The Tri-County Cross-Country Championships held at Bath University on Sunday 9th December 2012 saw victories in the Senior Men’s race from Owain Jones and in the under-20/under-17 Men’s race from Will Christofi. Owain has shown great perseverance to keep running despite knee and achilles injuries that have severely curtailed his ability to train and meant that even when he can train he is limited to the volume he can manage and the surfaces he can run on. Still all this seemed irrelevant as he strode majestically away from the field to win by 78 seconds in 33.12 from Adrian Marriott of Wells City who thus became the Somerset Champion. Behind him Lionel Fernandez (34.39) finished fourth in the race and Alec Woods fifth (35.07). However, with six to score the men were unable to take a team prize despite finishing three in five as only three senior men from the club competed.
Will Christofi (20.28 for the 6.6k) was chased hard by Alex Carter (under-17) of Team Bath and it was only a surge up the last incline that took Will to a five second victory. Kieran Young (21.51) in tenth and Adam Speake (21.59) in eleventh ran (both in the under-20 age group) ran well finishing third and fourth under-20s in the Somerset Championships. Miles Chandler was the only club under-17 on display and finished fourteenth in the race to take the Avon under-17 title in 22.50.
In the Senior Women’s race there was excellent packing from the club team but it was only enough for a Tri-County bronze team medal as Westbury won on count back from Team Bath as both teams scored 43. Bristol & West had to be content with third place scoring 48 points. Viv McConnell never ceases to amaze finishing tenth in 25.35, Diana Kennedy was eleventh in 26.07, Marie Kirton was thirteenth in 26.34 just holding off Julia Belyavin who was fourteenth in 26.39 – a much better run than her performance at Blaise in the Gwent League. The scoring four were well supported by Sarah Everitt seventeenth in 27.08, Clare Jolliffe nineteenth in 27.13, Nicky Bromhall twenty-first in 28.18 and Clare Sapwell twenty-fourth in 29.03. Viv was clearly the first F55 from any county and Sarah, Clare and Nicky were a 1-2-3 at F$% from Avon.
The club had no under-20 Lady runners but in the Avon Under-17 race Miranda Sadler (18.33), Jo Taylor (19.18) and Maria Jones (19.52) finished 1-2-3 – much to the pleasure of Dave Taylor.
In the under-15 races there were only 20 finishers in the girl’s race with Jess Monk thirteenth in 16.25 and Elena Evans nineteenth in 17.15. Ellie Wallace of North Somerset took the Avon title as Wiltshire scored a 1-2 in the race. In the boy’s race Corey Haynes finished seventh but that was good enough to take the Avon title in 12.55. Harry Leeming was twelfth (13.09) and Kieron Dunkley sixteenth (13.25) as they matched the under-17 girls in taking all three Avon Medals. Billy Cochrane (27th in 14.04), Henry Cochrane (28th in 14.06) and Jack Flowers (33rd in 14.25) completed the club finishers.
Ali Hurford had her troops out in force again and it was Hugh Sadler who led then home as his third place in the race took Avon silver in 9.55. Anton Mills finished tenth (fourth Avon) in 10.29 just getting the better of Henry Adams who was one place behind in 10.32. Tom Snell and Kyle Haynes were next in for the club in thirteenth (10.37) and fourteenth (10.41). Reuben Wilmshurst finished twenty-first in 11.17 and Nathan Marchant deserves a special mention. A newcomer to the club and the sport he was twenty-sixth in his first under-13 race and seemed to cope very well with 11 minutes and 29 seconds of running. Harry Feehily finished thirty-seventh in 13.08 as the eighth member of the team.
The under-13 girl’s team had a number of newcomers running – although despite her tender years Eloise Brown is now something of an old hand. Eloise finished ninth and fifth Avon athlete in 11.14 only 6 seconds off an individual county medal. Isobel Leeming was fourteenth in 11.41, Olivia Crofts (28th in 12.29), Emma Filer (32nd in 13.02) and Emily Moore was 36th in 13.15.
The day began with the under-11 girl’s race and Katie Jones was tenth as Avon filled 8 of the first ten places. Katie has had problems with her asthma recently and this was clearly not the same Katie who finished second in the McCain Bristol challenge at the end of October. In the under-11 boy’s race Robert Kiekuth finished twenty-first in 8.20 and Sean Beavis was twenty-ninth in 10.19.
Club Development Adviser Keith Brackstone was Race Director for the third year and was ably supported by Mike Strange (time keeping), Mike Down (presentations), Phil Parry (announcer), Hilary Nash (marshal) with help from Clare Sapwell who marshalled before racing and Lindsay Fraser-Moodie who marshalled for virtually the whole day. Without the support of these volunteers events such as these could not take place and it is worth reminding everyone who went along and raced that these volunteers give up their time without any recompense so that you and runners from other clubs can continue to enjoy their sport.
Full results are available at: http://www.bristolandwestac.org/downloads/race-results-and-rankings/