Wimborne Athletic Club

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Wimborne has 4 XC County Champions – 14 December 2014

Ian Kennedy reports from County Champs/WXC at Canford.


Our under-15s had plenty to smile about! Those seen here are,
left to right; Tom, Michael, Grace, Lucy B, Dan, Joey, Matt and Elliott

The final Wessex League race of the season was also selected to be the Dorset County Championship race. In 2013 this was true only in the junior categories, this time around the seniors were racing for County honors too. Not all racers are Dorset-based, so some of the runners were racing only for Wessex League points. All the WAC runners had their feet in both camps however!

It was also WAC’s home fixture and as such we were organizing and hosting the event. A big thank you to the army of volunteers who helped with marshaling on the day. We received superb co-operation and support from Canford School, in particular, thanks go to Head of Grounds Kerry Mapp and his team who did a fantastic job of marking out the course.

The days leading up to the race were wet and windy, but fortunately for us the winds dropped, and the softer than usual ground at Canford made for great conditions for cross-country running. All in all, the weather was kind to us with plenty of sunshine and only the odd squally shower.

As is the Wessex tradition, the first race start of the day was the combined u17s/u20s/seniors race for both men and women – the u20 and senior men doing one lap more than the rest of the field. The first to finish were the under-17 men, where Jason Sotheran and Piers Copeland got WAC off to the best possible start. They were first and second, meaning that we had County Champion and runner-up and Wessex League Champion and runner-up in this age group. Completing our u17 men’s team was Sam Davies in 9th. Our under-17 men’s team finishes the season as Wessex League Champions.

For our under-17 women’s team Maddie Williams surely ran her best race of the winter, getting the better of her team mate Abbie Hine on this occasion. Maddie was 7th, and Abbie 8th – in the season averages those positions were reversed with our women claiming 5th and 6th. WAC’s u17 women’s team were Wessex League runners-up.

Our under-20 women have concentrated on Hampshire League races this season rather than Wessex League ones. For this reason they were not in the frame for WXC honours. However, in the County Championships Charlotte Bourne and Becca Skeats bagged our second County Championship 1-2 of the day. Charlotte and Scooter were 3rd women’s team on the day in the Wessex League.

While those finishers were coming in, the u20m and senior men were completing another lap. Leading the team in for us once again was under-20 Ryan Walbridge. Ryan was 11th on the day (4th under 20). He is perhaps a little unlucky not to have finished the season as the Wessex League Champion in this age-group. His challenger for that accolade was Fergus Johnson of Dorchester AC. Fergus competed in all the races, and so did not need the final race of the season to count for his overall aggregate. This was not true of Ryan, and combining the WXC with the County Championships attracted more u20m runners than usual. This meant that although Ryan was 3-0 up in head-to-heads with Fergus, it was Fergus who finished the season as Wessex League Champion with Ryan runner-up. Ironically in the men’s overall figures Ryan is ahead of Fergus.

Making his first WXC appearance of this season was Andy McDonald who had a right battle with team-mate Mark Copeland. They were awarded the same time and finished in 22nd and 23rd positions respectively. One of the season’s biggest improvers, Pete Kingswell-Farr was next home for us, with Richard Davies and Paul Hine completing our team. Our men’s team finished 5th.

With the most senior runners having competed, it was the turn of the youngest runners – the under-11s. The girls went first. Charlotte Piper completed a very encouraging debut season with a 6th place – her best performance so far. Charlotte finishes the season in 10th place in the standings. The under-11s girls’ team finished 7th overall for the season.

We had four runners in the boys’ race.  Ben Butcher and Tom Fuller had really impressed in the previous WXC race at Yeovil, and they were at it again here, this time with Joe Baynham, and Ben’s younger brother George for company. On a much easier course than last time, they once again impressed. Ben led the team home (in 7th), with Joe just one second ahead of Tom (they took 11th and 12th) and George 23rd. The boys were 3rd team on the day and 3rd in the final WXC season’s standings. Ben and Tom finished the season 6th and 8th respectively in the season’s individual standings for the WXC.

Next up were the under-13 girls. Leading the WAC’s winning team home was Abbie Lovering in 4th. Red vests crossed the line thick and fast after that with Beth Kingswell-Farr (5th), Hannah Fairchild (7th) and Holly Nixon (9th). In 18th and 19th, were Anna Kelliher and Fern Morrison, with Issie Kingswell-Farr completing the team. Most of this team did enough races to feature in the WXC end of season averages, with Abbie – 3rd, Beth – 6th, Holly – 8th, Anna – 9th, Fern – 13th and Issie – 14th. Not only was WAC’s u13 girls’ team 1st on the day, they finish the season as Wessex League Champions.

Our u13 boys emulated the girls as they also finish the season as Wessex League Champions. Absolutely crucial to this team’s success have been ever-presents Charlie Davies and Tom Morrison. They led the team home again in 12th and 14th with good support this time around from Jack Moss-Willcox, Zach Fenwick and Derry Sowinski-Brown. Charlie and Tom finish the season in 7th and 8th respectively in the standings, with Derry 12th.

