GWENT LEAGUE CROSS-COUNTRY – SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2012 – BRECON

There was a real buzz and palpable sense of excitement as the Bristol & West teams lined up for the Gwent League on what turned out to be a sunny Autumn day. First off were the ladies and what a sight it was for the supporters club with the bright Bristol vests packing in together. Charlotte Green just held off evergreen Super vet Viv McConnell, the pair having run together nearly all the way, followed closely by Diana Kennedy and Julia Belyavin. Sarah Everitt made up the ‘A’ team with Aoife Nichols close behind. Ali Hurford set off slowly shepherding Aimee Davies and Becci Colquhoun early on before moving through the field. The result was a fine team win for the Ladies – beating local rivals and reigning Gwent League Champions Westbury Harriers into second place on the day, although Westbury retain their lead after their win in the opening race at Bridgend.

Lots of people were making their debuts for the men, and their team manager was very, very pleased with the results. Lionel Fernandez found the distance a bit long (10.5K) and the number of laps confusing (despite a briefing by Coach Keith Brackstone beforehand – perhaps something was lost in translation!) but stuck to it and led the team home in 14th place (after being eighth at the end of the second lap (which he thought was the last lap!)). Huw Jones and Phil Lucker (back after a prolonged injury) came next followed by fellow Yorkshireman, Yani Berdeni. Dave Bedwell defied the years making up the A team out-sprinting life member Rick Wallis (running for Westbury Harriers). Neil Scholes must be pleased with his first outing over the country for many years and Andy Malloy and Paul Jefferson should be delighted with their positions. Colin Traer appears to have done a double running the Park Run first thing & the Gwent League – Chris will be speaking to Colin about that! (He will probably have words with Yani as well when he finds out that Yani ran the Sodbury Slog on Sunday!) Vets Peter Mountain and Gary Jennings completed the vet’s team and it will be interesting to see how the vet’s team is faring. The Men’s ‘A’ Team finished sixth on the day to hold on to third place in the League after two races.

Senior Ladies – Individual Placings
Charlotte Green 17
Viv McConnell   18 (V55)
Diana Kennedy   20
Julia Belyavin 21
Sarah Everitt   33 (V45)
Aoife Nichols   37
Ali Hurford     54 (V50)
Aimee Davies    70
Becci Colquhoun 75

Senior Men – Individual Placings
Lionel Fernandez 14
Huw Jones       43
Phil Lucker     47
Yani Berdeni    62
Dave Bedwell    71 (V55)
Andy Malloy     73
Neil Scholes    89 (V45)
Paul Jefferson 91
Colin Traer     95
Peter Mountain 156 (V55)
Gary Jennings   165 (V55)

It was great to keep the Under-13 girls challenge going as we only had half a team on Wednesday evening. Dave Taylor hopes that Isobel and Emily’s efforts will be rewarded by the end of the year.
It was a real team effort as Eloise led the team home in seventh place after picking up a cold on Thursday and not feeling at her best. Isobel managed a morning off school and was rewarded with another creditable run in 23rd position. Newcomer Olivia Crofts had the biggest improvement on the day moving from 50th at Bridgend to 38th at Brecon – Well done. A big thanks goes to Emily Moore, a club newcomer, who stepped in at the last minute to complete the team.
Miranda Sadler had a much better showing in the Under-17/20 race and started with real intent but lacked a little strength over the longer distance.

As usual Ali’s boys did the club proud with Anton, Reuben and Kyle all doing well to finish in the top 20. Luke Garner-Greene and Otis Harding-Hill provided great back-up. The under-15 boys were ultra competitive and finished all 5 in the top 22 with Corey Haynes (ninth) and Keiron Dunkley (eleventh) having their own private battle and not too far behind Billy Cochrane (eighteenth), Henry Cochrane (twenty-first) and George Green (twenty-second) engaged in a similar struggle for bragging rights – what price all 5 in the top twenty at Blaise Castle? Robert Kiekuth was a lone figure in the under-11s race and let’s hope we can soon recruit some new youngsters to keep him company. His thirty-third place is an encouraging start at this level of competition.

As well as seeing lots of senior athletes out it was great to see a good bunch of junior athletes – and they bring great vocal support from their parents with them.

Novice Boys
Robert Kiekuth 33

U13 Boys
Anton Mills 13
Reuben Wilmshurst 15
Kyle Haynes 18
Luke Garner-Greene 40
Otis Harding Hill 53

U15 Boys
Corey Haynes 9
Kieron Dunkley 11
Billy Cochrane 18
Henry Cochrane 21
George Green 22

U13 Girls
Eloise Browne 7
Isobel Leeming 23
Olivia Crofts 38
Emily Moore 58

U17/20 Ladies
Miranda Sadler 9

This was a better club performance than at Bridgend – let’s hope we can get an even stronger team out at the Bristol-based fixture at Blaise Castle on Saturday 1st December 2012.