On Sunday 12th December 2010 the inaugural Tri-County Cross-Country was held at the University of Bath. This new race – an effort to achieve a critical mass by bringing together the Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire County Championships – received patchy support from across the three counties but enough support to suggest that it might be worth repeating in 2011.
Although the club was not out in force numerically there were some individual highlights in the course of the afternoon. In the second race of the day Anton Mills finished sixth (and fourth Avon athlete) in 7 minutes 30 seconds and a photo is on the Junior Section photos. A notable absentee in this race was Hugh Sadler who has been performing well of late.
There were no club athletes in the under-11 or under-13 girls races and a disappointed Miranda Sadler was a ‘did not finish’ in the under-15 girls race. There was no problem for elder sister Olivia in the under-17 race as she won the Avon County title in 17.45. Olivia finished third in the combined under-17/under-20 race behind Team Bath’s Imogen Wolsey and Bath University’s under-20 guest Rachel Phillips.
In the Senior Women’s race Nikki Brookland had a fine run in finishing third behind under-23 international Laura Parker of Wells City and Team Bath’s England Marathon international Holly Rush. Nikki took the Avon title, as well as being first overall in the F35 category. Supported by good runs from Alice Hector and Sian Davies, Bristol & West narrowly won the Avon Team Title from Westbury Harriers by 11 points to 16. Bristol placings were Nikki Brookland (third), Alice Hector (fifth), Sian Davies (tenth), Erica Golland (thirteenth), Alison Hurford (eighteenth) and Clare Joliffe (twenty-third).
In the under-13 boys race Tom Grant finished twenty-third and Tom Krause thirtieth. In the under-15 boys race Miles Chandler was Avon silver medalist as he finished fifth overall, while behind him Lewis Nightingale finshed twelfth and Pat Krause twenty-first. In the under-17 boys race there were only two Avon competitors but fortunately there were 23 in the combined field giving Zak Tobias a work out as he won the Avon title beating Blair Brown of Taunton (the Somerset champion) and Alex Hill of Team Bath (the Wiltshire Champion). Behind him Adam Speake and Kieran Young ran well and we are waiting confirmation of their positions. In the under-20 age group Nathan Young was runner-up in 21:38 as Gregg Halliwell of Stroud ran out a clear winner in 20:54.
The final race of the day – the Men’s Senior Race – gave some of the club’s rising senior stars the chance to shine – with Steve Mitchell cruising to overall victory as well as the Avon individual title in a time of 32.42 – 23 seconds clear of Luke Scott of Taunton who became the Somerset Champion. Behind him Dan Woolford (33.29) and Steve Francis (33.40) were fourth and fifth as Dan took the Wiltshire title and Steve the Avon bronze. Placing close behind were Andy Chambers (34.02) in seventh and Matt Peters (34.11) in eighth with Max Kiralyfi (34.04) from Bristol University between them as a guest. Alec Woods was fourteenth and first V45 and Jon Goodland in thirty-first place completed the Bristol & West contingent. With 33 points the Senior Men were easy winners of the Senior Men’s Team title.