Wimborne Athletic Club

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XC Junior County Champs and  Wessex XC League – Canford – 16 December 2012

Four County Champions and a Wessex medal landslide!

The final Wessex League meeting of the season took place in the beautiful setting of the grounds of Canford School.  WAC, quite apart from competing in the event, were also the host club with all that entails. Our job was made so much easier by the support we received from staff at Canford School and in particular Director of Sport Mark Burley and Head of Grounds Kerry Mapp, and of course we couldn’t host a meeting without an army of volunteers – thank you all.

Dorset County Athletic Association decided to combine this year’s County Cross-Country Championships for the age-groups from under-13 through to under-20s with this Wessex League meeting (the seniors are to be combined with a Hampshire League fixture). So, not only were Wessex League trophies there to be fought for, but County Championship medals too. It turned out to be quite a day for us.

The under-11s race got us underway. It was great to see so many red vests line up for this first race (15 in all). Many of these youngsters are products of the under-11s group that Paula Hine has been working so hard with over the past few months. The first red vest home was Max Meadwell. Max came fourth, on the day. He won the first race of the season and in all the other races he finished fourth, narrowly missing out on a Wessex League medal. There were also eye-catching performances from the fast-improving Tom Morrison and Fraser Vivian. The boy’s team was completed by Ed Gilbert, Joel Green, Jamie Anderson and Lewis Olden. The under-11s boys’ team were second team on the day. Jessica Bourne led our girls home, she was 6th girl, equalling her best performance of the season. Ten seconds behind her there was a ding-dong battle between two of her team-mates – Hannah Fairchild and Bethanie Kingswell-Farr were split by just one second. Another pairing that came in together (two seconds apart) were twins Sinead and Caitlyn Hassell with Martha Taylor a few seconds back. Our team was completed by Fern Morrison and Isabelle Kingswell-Farr. Our girls’ under-11s team finished third place on the day and third place for the season too. Extraordinarily amongst our 15 under-11s were three pairs of twins!

Tom Bourne remained unbeaten in the Wessex League
and became U13B Dorset County Champion

As with the under-11s, the under-13 girls and boys race concurrently. We could hardly have got off to a better start. Once the dust had settled Wimborne could claim two County Champions. The girls’ champion was Grace Copeland. Grace had won all the Wessex League races she had competed in (3 of 4) and the boys’ champion, Tom Bourne, had also gone the whole Wessex season unbeaten, with four wins from four. Liam Murphy-Parry also had a super race and claimed the silver medal in the County Championships. Grace has received support all season from Pippa Hine and Elise Gill in the Wessex League and collectively they were third team on the day, but over the season they claimed second place. Tom and Liam received excellent support on the day from Matt Yates and Tom Stokes to win the team category. The under-13s boys’ team are Wessex League Champions with Elliott Symes, although not at this fixture, having made an important contribution earlier in the season.

The under-15s were next, once again we were to claim another three County medals. Abbie Hine pulled out one of her special performances to claim the silver medal against some quality opposition – Bridget Dence of Bournemouth AC claimed the Championship. Also having a strong run was Maddie Williams, her 6th place secured 2nd place for the team on the day and the Wessex League Championship for the under-15 girls’ team. Also contributing to the team’s success over the season, though not at this fixture, were Ella Hearne and Scarlett Goldsack.

Our third County Champion of the day took the form of Jason Sotheran. Jason’s greatest challenge for the Dorset County Championship came from his team-mate Piers Copeland. They claimed a Dorset 1-2 (this pairing had been headed home by City of Portsmouth’s Ethan Bevis). Piers could take some satisfaction from the fact that he had finished the season as Wessex League Champion as he claimed two race wins during the season to Jason’s one. Registering the important third scorer was Tom Boulton, we were 1st team on the day and the u15s boys’ team are also Wessex League Champions. Joe Miles scored an important 2nd place for the team early in the season but missed this fixture due to injury.

