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Cross-country returns – 1 October 2017

Ian Kennedy reports from the Wessex League at Canford Heath

Joey has crossed the line, and no one else in sight!  -  Victory in his first ever senior men’s cross-country race

The Wessex League got off to a great start at the first race of the season.  Overall there was a 20% increase in the number of competitors compared to the corresponding opening fixture of the 2016 season.  Some 325 athletes took part with 58 of them being from Wimborne AC.

Amongst our 58 it was great to welcome a host of debutants.  Of our under-11 girls’ team, only first WACer over the line, Imogen Rawles, had competed in a cross-country league race before.  With three to score in the team event for this age-group it was Isabelle Hawker and Evie Fuller who claimed the other scoring positions.  Imogen, Evie and Georgia Slade are all following in the footsteps of established WAC XC siblings.  Freya Escott is a very recent signing; it was great to see her in competition so soon.

Under-11 girls (54 finishers)

19 – Imogen Rawles – 8:50
22 – Isabelle Hawker – 10:25
34 – Evie Fuller – 9:26
50 – Georgia Slade – 10:29
53 – Freya Escott – 11:18
 

We had good numbers in the boys’ under-11 race.  Our eight put in a great performance – third team on the day.  What’s even more remarkable is that only one of the team, Jack Doran, had any previous experience of XC league racing!  The reds were led home by Jack Williams, with Adam Driver and Archie Downie claiming the other point-scoring positions.  Archie D was kept honest all the way to the finish line, with his team-mates Tom Williams, Toby Butt and Archie Cunningham hot on his heels.  The aforementioned Jack Doran was next in, with the team completed by Alfie Broocks.

Under-11 boys (60 finishers) – 3rd team

4 – Jack Williams – 7:15
7 – Adam Driver – 7:42
15 – Archie Downie – 8:00
16 – Tom Williams – 8:03
17 – Toby Butt – 8:03
20 – Archie Cunningham – 8:09
35 – Jack Doran – 8:49
59 – Alfie Broocks – 11:01
 

The under-13 girls gave us our first wins, both individually and as a team.  Sarah Graham started the season in fine style with a victory.  On a day with many impressive debuts for WAC, the standout one was Iris Courtney’s.  Just two seconds back from Sarah, she made it a WAC 1-2.  Isabella Cox’s contribution was crucial to securing the team win.  Next in was Kate Simmonds, then there was a cluster of red vests, led in by debutant Ella Bodman, with Kitty Sharpe, Ruby Sargeant and Maisie Riley all in close attendance.  Millie Davey completed our under-13s team.

Under-13 girls (50 finishers) – 1st team

1 – Sarah Graham – 11:44
2 – Iris Courtney – 11:46
16 – Isabella Cox – 12:33
23 – Kate Simmonds – 12:57
28 – Ella Bodman – 13:16
29 – Kitty Sharpe – 13:18
30 – Ruby Sargeant – 13:21
32 – Maisie Riley – 13:31
44 – Millie Davey – 14:17
 

Jay Dunn was our first runner home in the under-13s, and the good support he received from XC debutant Jago Smith and Thomas Jeffery saw us as second team on the day.  The team was completed by Teddy Mercer.

Under-13 boys (20 finishers) – 2nd team

9 – Jay Dunn – 11:31
13 – Jago Smith – 11:55
18 – Thomas Jeffery – 12:34
20 – Teddy Mercer – 14:01
 

We got 2nd in the under-15 girls’ teams too.  We were spearheaded by Holly Nixon (despite struggling with a cold) and Daisy Baker (another fantastic debut).  These girls went off hard and hung in there to claim 4th and 5th.  Abbi Slade claimed the remaining team points, and she was just one place ahead of her team-mate Ella Jeffery.

Under-15 girls (25 finishers) – 2nd team

4 – Holly Nixon – 15:11
5 – Daisy Baker – 15:13
19 – Abbi Slade – 18:29
20 – Ella Jeffery – 18:42
 

There was a dominant team performance from the under-15 boys.  Our lads came in two clusters.  There was an almighty scrap for 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th between Ben Martin, Seth Lake, Charlie Davies and Joel Green.  On this evidence there is so little between them expect a reshuffle whenever they race each other.  Our second cluster came 12th, 13th and 14th with Ollie Rawles, Joe Goodwin and Tom Fuller.

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

3 – Ben Martin – 13:59
4 – Seth Lake – 14:15
6 – Charlie Davies – 14:20
7 – Joel Green – 14:22
12 – Ollie Rawles – 14:53
13 – Joe Goodwin – 15:12
14 – Tom Fuller – 15:23
 

Our second 1-2 of the day came in the under-17 womens, and with only two to score Amy Mercer and Anna Kelliher recorded the perfect team score too.  Beth and Izzie Kingswell-Farr completed the team in age-group that looks set to be one of our strongest.

Under-17 women (8 finishers) – 1st team

1 – Amy Mercer – 19:06
2 – Anna Kellher – 20:01
6 – Beth Kingswell-Farr – 21:33
8 – Isabelle Kingswell-Farr – 24:21
 

Michael Johnson and Dan Baynham both claimed podium finishes to bring us another team win in the under-17 mens.  Josh Davey was only kept out of the top 3 by his team-mates, with Zach Fenwick completing our line-up.

Under-17 men (6 finishers) – 1st team

2 – Michael Johnson – 17:12
3 – Dan Baynham – 17:45
4 – Josh Davey – 18:33
6 – Zach Fenwick – 19:23
 

Our senior women’s team came third, led by Hannah Acquah who was 2nd; Minty Stubbs in 5th was the first under-20 on the day too.  The honours of claiming the final point scoring position were fought over by Karila Faulkner and Jess Kennedy, with Karila getting it by a single second.  Lesley Davis and Di Jack came in on the same time, with Tina Mercer also competing.

 

 

Senior women (35 finishers) – 3rd team

2 – Hannah Acquah – 29:10
5 – Minty Stubbs – 30:18 (1st under-20)
21 – Karila Faulkner – 34:49
22 – Jessica Kennedy – 34:50
30 – Lesley Davies – 38:07
31 – Di Jack – 38:07
33 – Tina Mercer – 39:05
 

We saw an awesome performance from Joey Kelliher in his first ever race with the seniors.  He won by a distance and was class of the field on the day.  Naturally he was also 1st under-20 and we had senior Ryan Walbridge sandwiched between Joey and our 3rd placed under-20, Ed Dart.  These three were our point scorers, and as a team we claimed third place.  Pete Kingswell-Farr had a good race to stay in touch with Ed for much of the way then, just as Lesley and Di had done in the women’s race, Richard Davies and Joe Kelliher came in together and recorded the same time.

Senior men (50 finishers) – 3rd team

1 – Joey Kelliher – 29:10 (also 1st under-20)
22 – Ryan Walbridge – 35:14
27 – Ed Dart – 37:06 (3rd under-20)
30 – Peter Kingswell-Farr – 37:56
43 – Richard Davies – 46:20
44 – Joe Kelliher – 46:20
 

It has been a cracking start for the team’s Wessex season where we claimed four team wins – U13G, U15B, U17W and U17M, and were runners-up in the U13B and U15G and were third in the U11B and SW and SM.

Individually we had age-group wins for U13G, U17W, U20W and U20M/SM; runners-up in U13G, U17W, U17M and SW; and 3rd places in U15B, U17M and U20M.  All good, in a league which looks to be getting more competitive with greater numbers taking part.

 

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