The final race of the day was for the under-15s. Boys and girls start together and this age-group brought us another pair of County Champions. For the girls Grace Copeland started the race as hot favourite and she didn’t disappoint. Grace was followed home by the impressive Lucy Ballam for a 1-2, both in the County Championships and in the Wessex League standings. Completing the team, and making a key contribution to securing a team score was Elise Gill. Elise finished the season 12th in the averages. The team finished 1st on the day and sign off the season as Wessex League Champions. It wasn’t all good news however, as Lucy Anderson had to pull up when well placed.

We’ve really got strength in depth in our under-15 boys team. It was a near WAC lock out at the head of the field with four of the first five finishers in red vests. Tom Bourne finished the race as County Champion, with Joey Kelliher 3rd, Michael Johnson 4th and Dan Baynham 5th. Only the indefatigable Dominic Wilmore of Poole Runners was able to get amongst them. Matt Yates (8th) was only nine seconds back from Dan and our team was completed by Elliott Symes. This dominant team performance unsurprisingly brought us the team win on the day and we finished the season as Wessex League Champions. Individually Joey finished the season 2nd in the averages, with Michael 4th and Matt 7th.

We’ve had another great season in the Wessex League with team wins in five of the 10 junior categories. As individuals we have two Wessex League Champions – Jason and Grace, and five other podium places – Piers, Ryan, Lucy B, Joey and Abbie L.

In the County Championships we have four County Champions – Jason, Charlotte, Grace and Tom. Joining them on the podium were another five WACers – Lucy B, Piers, Becca, Abbie L and Joey.

Well done guys, there are a couple of Hampshire League races to come as well as all those Championship races to look forward to in the new year.


WACers times and results were:

Under-17 women (13 finishers) – 2nd team on the day/Wessex League runners-up

7 – Maddie Williams – 18:17 – 6th in season’s averages
8 – Abbie Hine – 19:00 – 5th in season’s averages

Under-17 men (12 finishers) – 1st on day/Wessex League Champions

1 – Jason Sotheran – 14:56 – County & Wessex League Champion
2 – Piers Copeland – 15:01 – County & Wessex League runner-up
9 – Sam Davies – 16:45

Senior women (12 finishers) – 3rd team on the day

5 – Charlotte Bourne – 19:53 – U20 County Champion
9 – Becca Skeats – 22:04 – U20 County Champs runner-up

Senior men (44 finishers) – 5th team on the day/5th in WXC for season

11 – Ryan Walbridge – 28:04 – WXC runner-up U20 (3rd man overall)
22 – Andy McDonald – 31:07
23 – Mark Copeland – 31:07 – 12th in season’s averages (5th vet)
27 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 33:41
36 – Richard Davies – 36:00 ­– 18th in season’s averages (11th vet)
41 – Paul Hine – 39:28 – 19th in season’s averages (12th vet)

Iain Donnelly did not compete at Canford but he was 11th in the WXC averages (6th veteran’s category)

Under-11 girls (19 finishers) – 7th team in WXC for season

6 – Charlotte Piper – 5:42 – 10th in season’s averages

Under-11 boys (29 finishers) – 3rd team on the day/3rd in WXC for season

7 – Ben Butcher – 5:16 – 6th in season’s averages
11 – Joe Baynham – 5:22
12 – Tom Fuller – 5:23 – 8th in season’s averages
23 – George Butcher – 6:09

Under-13 girls (26 finishers) – 1st team on the day/Wessex League Champions

4 – Abbie Lovering – 12:52 – 3rd in season’s averages
5 – Bethanie Kingswell-Farr – 13:03 – 6th in averages
7 – Hannah Fairchild – 13:25
9 – Holly Nixon – 13:27 – 8th in averages
18 – Anna Kelliher – 14:31 – 9th in averages
19 – Fern Morrison – 14:48 – 13th in averages
22 – Isabelle Kingswell-Farr – 15:26 – 14th in averages

Under-13 boys (20 finishers) – 2nd team on the day/Wessex League Champions

12 – Charlie Davies – 12:44 – 7th in season’s averages
14 – Tom Morrison – 13:05 – 8th in averages
17 – Jack Moss-Willcox – 13:24
18 – Zach Fenwick – 13:44
20 – Derry Sowinski-Brown – 15:12 – 12th in season’s averages

Under-15 girls (20 finishers) – 1st team on the day/Wessex League Champions

1 – Grace Copeland – 14:58 – County & Wessex League Champion
2 – Lucy Ballam – 15:06 –
County Champs & Wessex League runner-up
20 – Elise Gill – 23:17 – 12th in season’s averages

Under-15 Boys (15 finishers) – 1st team on the day/Wessex League Champions

1 – Tom Bourne – 13:24 – County Champion
3 – Joey Kelliher – 14:12 – 3rd in County Champs – 2nd in season’s averages
4  – Michael Johnson – 14:24 – 4th in averages
5 – Dan Baynham – 14:34
8 – Matt Yates – 14:43 – 7th in averages
12 – Elliott Symes – 15:24

Full results for the Wessex League can be found at the Team Dorset website



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