Grace is a
South-West XC Champion 5 January 2014
Reporting from the South-West Championships at Killerton.
on her way to becoming a South West XC Champion
been looking forward to the South West Championships, but the week
leading up to the event was an anxious one. With heavy rainfall and
numerous flood warnings issued for south-west England, would the event
be on? If it was on would be able to get there? Thankfully the rain
stopped around lunchtime on Saturday and the threat of flooding was
reduced. In fact the night before the race was a clear one, which
brought a different potential hazard
ice! As morning broke we were
greeted with a spectacular sunrise. We werent to know it, but we also
witnessed the worst flooding of the day immediately around Wimborne. The
sharp drop in temperature overnight meant that the battery on the
minibus was flat and jump leads were required before we could set off.
hit the road, we encountered few delays, the rain and wind was due to
return around 10am, which was the time we were aiming to be at Killerton.
We just about got the tent up before the first serious rain fell,
thankfully the wind was less strong than forecast. Killerton House was a
new cross-country venue, and its a beautiful setting for a race. It
does have a couple of mighty hills on the course, add to this Devons
sticky red clay there was no doubt this was going to be a severe test.
On arrival the terrain was in surprisingly good condition, it didnt
take too long before the course and the area around the start/finish
turned into a gloopy mess!
event started with the under-11s races. It was great to see some of
Dorsets youngest cross-country runners (and their parents) make the
commitment to travel a much longer distance than usual, especially with
such uncertain road conditions. The boys went first with Ryan Symington
of Poole Runners (PR) the best-placed Dorset runner (4th)
replicating the form hes shown in the Wessex League in the past three
months. Just 10 seconds back was Max Meadwell (8th) who has
been the star of Wimbornes under-11s Wessex League team over the
winter. In fact, the next four Dorset athletes were all Wimborne-based
with Charlie Davies (20th), Jack Moss-Wilcox (29th)
and Maxs younger brother Gus (34th). There were less Dorset
girls in the under-11s race, but high-flying Abbie Lovering was first
Dorset runner home (6th) with Libby Howse and Indy Silcox
(both PR) coming 15th and 23rd respectively. In
the under-11s race the runners had worn their club colours, for all the
remaining races county vests would predominate.
championships races commenced with the under-13 girls race. Wimbornes
big hope for a South West Champion was Grace Copeland. It was a
competitive race with the front three Grace, Sophie Jones of Taunton
and Laura McNab of Team Bath breaking away. Laura took a terrible
tumble (this was to become a recurring theme throughout the day) and
subsequently she lost ground on Grace and Sophie. Grace claimed her win
with a winning margin of nine seconds a very good start to Dorsets
day. Maddy Johnson of Dorchester AC (DAC) was next Dorset in (18th),
in fact both the Copeland and Johnson families were set to enjoy days to
remember as older siblings would race later. The next four Dorset
runners were all Wimborne AC, led by Jessica Bourne (29), Bethanie and
Isabelle Kingswell-Farr (32nd & 42nd) and Fern
Morrison (44th). Completing the team were Emily Jeffries of
Poole AC (PAC) (45th) and WACs battling Elise Gill (53rd)
fighting all the way to the line.
under-13 boys the top two at the Dorset County Championships reversed
positions here, with Dorsets best being Wimbornes Liam Murphy-Parry,
just six seconds ahead of Jed Skilton (PAC). There was a strong run from
Poole Runners Ben Wedlake who finished four seconds ahead of WACs
Michael Johnson (20th & 21st). Then it was Harrison Jones of
Wells City Harriers (WCH) who was 32nd. Oliver Howse (PR) and
Elliott Symes (WAC) were next in 37th and 40th
respectively. The team was completed by Tom Morrison (WAC) and Nat
Willmore (PR) 51st & 60th. The U13Bs Dorset team
had given a good account of themselves, but finished just outside the
the under-15 girls team home was Bournemouth ACs Bridget Dence (BAC)
6th. Rachael Jeffries of Poole AC made up for a
disappointing run in the County Championships when she wasnt 100% fit,
and was our next finisher (14th). The Dorchester pairing of
Flora Johnson and Shelby Cross (18th & 22nd) were
next, ahead of the Wimborne pair of Lucy Ballam and Maddie Williams (25th
& 32nd). Completing the team were Olivia Foyce (DAC) and
Natasha Jones (WCH) 35th & 46th. This was
another age-group where we narrowly missed out on medalling as a team.
back in the medal positions in the next race (under-15 boys). Piers
Copeland (WAC) ran superbly, finishing third to claim his bronze medal.
With Wimbornes Tom Bourne also in the top 10, and Ash Parker (PAC) and
Dominic Willmore (PR) in the top 20 we were able to claim silver medals
in the team competition. Michael Biss 28th (WCH) Andrew Dumbrell 38th
(DAC) Alex Jeffries 45th (PAC) Sam Davies 47th
(WAC) Matt Yates 50th (WAC) Hugh Ireland 54th
(DAC) and Tom Boulton 59th (WAC) completed the countys representation
in this age-group.
next race was run out of age-group order it was the seniors. The men
went first and the, almost, 9k they had to run would have been a severe
test over the hilly terrain and heavy ground. First in for Dorset was
WACs Callum Kennedy in 27th (he was 8th
under-20). The other points scorers for the team were Mark Copeland (WAC),
rounding off a great day for the Copelands, and Neil Biss (WCH). Next in
was Iain Donnelly (WAC) who had pulled on a Dorset county vest for the
first time. Dorchester AC made a major contribution to the mens team
with Adam Gough, Clint Cornick, Nick Ireland and Nigel Furness all
competing, alongside Simon Arnold (WCH), Pete Kingswell-Farr (WAC) and
Pete Cornes of Poole AC.
