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 Wessex XC in the woods – 22 October 2017

Ian Kennedy reports from Bryanston

Seth Lake leads our U15Bs to a team win

The day after Storm Brian, we enjoyed rainbow weather, often sunny, sometimes raining (occasionally torrential).  The setting for Wessex race 2 was the beautiful grounds of Bryanston School.  We used the school for a Wessex League race last December, but this time we employed a very different course that incorporated a long loop through beautiful woodland alongside the River Stour.

Over the two under-11s races there were almost 100 runners.  With a slight descent from the start line, the entire field took off at breakneck speed before settling into a more sustainable pace.  Isabelle Hawker was the first under-11 WACer to finish just ahead of Imogen Rawles.  The final team scoring position went to Evie Fuller.  The girls’ team was completed by Georgia Slade and Freya Escott.  All five of these girls competed in the first Wessex League race at Canford Heath too.

Under-11 girls (46 finishers)

21 – Isabelle Hawker – 8:12
24 – Imogen Rawles – 8:14
38 – Evie Fuller – 8:55
42 – Georgia Slade – 9:09
46 – Freya Escott – 10.33

On only his second XC outing for the club, Archie Cunningham led the WAC team home.  His team-mates were not far behind.  Just 16 seconds separated first and sixth WACers.  Harry Butcher and Adam Driver were the other team scorers.  Harry and Ollie Green were both making their WAC XC debuts and following in the footsteps of their older brothers.  Archie Downie and Toby Butt made valuable contributions to an inexperienced team and all are immediately competitive, giving our under-11 boys’ team a solid look.  The team came third at Bryanston.

Under-11 boys (48 finishers) – 3rd team

11 – Archie Cunningham – 7:15
15 – Harry Butcher – 7:20
16 – Adam Driver – 7:21
19 – Archie Downie – 7:25
22 – Ollie Green – 7:28
23 – Toby Butt – 7:32

Our three point-scorers for the under-13 girls packed well for the team to record 4th place.  Just four seconds separated Kitty Sharpe from Isabella Cox, and Kate Simmonds was in the middle of a WAC sandwich.  Completing the team were Ruby Sargeant and Alan Fairchild.

Under-13 girls (36 finishers) – 4th team

17 – Kitty Sharpe – 17:26
18 – Kate Simmonds – 17:27
19 – Isabella Cox – 17:30
24 – Ruby Sargeant – 18:20
35 – Alan Fairchild – 23:55

This is the first time that Jack Wrann has led the team home in his age-group, and he did it on a day when the team came first.  Scoring valuable points to secure the team prize were Oscar Davis and Jay Dunn who recorded the same time, just eight seconds behind Jack.  Thomas Jeffery and Teddy Mercer completed our line-up.

Under-13 boys (86 finishers) – 1st team

6 – Jack Wrann – 15:31
9 – Oscar Davis – 15:39
10 – Jay Dunn – 15:39
17 – Thomas Jeffery – 17:10
18 – Teddy Mercer – 17:43

With two wins in a row Amy Mercer has the perfect score in the Wessex League so far.  It was great to welcome back Hannah Slater for her first race of the XC season.  The pair made it the second U17W 1-2 of the season, albeit with different pairings.  Caitlin Rogers, having spent most of the summer working on 200/300/400s, really impressed on this long tougher than usual course, and she was our next runner home.  Beth Kingswell-Farr was only eight seconds back from Caitlin.  Just three seconds separated our next pairing – Izzie Kingswell-Farr and Hannah Fairchild.  Yasmin Litchfield and Molly Slade tracked each other throughout most of the race, with Yasmin getting ahead in the latter stages.  This was Molly’s race debut for WAC; she has a fine record in local triathlon events and will be a great asset to the team.  Our under-17 women’s team was first on the day.

Under-17 women (10 finishers) – 1st team

1 – Amy Mercer – 22:53
2 – Hannah Slater – 23:40
4 – Caitlin Rogers – 25:03
6 – Beth Kingswell-Farr – 25:11
7 – Hannah Fairchild – 26:42
8 – Izzie Kingswell-Farr – 26:45
9 – Yasmin Litchfield – 27:54
10 – Molly Slade – 28:02

Michael Johnson put in a good solid performance to claim second place.  Michael had great support from Josh Davey (4th) so we claimed yet another team win on the day.

Under-17 men (9 finishers) – 1st team

2 – Michael Johnson – 20:06
4 – Josh Davey – 21:27

The women’s team took a bit of a hit with several being unable to compete at Bryanston.  Tina Mercer was first red in, looking far more comfortable than at the first race at Canford Heath.  Di Jack and Lesley Davies completed the team to record a team score which could well be important at the end of the season when the aggregates are totalled up.

Senior women (25 finishers)

20 – Tina Mercer – 30:30
23 – Di Jack – 31:59
24 – Lesley Davies – 32:00

Having both boys and girls running together in the under-15s at Wessex races really helps our elite girls.  Emily Shaw (who won the girls event in some style) certainly benefited, as did our other point-scorers Holly Nixon and Daisy Baker.  The team was completed by Abbi Slade, once again it was another team age-group win.

Under-15 girls (22 finishers) – 1st team

1 – Emily Shaw – 18:07
3 – Holly Nixon – 19:14
4 – Daisy Baker – 19:24
16 – Abbi Slade – 23:27

Our under-15 boys’ team was still riding high on the success of the previous day when Ben Martin, Charlie Davies and Seth Lake collectively came 6th at the South of England Cross-Country Relays.  All three were in action again 24 hours later, and this time Tom Fuller (who was 2nd WACer on the day behind Seth) also really got in the action.  This age-group has strength in depth as our fifth man home – Joel Green – is also having a fine season.  Max Meadwell was back for his first XC race of the campaign and Ollie Rawles made sure that Max had to stay ‘on it’ all the way to the finish line.  Completing the team, and on his home patch as he’s a Bryanston pupil, was Josh Jack.  This was another emphatic team age-group win.

Under-15 boys (17 finishers) – 1st team

2 – Seth Lake – 17:52
5 – Tom Fuller – 18:00
6 – Ben Martin – 18:04
7 – Charlie Davies – 18:19
10 – Joel Green – 18:49
12 – Max Meadwell – 19:32
13 – Ollie Rawles – 19:44
15 – Josh Jack – 20:34

The final race of the day was also the longest one – the senior men.  First home for us was Joey Kelliher, and once again he was first under-20.  Next in was Simon Davis, riding on the back of his success at the recent European duathlon qualifiers.  The ever-dependable Pete Kingswell-Farr relished the slightly stiffer test that Bryanston offered when compared to earlier races this season, and the team was completed by Richard Davies who’d done such a great job as team manager to our U15Bs at the South of England XC Relays just 24 hours earlier.

Senior men (46 finishers)

7 – Joey Kelliher – 33:21 (1st under-20)
15 – Simon Davis – 35:00
27 – Pete Kingswell-Farr – 39:31
43 – Richard Davies – 47:13



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