17 Oct
In what was a quiet week for our athletes not all age categories produced sufficient performances of note to be ranked.
1 DAVE BISHOP – Dave has never established a reputation as a cross-country runner, but surprised a few of his peers in a very high class field by finishing a very creditable 11th in his US regional state collegiate championship at Notre Dame, finishing close behind former junior international Keith Gerrard and just ahead of former National junior champion David Forrester.
2= TOM MERSON & RICH PETERS – Tom donned his home Exmouth vest to score a comfortable victory in the opening race of the Westward Cross-country League, finishing some 100m clear of runner-up Mark Jenkin of Bideford, while across the pond, following Dave Bishop’s fine effort, Rich made an impressive debut for Boston University by leaving a field of nearly 300 runners in his wake to win the sub-varsity (freshmen’s?) race in the New England collegiate cross-country championships. Had he been in the Boston seniors team they would have won the overall team championship instead of coming second!
3 MATT CRANE – Matt may not have had to call on his orienteering skills, but no doubt they may have helped in the timing of his effort on the uneven terrain as he fought off a strong challenge from his rivals to win the annual gruelling 12M Mendip Muddle.
1= ANNABEL GUMMOW & ELEANOR WIMSHURST – Our two outstanding juniors were in a class of their own in the opening Westward and Gwent Cross-country League senior races. Consequently one could hardly not upgrade them to the senior rankings this week as they destroyed their rivals to post runaway victories at St Austell and Bridgend respectively. Clearly they are both on course to challenge for a place in the UK U20 team for the European championships in December.
2 KATIE KNOWLES – Katie showed a welcome return to form after her recent injury setbacks to record one of the faster times of the day for the Birmingham University team in the Manchester University cross-country relays.
3 VICKY TESTER – Vicky continued her busy start to the season by just making the top 20 in the Gwent League race.
1 RHYS PARK – Underlining his natural stamina Rhys produced an outstanding performance for a 16 year old to take third place in the senior race at the opening Gloucestershire Cross-country League event, finishing only 14 seconds behind the winner Dursley’s Gary Hughes. 
2 MATT PETERS – Matt surprised himself by only just failing to make the top ten in 11th place on his debut in the opening senior race of the Gwent league and looks to be on track to make his mark at junior level this winter.
3 HOBIE MARTIN – Young Hobie may have had to settle for second place in the opening U17 race of the Westward league, but underlined his potential to finish less tha 20 seconds down on Cornwall’s Conor Robinson, who is a year older and among the top boys of his age in the country.
2 OLIVIA SADLER – Olivia made an impressive start to the cross-country season by finishing a creditable 4th in the combined U17/20 race in the Gwent league.
1 ALEC WOODS – Alec continued his preparations for the forthcoming Home Countries vets international by finishing a reasonably close 5th – less than a minute behind the winner- in the opening Gloucestershire League race at Guiting Power, though I imagine he was impressed by the talent of young Rhys Park!
2 PHIL PARRY – Like Alec, Phil too is preparing for next month’s vets international, but hampered by the ankle injury which has severely restricted his training of late he had to be satisfied with 18th place in the opening Gwent League race. Don’t panic Phil, you still have a month in hand!
1 HELEN FINES – Helen continued her successful career on the fells by scoring an overwhelming victory by the best part of ten minutes in the 14M Langdale Horseshoe race, which is a counting event in the English championship series.
2 SIAN DAVIES – Sian showed a welcome return to something approaching her true form by finishing just behind Vicky Tester in 23rd place in the opening Gwent Leaguen race.
3 ALISON HURFORD – Ali maintained the steady progress she has made since her long injury setback by making the top 40 in 38th position in the highly competitive Gwent League women’s race