Donnelly a great servant to the club, having completed his last event
for us as a first claim WAC runner as he has now moved out of the area
womens race we had but one solitary runner the indefatigable Maddy
Vaughan-Johncey of Poole AC who came in 73rd.
two races to go the under-17s, with the men going first. We packed
three into the top 10 here 7th Andy Smith (PR), 8th
Fergus Johnson (DAC) and Ryan Walbridge (9th). With Jason
Sotheran (WAC) some 20-odd seconds back in 14th it was enough
for Dorset to claim the bronze medal for the team. The Dorset team was
completed by Liam Ackerman (DAC) and Josh Downie (WAC).
final race of the day was the under-17 women. Lissie Hood of Poole AC
ran really well to claim the countys final medal of the day a silver
medal for second place. The remaining point scoring positions for the
county were all claimed by WAC athletes Abbie Hine (14th),
Ella Hearne (17th) and Charlotte Bourne (20th).
The team was completed by Leanne Symington (PR) in 22nd and
Becca Skeats (WAC) in 28th.
racing was done and it was time to pack up, everything seemed to be
covered in sticky wet red clay. It had rained for most of the day, but
the high winds forecast didnt really materialise until we were on our
way home. Dorset had seen some very good individual performances - in
particular the three top 3 finishes from Grace and Piers Copeland (WAC)
and Lissie Hood (PAC)
and then there were the team medals for our
under-15 boys and under-17 men, with near misses for team medals from
the under-13 boys and under-15 girls. In the senior categories it was
disappointing that we had only one woman competing Maddy Vaughan-Johncey,
and our mens team only had two runners in it who werent veterans,
which was always going to make it very difficult to be competitive
against counties who are able to field a full team of 20/30 year-olds.
Under-11 girls (24 runners)
7 Abbie Lovering (WAC) 6:00
15 Libby Howse (PR) 6:36
23 Indy Silcox (PR) 7:06
Under-11 boys (42 runners)
Ryan Symington (PR) 5:16
8 Max Meadwell (WAC) 5:26
20 Charlie Davies (WAC) 6:??
29 Jack Moss-Wilcox (WAC) 6:27
34 Gus Meadwell (WAC) 6:58
41 Toby Singh (PR) 10:48
42 Charlie Singh (PR) 10:5?
Under-13 girls (53 runners)
1 Grace Copeland (WAC) 11:53
SOUTH WEST XC CHAMPION
18 Maddy Johnson (DAC) 14:??
29 Jessica Bourne (WAC) 14:34
32 Bethanie Kingswell-Farr (WAC) 14:4?
42 Isabelle Kingswell-Farr (WAC) 15:34
44 Fern Morrison (WAC) 15:38
45 Emily Jeffries (PAC) 16:01
53 Elise Gill (WAC) 18:55
Under-13 boys (64 runners)
14 Liam Murphy-Parry (WAC) 12:21
17 Jed Skilton (PAC) 12:27
20 Ben Wedlake (PR) 12:34
21 Michael Johnson (WAC) 12:38
32 Harrison Jones (WCH) 12.59
37 Oliver Howse (PR) 13:09
40 Elliott Symes (WAC) 13:13
51 Tom Morrison (WAC) 14:01
60 Nat Willmore (PR) 14:35
Under-15 girls (50 runners)
Bridget Dence (BAC) 17:52
14 Rachael Jeffries (PAC) 18:49
18 Flora Johnson (DAC) 19:09
22 Shelby Cross (DAC) 19:21
25 Lucy Ballam (WAC) 19:3?
32 Maddie Williams (WAC) 20:42
35 Olivia Foice (DAC) 21:09
46 Natasha Jones (WCH) 22:12
Under-15 boys (60 runners) U15Bs TEAM
3 Piers Copeland (WAC) 15:54
WEST BRONZE MEDALLIST
10 Tom Bourne (WAC) 16:26
17 Ash Parker (PAC) 16:39
18 Dominic Willmore (PR) 16:4?
28 Michael Biss (WCH) 17:45
38 Andrew Dumbrell (DAC) 18:26
45 Alex Jeffries (PAC) 19:06
47 Sam Davies (WAC) 19:09
50 Matt Yates (WAC) 19:27
54 Hugh Ireland (DAC) 19:36
59 Tom Boulton (WAC) 23:34
men (136 runners)
27 Callum Kennedy (WAC) 34:3? (8th under-20M)
85 Mark Copeland (WAC) 40:32
Neil Biss (WCH) 41:21
95 Iain Donnelly (WAC) 42:11
97 Adam Gough (DAC) 42:23
110 Clint Cornick (DAC) 43:53
111 Simon Arnold (WCH) 44:1?
116 Peter Kingswell-Farr (WAC) 45:??
117 Nick Ireland (DAC) 45:16
129 Nigel Furness (DAC) 48:08
134 Pete Cornes (PAC) 53:04
women (81 runners)
Maddy Vaughan-Johncey (PAC) 34:12
Under-17 men (33 runners) U17M
TEAM BRONZE MEDALLISTS
Andy Smith (PR) 22:13
8 Fergus Johnson (DAC) 22:14
9 Ryan Walbridge (WAC) 22:21
13 Jason Sotheran (WAC) 22:49
22 Liam Ackerman (DAC) 24:48
25 Josh Downie (WAC) 25:15
Under-17 women (28 runners) 1st team
Elisabeth Hood (PAC) 22:4? SOUTH
WEST SILVER MEDALLIST
14 Abbie Hine (WAC) 25:14
17 Ella Hearne (WAC) 26:3?
20 Charlotte Bourne (WAC) 27:31
22 Leanne Symington (PR) 27:4?
28 Rebecca Skeats (WAC) 31:56