The Dorset’s finest.   Dorset County Champion Jason Sotheran
and Wessex League Champion Piers Copeland.

We have a decent-sized squad for our under-17s women’s team. Unfortunately on this day two of our regulars – Charlotte Bourne and Chloe Morris – were unavailable. Charlotte had an injury so was unable to compete, but she made a valuable contribution as one of our trained first-aiders. Sharon Hutchings led the team home, and in the process claimed the bronze medal in the County Championships, she received good support from Becca ‘Scooter’ Skeats and collectively they finished as 2nd team on the day. Our under-17 women’s team finished the season as Wessex League Champions.

For the under-17 men, at the start of the season we didn’t have a squad at all. We had just one athlete – Ryan Walbridge. Fortunately we signed up Josh Downie after the first Wessex League fixture, and he has been an ever-present since. From Race 2, with only two runners needed in this age-group to register a full team score, we were really up and running. Once again Ryan was first Wimborne in on the day with good support from Josh. They secured fifth place on the day for the team, but claimed third place for the Wessex League season to win Wessex League medals that looked out of reach at the start of our season.

Now we come to the under-20s/seniors for both men and women. The under-20s was the top age group to form part of the County Championships on the day. County Champions were Megan Edwards of Dorchester AC and our own Callum Kennedy – both of them won their medals uncontested. The under-20s are, of course, also included in the Wessex League seniors competition in the same way as the veteran age-groups are. Callum was hoping to repeat the feat, achieved earlier in the day by Grace Copeland and Tom Bourne, of going unbeaten through the Wessex League season. It wasn’t to be, on this occasion he was headed by his nearest challengers, Tim Hawkins of Yeovil and Andy Clements of Hamworthy Harriers. However, Callum’s early performances were enough to ensure that he was Wessex League Champion for both under-20s and the combined senior men categories. We fielded possibly our strongest Wessex League men’s team ever, which saw Graeme Furley, Steve Wyatt, Tjiwolt Wierda, Mark Copeland, Mark Buffery (surely his best XC performance so far), Baz, Iain Donnelly and Dave Brylewski. Added to these were more Wessex League regulars in the form of John and Gerry Hutchings, Pete Kingswell-Farr and Simon Bourne. Our men’s efforts were rewarded with first placed team on the day and we finish the season as Wessex League Champions. Mark Copeland (M45) and Gerry Hutchings (M60) emulated Callum’s achievement of an age-group win. Iain Donnelly (M40) was second in his age-group.  There’s a remarkable story here … Iain last won a Wessex League medal some 27 years ago as a schoolboy with Winchester & District AC! 

Iain Donnelly’s Wessex League honours … 27 years apart!

Our ladies team had a decent day too, led in by Lynn Hutchings with Helen Edbrooke and Rachel Gladdis giving support. They were first team on the day and second team overall for the season. All three of them won individual Wessex League awards. Lynn was second lady overall and won her age group (W45) with team-mate Helen making it a 1-2 in that category. Rachel also won her age category (W40).

It has been an excellent season for WAC in the Wessex League and it is great to see that the league appears to be enjoying something of an upturn in fortunes. There have been considerably more competitors taking part in the Wessex League races this season and we were able to welcome runners from clubs new to the league as well as the return of a few old friends. A number of representatives from participating clubs (amongst them Mendip, New Forest Juniors, Poole AC, Wimborne and Yeovil) have put in time and effort to improve the league and thanks must go to Lindsay Hole of Team Dorset in particular for the work she has put into the operation of the Wessex League this year … it’s definitely making a difference. Onwards and upwards.

