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Cross Country Awards – 2017-2018 Season

Ian Kennedy reports from QE Leisure Centre

The WAC under-15 boys – team of the year

With championship cross-country races in March and an early Easter this gave us only a small window in which to stage our Cross-Country Awards event before we turned our attention to the oncoming track season. This year it took the form of a pool party held at QE Wimborne, and it was pleasing to see so many there.

It’s been another memorable season. It was in a revitalized Wessex League where we achieved our best team results. Wimborne AC teams were Wessex League Champions in the under-13 boys, under-15 girls, under-15 boys, under-17 women and under-17 men. We were runners-up in the under-13 girls, and placed third in the under-11 boys and senior women. We had Wessex League individual Champions in Emily Shaw (u15), Amy Mercer (u17) and Minty Stubbs (u20); silver medalists with Seth Lake (u15) and Michael Johnson (u17); and bronze with Iris Courtney (u13), Holly Nixon (u15), Ben Martin (u15), Hannah Slater (u17), Josh Davey (u17) and Hannah Acquah (senior).

In the Dorset County Athletics Association Cross-Country Championships Emily Shaw was an u15 county champion. There were silver medals for Iris Courtney and Tristan Green (both u13), Seth Lake (u15), Minty Stubbs (u20) and bronze for Ben Martin (u15), Michael Johnson (u17), Ed Dart (u20) and Simon Davis (veteran).

Almost all of the squad were active in the Dorset Schools competitions as well. Here Emily Shaw, Grace Copeland and second-claimer Harry O’Donoghue were all County Champions, with Iris Courtney, Tristan Green, Christa Cripwell, Minty Stubbs and Joey Kelliher runners-up. Third places went to Daisy Baker and Holly Nixon. All this was achieved on a day when more than 600 athletes competed. Performances at that event ensured good representation at the South West Schools Championships, were Emily Shaw became South West Schools Champion (junior girls) and Grace Copeland runner-up (senior girls). From the South Wests many progressed onto the English Schools Cross-Country Championships to good effect.

Some 21 of our young athletes were selected to represent Dorset at the Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships at Loughborough. These were: Sarah Graham, Iris Courtney, Isabella Cox, Kate Simmonds, Ruby Sargeant, Tristan Green (all u13); Emily Shaw, Holly Nixon, Ben Martin, Seth Lake, Tom Fuller, Joel Green, Charlie Davies (all under-15); Grace Copeland, Amy Mercer, Beth Kingswell-Farr, Anna Kelliher, Michael Johnson, Sam Hughes (all u17); with Minty Stubbs and Ed Dart in the under-20s.

Wimborne athletes also competed in numbers at the South-West Inter-Counties Championships, South of England Championships and National Championships. This meant there were many performances to be considered when deciding on the club’s cross-country award winners.

The first awards to be presented were the Fidelity Awards for competing in every race in a given league. There was one Hampshire League award (Jess Kennedy) and an amazing 22 Wessex League awards (Isabella Cox, Archie Cunningham, Charlie Davies, Archie Downie, Jay Dunn, Evie & Tom Fuller, Joel Green, Isabelle Hawker, Michael Johnson, Beth, Izzie & Pete Kingswell-Farr, Seth Lake, Amy, Teddy and Tina Mercer, Holly Nixon, Imogen Rawles, Kate Simmonds and Abbi and Georgia Slade). There are trophies for those who get a full house of races in both leagues, this season two were awarded – to Ben Martin and Ollie Rawles. With some 24 athletes competing in every Wessex League meeting, and with support of other team mates too, it’s no wonder we dominated the junior categories in this league.

Our rookies of the year were Iris Courtney and Tristan Green, both have had fine first cross-country season’s with us. Amongst their achievements, Iris and Tristan were both runners-up in the Dorset County Championships and the Dorset Schools County Championships and both have gone on to represent their county.

Our most improved runners were Sarah Graham and Oscar Davis. Sarah has been great value all season, probably her most eye-catching performance came in the English Schools Championships, where she was running year-young, and punching well above her weight, in a team of eight who collectively outscored every county in England. The most improved male was a harder pick as, with some illness in the camp, fortunes fluctuated. Oscar Davis’s progress was steady and consistent all year-round and was our trophy winner.

Our top female runner trophy went to Emily Shaw. She was Dorset Champion, Dorset Schools Champion, South West Schools Champion, runner-up in the South of England Championships, 4th in the National Championships and 4th at the English Schools Championships. Her performance at the English Schools saw her selected to represent England in the Home Internationals on the day of our cross-country awards … surely the best excuse for not being able to be there (it turned out to be a dominant performance from the English girls that day with Emily, third team member home, making a significant contribution). An honourable mention must also go to Grace Copeland, whose second place in the British Cross Challenge series won her an international call-up at the World Schools Cross-Country Championships in Paris.

Our top male runner trophy went to Joey Kelliher. Joey’s worked his way through the age-groups over the past four years. His commitment over that time has seen him become one of those athletes that younger members of the squad look up to. He’s combined his cross-country activities with some indoor meetings this season. He won both of the Wessex League races he took part in, and was runner-up at the Dorset Schools Championships.

There was tough competition for the team of year trophy. This year’s winners were the under-15 boys. They were Wessex League Champions, 4th in the Hampshire League and they came 6th at the South of England Cross-Country Relays. Everywhere we competed our under-15 boys were out in force. Honourable mentions should also go to the under-15 girls and under-17 women who both finished 5th at the South of Englands and were also Wessex League Champions, plus the U17W were South West Champions too. It’s great to have such a difficult job trying to pick a winner!

The final award was the Jean Frost Trophy, this is for contribution to the cross-country team overall. This year’s worthy winners are the Green family. Paul and Tara (mum and dad) will sometimes train with us, but are amongst the first to take on duties to support the group as a whole, with roles such as time keeping. They play an important part in keeping those big groups safe when do our street sessions in Wimborne on Tuesdays throughout the winter. Of course there are also the athletes in the family, Joel and Ollie, both (although only young) show great courtesy and sportsmanship, as well as a fantastic work ethic.  Paul has also taken on the role of Coaching Secretary, which of course benefits not just the cross-country team but the club as a whole.

List of Awards Winners

Hampshire League fidelity award – Jess Kennedy

Wessex League fidelity awards22 Wessex Fidelities for Isabella Cox, Archie Cunningham, Charlie Davies, Archie Downie, Jay Dunn, Evie & Tom Fuller, Joel Green, Isabelle Hawker, Michael Johnson, Beth, Izzie & Pete Kingswell-Farr, Seth Lake, Amy, Teddy & Tina Mercer, Holly Nixon, Imogen Rawles, Kate Simmonds and Abbi & Georgia Slade

Super fidelity trophies – Ben Martin and Ollie Rawles

Female rookie of the year – Iris Courtney

Male rookie of the year – Tristan Green

Most improved female  – Sarah Graham

Most improved male  – Oscar Davis

Top female runner – Emily Shaw

Top male runner – Joey Kelliher

Team of the Year – U15 Boys

 Jean Frost Trophy – The Green family




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