1= DAVE BISHOP and RICH PETERS – The top two performances of the week on the men’s side came from two of our student runners based in the USA. Both produced notable results in the latest round of regional conference cross-country championships. Dave finished a very competitive 9th in the Mountain West champs at Laramie, finishing within a quarter of a minute of fellow Brits former British Students’ medallist Rory Fraser (4th) and junior internationals Keith Gerrard (6th) and Ross Millington (8th), all of whom unlike Dave are recognised cross specialists.
Rich for his part, on his debut for the Boston University first team, caused something of a surprise by coming home as their second finisher in 7th place in the America East championship held on their own Boston course. He clocked a time of 24:50 for the 8K distance, which was some 40 seconds faster than he had recorded the previous fortnight when winning a sub-varsity event. His fine effort also helped the Boston team to the team title, which they had not won for some years. He now faces another step up by contesting the final regional inter-state race next weekend, which is the qualifier for the NCAA championships.
2 CHRIS DODD – Chris really came of age as more than a specialist middle distance runner by winning the latest Bridge Inn 5K. Only just out of the junior age group he finished well inside the 16 minute barrier in 15:46 and looks set to build on his impressive track season that saw him better 1:54 for 800m.
3 STEVE FRANCIS – Steve, who is a comparative newcomer to the sport, continued the spectacular progress he has been making lately by also dipping under 16mins for the first time when he chased Chris home in the Bridge Inn 5K in 15:55.
1 IMOGEN AINSWORTH – Imo maintained her fine early season form by improving her PB yet again as she finished just three seconds outside the 17 minute barrier to win what turned out to be a relatively high quality second race in the Bridge Inn winter 5k series. Behind her new recruit Alice Hector was only 6secs outside 18mins in 4th place.
2 STEPH BARNES – Steph produced surely her best performance of the US collegiate cross season so far when she finished a close 7th – less than five secs down on third placed GB international Charlotte Browning – in the South Eastern conference championships at Columbia.
3 AMY CHALK – Amy continued her comeback following the birth of her second child with a convincing two minute margin of victory in the Candleford Canter ladies 10K at Fringford, clocking a more than respectable time of 36:11, which suggests she could be back in the firing line for the major championships in the New Year, particularly the 6-stage relays in the spring.
1 ZAK TOBIAS – Young Zak, who is only a bottom year U17, failed by only a second or so to crack the 16 minute barrier when he underlined his outstanding talent by beating all bar senior clubmates Chris Dodd and Steve Francis in the latest Bridge Inn 5K. His time of 16:01 is impressive for a 16 year old and suggests that he could again be challenging the top boys in his age group this winter.
2 LUKE JACOBS – Luke, who is in the same age frame as Zak, chased his training partner hard all the way in the same Bridge Inn race and was also rewarded with a fine new PB of 16:23.
3 KIERAN YOUNG – Kieran, yet another member of our strong U17 team, was a runaway winner of the U17 event in the opening Wessex League cross-country meeting at Ringwood.
1 HANNAH ALDERSON – Hannah produced the only junior women’s performance of note last week when she continued her impressive start to the autumn season by improving her 5K PB by another 4secs to 17:23 when she followed Imo home in the Bridge Inn race.
MEN and WOMEN
1 CAMILLA BRIGGS – Camilla continued her build up to next weekend’s Vets cross-country international with another shorter distance event, the Bridge Inn 5K, and finished just 17 secs adrift of her 5th placed clubmate Vicky Tester (18:29) in 18:46.
2=SIAN DAVIES and Ali HURFORD – Sian and Ali once again finished within seconds of each other and only just outside 20mins in the Bridge Inn 5K, though both had to concede line honours to Aileen Brown, who won the V45 category in 19:52. Both of them are clearly on the way back to full race fitness and will no doubt be out to close the gap on their GWR rival next time they meet.
MIKE DOWN (5-11-10)