More than 40 Wimborne runners took part at Canford, their times and results were:

Under -11 girls (22 finishers) – 3rd team

6 – Jessica Bourne – 5:53
8 – Hannah Fairchild – 6:02
9 – Bethanie Kingswell-Farr – 6:03
12 – Sinead Hassell – 6:21
13 – Caitlyn Hassell – 6:23
15 – Martha Taylor – 6:30
17 – Fern Morrison – 6:51
22 – Isabelle Kingswell-Farr – 7:18

Under -11 boys (24 finishers) – 2nd team

4 – Max Meadwell – 5:26
11 – Tom Morrison – 5:48
15 – Fraser Vivian – 5:57
19 – Ed Gilbert – 6:10
20 – Joel Green – 6:11
21 – Jamie Anderson – 6:16
24 – Lewis Olden – 8:08

Under-13 Girls (20 finishers) – 3rd team

1 – Grace Copeland – 12:35 – County Champion 2012
11 – Pippa Hine – 15:19
20 – Elise Gill – 18:27

Under-13 Boys (20 finishers) – 1st team

1 – Tom Bourne – 11:55 – County Champion 2012
4 – Liam Murphy Parry – 12.42 –
County Silver Medallist 2012
7 – Matt Yates – 13:05
10 – Tom Stokes – 13:26

Under-15 Girls (11 finishers)  – 2nd team

2 – Abbie Hine – 16:07 – County Silver Medallist 2012
6 – Maddie Williams – 16:51

Under-15 Boys (14 finishers) – 1st team

2 – Jason Sotheran – 13:52 – County Champion 2012
3 – Piers Copeland – 14:03  –
County Silver Medallist 2012
12 – Tom Boulton – 17:08

Under-17 Women (8 finishers) – 2nd team

4 – Sharon Hutchings – 19:42 – County Bronze Medallist 2012
6 – Becca Skeats – 19:49

Under-17 Men (16 finishers) – 5th team

5 – Ryan Walbridge – 16:14
14 – Josh Downie – 18:51

Senior Women (16 finishers) – 1st team

7 – Lynn Hutchings – 20:31
8 – Helen Edbrooke – 21:02
10 – Rachel Gladdis – 23:00

Senior Men (50 finishers) – 1st team

3 – Callum Kennedy – 29:12 – Under-20s County Champion 2012
4 – Graeme Furley – 29:22
6 – Steve Wyatt – 29:29
10 – Tjiwolt Wierda – 30:33
16 – Mark Copeland – 31:52
18 – Mark Buffery – 32:05
19 – Baz Barry – 32:10
22 – Iain Donnelly – 32:48
24 – Dave Brylewski – 32:55
30 – John Hutchings – 34:04
40 – Gerry Hutchings – 36:40
42 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 37:00
44 – Simon Bourne – 39:21

Congratulations to WAC’s Wessex League Medal winners for the 2012/2013 season:


U13G – Grace Copeland – Wessex League Champion

U13B – Tom Bourne – Wessex League Champion

U15G – Abbie Hine – 2nd place

U15G – Maddie Williams – 3rd place

U15B – Piers Copeland – Wessex League Champion

U15B – Jason Sotheran – 2nd place

U17W – Sharon Hutchings – 3rd place

U17M – Ryan Walbridge – 2nd place

SW – Lynn Hutchings – 2nd

SW – Helen Edbrooke – 3rd

W40 – Rachel Gladdis – Wessex League Champion

W45 – Lynn Hutchings – Wessex League Champion

W45 – Helen Edbrooke – 2nd

SM – Callum Kennedy – Wessex League Champion

U20M – Callum Kennedy – Wessex League Champion

M40 – Iain Donnelly – 2nd

M40 – Graham Whiffen – 3rd

M45 – Mark Copeland – Wessex League Champion

M60 – Gerry Hutchings – Wessex League Champion



U11G – 3rd place

U13G – 2nd place

U13B – Wessex League Champions

U15G – Wessex League Champions

U15B – Wessex League Champions

U17W – Wessex League Champions

U17M – 3rd place

SW – 2nd place

SW Veterans – Wessex League Champions

SM – Wessex League Champions

SM Veterans – 2nd

 Full results for the Wessex League will be found at




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