Baker (WCH) – 43:23
101 – Iain Donnelly (WAC) – 45:25
110 – Pete Kingswell-Farr (WAC) – 48:03
115 – Nigel Furness (DAC) – 50:29

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