Cross-Country Awards Night Ė 7 April 2010
WACers on the
brink. Who can you spot?
Our annual WAC
Cross-Country Awards night took place at Christchurch Ski Centre this
year. It was great to see so many of those who played a significant part
in our XC season in attendance. The night started with time spent in the
ringos. These are rubber tyres which you sit in as you slide down an
artificial ski slope. A riotous time was had as we hurtled down the
steep slope either solo or in tandem, straight or spinning. Dragging the
tyres back up the slope was a good core strength session!
Grace and Abbie
follow two WACers down the slope.
Maddy (extreme right) leads the trudge back up the hill.
After about 30 minutes we
headed inside for the presentations. Absolutely key to the teamís
success over the year has been getting our runners out consistently in
the league races. With some pretty atrocious weather over the winter,
for the first time for many years we actually had some races cancelled.
In the Hampshire League the Reading race was lost to snow and ice and in
the Wessex League the race at Langport was cancelled due to the course
being under water, the adjacent river having burst its banks. This left
us with four fixtures in each league to fulfil. Fidelity medals are
awarded to those who compete in all races in each league and for the few
who compete in every race in both leagues we have the Super Fidelity
Awards. Hampshire League Fidelity Awards went to Daryl Davies, Graeme
Furley, Abbie Hine, Ian Kennedy, Jerry Shield and Graham Whiffen. Wessex
League Fidelity Awards went to Grace Copeland, Piers Copeland, Paul Hine,
Paula Hine and Pippa Hine. Super Fidelity Awards went to Lynn Hutchings,
Callum Kennedy and Ryan Walbridge.
The next trophy to be
presented was for Rookie of the Year. This was awarded to Abbie Hine. It
was Abbieís first season as an XC runner, and she made amazing progress.
By the end of the year she had represented Dorset Schools in the
South-West Championships at Truro, where she was the first Dorset girl
in her age group, and Dorset County Athletics Association County team in
the Inter-Counties Championships in Birmingham.
Probably the most
fiercely fought over trophies were those for the most improved runner in
both male and female categories. We had so many runners who you could
argue a strong case for. The trophies went to brother and sister pairing
Piers and Grace Copeland. Grace has been well up the field in the
under-11s category all year, finishing the league second in her age
group. She has been terrorizing the boys all season in the mixed races.
Piers is one of the youngest in his age group, he was given special
permission to compete in the under-13s race in the Wessex League from
the outset, but in the Hampshire races he had to wait until his 11th
birthday before he was allowed to take part. Piers came 3rd
in the averages in the Wessex League and he finished with a real
flourish, claiming his first league win at the final race of the season
at Avon Heath.
Next came the
presentations to the top male and female runners. Sharon Hutchings is in
her second season with us and she started with a bang at Farley Mount in
the Hampshire League. Sharon finished 8th, the highest
placing at that point from any WACer in any age group, in the Hampshire
League. Her season suffered a few ups and downs along the way, largely
due to a chest infection that took a long time to clear up. Despite this
Sharon still finished top of the WAC averages in both leagues and she
claimed her first league race win at Ham Hill in the Wessex League. She
went on to win the under-13 girls Wessex Championís trophy and was team
leader in the Championship-winning under-13 girls team. The team title
was won due to the superb support Sharon received from her team mates Ė
Abbie Hine and Chloe Morris in particular.
Ryan Walbridge was
awarded the top male runners trophy. Ryan was discovered winning in a
one mile fun run in the Tarrant Valley, his home patch, last summer, and
he was invited to come and train with us. Nothing in the early training
sessions prepared us for what we were to see in the races. Ryanís first
race was an outstanding 9th place, and this proved to be his
lowest placing all through a remarkably consistent season. In the Wessex
League he was dominant in his age group, winning his first race at
Salisbury. He had sewn up the Wessex under-13 boys Championís title with
one race to go. Ryanís form didnít go unnoticed and he was selected to
run for Dorset Schools in the South-West Championships in Truro, his
performance there ensured his selection to the National Schools
Cross-Country Championships at Manchester. Ryan also pulled on a County
vest at the Inter-Counties Championships at Birmingham, where he was
joined by his fast improving team mate Piers.
to right: Ryan Walbridge (Top Male, Super Fidelity), Pippa
Hine (Wessex Fidelity, Jean Frost Trophy), Callum Kennedy (Super
Fidelity), Piers Copeland (Most Improved Male, Wessex Fidelity),
Paul Hine (Jean Frost Trophy), Grace Copeland (Most Improved
Female, Wessex Fidelity), Abbie Hine (Rookie of the Year, Jean
Frost Trophy), Lynn Hutchings (Super Fidelity),
Sharon Hutchings (Top Female).
The final award was the
prestigious Jean Frost Trophy which is awarded for service to the
cross-country team over the season. This was won by the Hine Family. The
whole family competed. In the Wessex League Paul, Paula and Pippa won
Wessex Fidelity Awards and Abbie won a Hampshire Fidelity. Both Paul and
Paula were Wessex League Champions in their age-groups, with Abbie third
in hers and Pippa just outside the medal positions in 4th
place in the under-11s. This apart, the Jean Frost Trophy is awarded for
service to others and it is here that the Hines proved invaluable. Paul
has played a key role in helping and support with coaching, and
providing transport on training and race days. Paula was excellent on
race days preparing our young athletes for their races, and of course
Abbie and Pippa have shown tremendous commitment to their running all
season. The Hines are very worthy winners of this trophy.
We are extremely
fortunate as the Hines, of course, are not the only ones who have made
significant contributions to our 2009/2010 season. The commitment shown
by all involved is very much appreciated. Thank you for the role you
have all played in Wimborneís most successful cross-country season so