Wimborne Athletic Club

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Cross-Country returns! – Avon Heath WXC – 5 October 2014     

Ian Kennedy reports from the season’s opener.

Almost 40 Wimborne athletes competed in the sunshine in the Wessex League cross-country opener at Avon Heath Country Park (despite a clash of dates with the Bournemouth Marathon Festival). Amongst those, were a good number debutants, particular in the younger age-groups. Of all the under-11s only Ben Butcher had previous cross-country experience with the club.  All gained valuable experience here, and the girls’ team was led home by Charlotte Piper with an eye-catching performance. Rosie Corbould is definitely one to watch for the future … she’s got a couple of years in the under-11s age group. Well done to Catherine Hill and Grace Anstey who completed our u11s girls’ team in close formation.

Keep an eye on our under-11 boys too – there have been encouraging performances on the track in the summer from Oscar Street and Ben Butcher over 600m and this should translate well to cross-country. Tom Fuller had a great run getting between this pair. Wimborne’s latest signing, he only signed up the week of the race, was Buster Johnson. Buster made a very encouraging debut.

The next race start was for the combined under-17/seniors men and women. Although they start together the senior men have an extra lap to run. First over the line was under-17 Jason Sotheran and team-mate Piers Copeland in third made it a very good u17 men’s race for Wimborne. In the under-17 women’s race Abbie Hine (4th) led the team home with Maddie Williams collecting 8th place.

Last season we saw a little less of the Hutchings family, so it was great to welcome three-quarters of them back to cross-country action. They didn’t disappoint. Sharon was 2nd woman overall and 1st under-20, while Lynn claimed 4th place. Gill Allen (6th) has been a member for quite a while so it was wonderful to finally see her making her competitive debut in a red vest. Lesley Davies completed our women’s team and finished 7th.

Our men’s team consisted of seven runners – two of them making debuts. Leading the team home was Iain Donnelly. Iain (10th) shows fantastic commitment to the cause – he now lives in Devon, so travelled up from Dawlish in order to compete. Mark Copeland was next home in 12th place and in 14th we saw the return of John Hutchings. Paul Hine and debutant Nigel Butcher were involved in a frantic sprint for the line disputing 23rd and 24th places, while the next runner in was WAC’s Richard Davies. Completing the men’s team was Jason Hall – another WAC debutant.

There was some good quality opposition in the under-13 girls race. Abbie Lovering (3rd) was first WACer in. As usual there was excellent support from Bethanie Kingswell-Farr (9th). Anna Kelliher was a promising 14th on her cross-country debut, with our next runner in being Isabelle Kingswell-Farr. Fern Morrison completed our team with all the Wimborne runners well-placed in the field.

Two weeks previously at the SEAA Road Relays we had seen our under-15 girls team hint at what they were capable of – at Avon Heath that promise turned into actuality. Grace Copeland, Lucy Ballam and Lucy Anderson took all the podium positions in emphatic style. Elise Gill completed our under-15 girls team on the day.

Considering how many under-15 boys there are in the squad it was perhaps  surprising that we only had three (albeit quality) runners in this race. Joey Kelliher claimed 4th place on a fine cross-country race debut. He got good support from Michael Johnson and Dan Baynham who followed each other home in 8th and 9th positions respectively.

Avon Heath Country Park is lovely place to run, and of course we were also blessed with a lovely sunny day. Our thanks go to Mike Towner (of Poole Runners) and his team for the hard work they put in to staging this meeting. For WAC it was a very encouraging start to the new cross-country season. The under-15 girls certainly enjoyed it, having comprehensively laid the ghost of their near miss at the SEAA Road relays a few weeks earlier.

WACers times and results were:

Under-11 girls (37 finishers)

11 – Charlotte Piper – 9:24
19 – Rosie Corbould – 10:00
34 – Catherine Hill – 10:55
35 – Grace Anstey – 10:59

Under-11 boys (41 finishers)

7 – Oscar Street – 8:08
9 – Tom Fuller – 8:16
10 – Ben Butcher – 8:16
22 – Buster Johnson – 8:46

Under-17 women (11 finishers)

4 – Abbie Hine – 23:16
8 – Maddie Williams – 24:52

Under-17 men (6 finishers)

1 – Jason Sotheran – 19:31
3 – Piers Copeland – 21:43

Senior women (7 finishers)

2 – Sharon Hutchings – 22:40 (1st u20)
4 – Lynn Hutchings – 23:50
6 – Gill Allen – 26.12
7 – Lesley Davies – 30:13

Senior men (28 finishers)

10 – Iain Donnelly – 40:42
12 – Mark Copeland – 41:26
14 – John Hutchings – 44:22
23 – Paul Hine – 46:49
24 – Nigel Butcher – 46:50
25 – Richard Davies – 47:49
27 – Jason Hall – 50:33

Under-13 girls (31 finishers)

3 – Abbie Lovering – 10:37
9 – Bethanie Kingswell-Farr – 11:18
14 – Anna Kelliher – 11:47
19 – Isabelle Kingswell-Farr – 12:20
21 – Fern Morrison – 12:25

Under-13 boys (19 finishers)

11 – Tom Morrison – 11:01
15 – Charlie Davies – 11:39
16 – Derry Sowinski-Brown – 12:03

Under-15 girls (29 finishers)

1 – Grace Copeland – 14:42
2 – Lucy Ballam – 15:01
3 – Lucy Anderson – 15:33
29 – Elise Gill – 23:23

Under-15 Boys (14 finishers)

4 – Joey Kelliher – 14:23
8 – Michael Johnson – 14:56
9 – Dan Baynham – 14:59

Full results for the Wessex League will be found at the Team Dorset website www.teamdorsetathletics.co.uk


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