Wimborne Athletic Club

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Two ‘Top10s’ at the Nationals  – 24 February 2018

Ian Kennedy reports from Parliament Hill Fields

Our best performing team at the Nationals was the U15 boys – Josh, Ben, Ollie, Charlie and Seth

Some 23 WAC athletes (two of those 2nd claim) took part in this year’s. National Cross-Country Championships at Parliament Hill. There was an upturn in numbers of runners competing at this event. The biggest rise in numbers has come in the senior races, although as far as Wimborne AC is concerned, currently our greater strengths are in the junior categories. Incredibly there were more than 3,400 finishers in the two senior races!

The headline stealers for WAC were our two top 10 finishers. Emily Shaw placed 4th, tantalizingly close to a podium, in the under-15 girls; and Grace Copeland 7th in the under-17 women’s race. Emily’s result was Wimborne’s best at this event since the win recorded by Grace in 2014 in Nottingham.

Both our under-13 girls – Iris Courtney and Isabella Cox – were making their debuts at both the ‘Nationals’ and Parliament Hill Fields. Neither were overawed by the scale of the event and both gave good accounts of themselves.

U13 girls (467 finishers)

162 – Iris Courtney – 14:28
341 – Isabella Cox – 15:49

Every one of our under-13 boys’ result mattered, we needed every single one of them to claim a team score. The team was headed by Jack Wrann … Jack being the only one of the team with previous Parliament Hill experience. Oscar Davis, Jago Smith (in his first XC season) and Thomas Jeffery all scored valuable points too.

U13 boys (570 finishers) – 51st team

252 – Jack Wrann – 13:45
336 – Oscar Davis – 14:13
352 – Jago Smith – 14:19
527 – Thomas Jeffery – 16:03

We didn’t have quantity in the under-15 girls’ race, but there was quality. Aside from Emily Shaw’s 4th place, Holly Nixon was comfortably inside the top 100 in a field of over 400 runners.

U15 girls (464 finishers)

4 – Emily Shaw – 14:57
86 – Holly Nixon – 16:21

We’ve been able to rely on our under-15 boys to get a full team out this season. Parliament Hill was no exception, with Ben Martin leading the charge. It was another good race for Josh Jack, who’s seen a dramatic upturn in form as the season draws to a close. Seth Lake and Charlie Davies were our other scorers for the team. Year-young Ollie Rawles completed our under-15 boys’ line-up and he was making his Nationals debut.

U15 boys (504 finishers) – 34th team

128 – Ben Martin – 17:25
182 – Seth Lake – 17:48
279 – Josh Jack – 18:37
322 – Charlie Davies – 19:00
430 – Ollie Rawles – 20:16

Grace Copeland was our first home in the under-17 women’s race. This was her third top 10 placing at the Nationals – a fine achievement. Our second claim runners were next home in the colours of their first claim clubs – the green of Dorchester for Maddy Johnson and the blue of City of Salisbury for Alice Sullivan. Beth and Izzie Kingswell-Farr completed our interest in the under-17 women’s race.

U17 women (276 finishers)

7 – Grace Copeland – 19:03
49 – Maddy Johnson – 20:36 (2nd claim 1st claim Dorchester)
150 – Alice Sullivan – 22:33 (2nd claim 1st claim City of Salisbury)
181 – Beth Kingswell-Farr – 23:05
253 – Izzie Kingswell-Farr – 26:06

We had just two in the under-17 men’s race, with the fast-improving Sam Hughes first one of ours home. Sam was making his debut at the Nationals, and for Zach Fenwick it was only the second time he’d competed at this event.

U17 men (356 finishers)

271 – Sam Hughes – 25:01
333 – Zach Fenwick – 27:31

Our sole representative in the senior women’s race was Lesley Davies, never one to shirk a challenge!

Senior women (1113 finishers)

964 – Lesley Davies – 50:03

We had three in the men’s race, training partners Pete Kingswell-Farr and Rob Rawles and club chairman Jason Hall.

Senior men (2328 finishers)

1881 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 1:04:16
1992 – Rob Rawles – 1:06:31
2162 – Jason Hall – 1:11:13

The weather conditions had been kind to us, and it’s always good to hear Wimborne runners mentioned by name by the race commentator – we were able to follow Emily’s and Grace’s progress even when they were out of sight!

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