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Sarah Orr leads WAC women home for individual and team wins – 22 November 2015

Ian Kennedy reports from the Wessex XC League at Yeovil Country Park

WAC women’s team at Yeovil – Sarah O, Lorraine, Sarah D and Lesley

Without a doubt Yeovil Country Park provides the greatest challenge of any venue we encounter in cross-country league meetings.  The previous day there were bitterly cold high winds, thankfully 24 hours later these had died away and we saw some sunshine.  In fact conditions were close to perfect at this excellent course.  A venue like this deserves a bigger turn-out, but the tendency in the Wessex League in recent years is for far greater numbers at the meetings in south-east Dorset.  I guess the longer journey for some athletes deters competitors, but it’s definitely worth the trip.

At 11.45 the first start of the day, U17s and women, got underway.  For Wimborne the first runners home were our U17 men, Sam Davies and Edward Dart.  So far this season we’ve had Piers Copeland and Matt Yates representing WAC in this age-group.  It was all change at Yeovil.  Sam returned to lead the team home, with great support from WAC debutant Edward.  Collectively, they were third team on the day.  Well done guys.

Next in were the senior women.  Over recent years we’ve really struggled to even field a full team, but we went into the 2015/2016 season with a renewed optimism.  This has proved well-founded.  Wimborne won this age-group as a team, with team leader Sarah Orr winning the race outright.  Progress indeed.  The second scoring place went to Sarah Davies, with Lorraine Moss and Lesley Davies fighting over the final scoring position with Lorraine edging it … by a single second!  This rounded off a great day for Wimborne AC’s women, as earlier in the day, a team of WAC roadrunners confirmed their place in Division One of the Dorset Road Race League.  Well done to Sharon and Lynn Hutchings, Gill Allen, Helen Edbrooke, Michele Whitehurst and Rachel Gladdis who produced their best performance of the year and claimed third place on the day at the Boscombe 10k.

As he’s done all season Ryan Walbridge led our men home, 7th place overall (he was also 2nd U20).  Support came from the far-travelled Andy McDonald, while the final scoring place was claimed by Graham Whiffen – making his first Wessex League appearance this season.  The team was completed by Paul Hine who’s still on target for his Super Fidelity Award, and Jason Hall.

In the U11 girls’ race, Katie Warrack was smartly off the line.  Ultimately she was the first red vest home, but she had to work hard for that honour as Katie Hull was only one place and seven seconds back.  Katie was making her cross-country debut.  It was a little bit of a baptism of fire, it’s hard to imagine a tougher course for your first XC race!  The Simmonds sisters (Lucie and Kate) completed the team.  The girls were third team on the day.

In the U11 boys Matt Lissenburg (who ran as a guest) came an excellent 5th.  He will be a WAC runner by the time of the next race.  Matt just headed off Tobias Blundell who was just four seconds back.  Recent Tuesday night regulars, Jay Dunn and Luke Palmer, changed places since the last race, and Thomas Jeffery completed our team, which came third on the day.

Abbie Lovering led the reds home in the U13 girls’ race.  A cracking run from Holly Nixon brought her in next, and both Charlotte Piper and Ella Jeffery also performed well.  Collectively the team claimed 2nd place on the day.

Some team members were caught out by a road closure near the venue, and this delayed their arrival, and led to one non-arrival.  One of those affected was Jamie Slade.  Having missed his own race, the U11s, he competed in the U13s instead.  This was a brave thing to do, as he was faced with a considerably longer race!  Charlie Davies’ excellent season continued here.  At one point we thought we might have another race winner, unfortunately he was caught on the final climb as you approach the start line and had to settle for third.  Despite having five of the first 12 runners home – Tom Fuller (6th), Jack Moss-Willcox (9th), Josh Jack (10th) and Ollie Rawles (12th) we had to settle for 3rd placed team on the day.  Ned Simmonds completed our team, in what would have been his toughest race so far.

Hannah Slater fairly flew up that final climb to the finish line to claim an excellent third place.  The fine support that Hannah got from her team-mates Beth Kingswell-Farr (5th), Caitlin Rogers (7th) and Amy Mercer (8th) ensured that the team came first.  Beth and Amy recorded significant improvements since their last outings.  Completing the team was Izzie Kingswell-Farr.  It was a run of some tenacity that got Izzie across the finish line having picked up an injury on this challenging course.

The remarkable thing about the entire U15 boys’ team was just how close they finished to each other.  Fifteen seconds and five places covered the four of them.  Michael Johnson was first in (5th), but Liam Murphy-Parry kept him honest all the way up the hill at the end.  Dan Baynham was next, with this fine team performance completed by Elliott Symes.  They finished equal first U15 boys’ team.

All in all, another good day’s work for Wimborne AC.  We’ve one more Wessex League race (13 December at Canford School) so we are hoping for an enormous turn-out of red vests for that one.

Full results from the Wessex League will be found at the Team Dorset website, visit http://www.teamdorsetathletics.btck.co.uk/Competition/WessexLeague-CrossCountry



U17 men – 3rd team – 14 runners

9 – Sam Davies – 19:34
12 – Edward Dart – 21:10

U20/senior women – 1st team – 17 runners

1 – Sarah Orr
7 – Sarah Davies – 25:07
11 – Lorraine Moss – 27:14
12 – Lesley Davies – 27:15

U20/senior men – 47 runners

7 – Ryan Walbridge – 30:51 (2nd u20)
30 – Andy McDonald – 36:06
39 – Graham Whiffen – 39:43
42 – Paul Hine – 41:23
43 – Jason Hall – 42:12

U11 girls – 3rd team – 24 runners

14 – Katie Warrack – 9:48
15 – Katie Hull – 9:55
17 – Kate Simmonds – 10:12
20 – Lucie Simmonds – 10:50

U11 boys – 3rd team – 23 runners

5 – Matt Lissenburg – 8:13
6 – Tobias Blundell – 8:17
13 – Jay Dunn –
15 – Luke Palmer – 9:02
18 – Thomas Jeffery – 9:35

U13 girls – 2nd team – 23 runners

5 – Abbie Lovering – 11:56
6 – Holly Nixon –
13 – Charlotte Piper – 13:02
15 – Ella Jeffery –

U13 boys – 3rd team – 17 runners

3 – Charlie Davies – 11:10
6 – Tom Fuller –
9 – Jack Moss-Willcox – 11:54
10 – Josh Jack –
12 – Ollie Rawles – 12:36
16 – Ned Simmonds – 15:33
17 – Jamie Slade – 15:40 (running up an age-group)

U15 girls – 3800m – 1st team – 14 runners

3 – Hannah Slater – 14:46
5 – Beth Kingswell-Farr – 15:20
7 – Caitlin Rogers – 15:36
8 – Amy Mercer –
13 – Izzie Kingswell-Farr – 17:26

U15 boys – equal 1st team – 17 runners

5 – Michael Johnson – 13:11
7 – Liam Murphy-Parry – 13:16
8 – Dan Baynham –
9 – Elliott Symes – 13:26

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