Young Athletes Perform Well At Avon Schools Cross-Country

14 Jan

A wet and particularly windy Saturday 12th January 2013 saw the Avon Schools Championships take place on a very slippery Blaise Castle Estate. There was a great turn out from Bristol & West Athletic Club athletes backed by their coaches Alison Hurford, Dave Bedwell and Dave Taylor. There were also numerous supporting mums and dads who braved the conditions to cheer their off-spring on.

Pride of place and ‘Performance of the Day’ must surely go to Maria Jones for her win in the Senior Girls – I doubt that Maria (Colston Girls) would see herself primarily as a cross-country runner but that didn’t stop her from taking the Senior Girls title with a win in 17.02 from Paige Matthews (Norton Hill School/BANES). In third place after at least one spill was Miranda Sadler (BGS) in 17.33. There were only ten finishers in this event and no authority closed in a team.

In the Senior Boys the club had another winner as Kieran Young (Radstock College/BANES) romped away with the title in 26 minutes 20 seconds for the 6.9k course. Kieran did look like a cross-country runner as he made light work of the slippery conditions to lead in Miles Chandler (Gordano School/North Somerset) who took 28 minutes 34 seconds. There were only 8 finishers in the Senior Boys race.

In the Intermediate girls there was a clear team win for Bristol Schools and a great showing by Dave Taylor’s group as great packing saw Jo Taylor second in 17.04 (Badminton School/Bristol), Jess Monk third in 17.17 (Abbeywood/South Gloucestershire) and Rose Evan Baker (Bristol Grammar School/Bristol) fourth in 17.28. These four athletes were over 30 seconds clear of the rest of a good field of 33 runners. Ellie Evans (The Grange/South Gloucs) was thirteenth in 19.10. The race was won by Cecile Andersen (Gordano / North Somerset) in 16.46.

In the intermediate boys Corey Haines (Bristol Brunel Academy) led the club contingent home in third place in 23.08. Henry Cochrane (Bristol Brunel Academy) was fifth in 24.16 and Lucas Regazzo (Clifton College) finished fourteenth in 25.51. In the team event Bristol Schools won with 42 points from a field of 27 runners.

In the junior girls Eloise Brown (Colstons/Bristol) finished ninth in 14.30 and would not have enjoyed the underfoot conditions with a recent back injury. Behind Eloise several new-comers to cross country ran well with Molly Woolfson (Clifton College) twenty-third in 15.54, Hannah Dyer (John Cabot Academy/South Gloucs) twenty-sixth in 16.21 and Olivia Derrington (Colston Girls/Bristol) thirty-second in 17.06 from the thirty-eight finishers.

In the Junior Boy’s Race Alison’s Army were taking on Dave Bedwell’s group. Harry Leeming (Clifton College) had a great run for third place in 15.00 only seven seconds behind the winner. Behind him, Hugh Sadler (Bristol Grammar School) was fourth in 15.06 and Kieron Dunkley (Bristol Brunel Academy) was fifth in 15.15. Next home from the club was George Marshall (Redland Green School) in 15.49 leading in another group of Bristol & West athletes as he was followed by Billie Cochrane (Bristol Brunel Academy) tenth in 15.58, Anton Mills (Hanham) eleventh in 15.59, Reuben Wilmshurst twelfth in 16.00 and Tom Snell (QEH) fourteenth in 16.09 (as the club finished eight in the first fourteen finishers).

In the Minor Girls race Isobel Leeming (Clifton College) finished fourth in 10.05, Olivia Croft was seventh in 10.38 and Emily Moore (St Mary Redcliffe) finished twelfth in 11.08.

In the Minor Boy’s race Tom Paine (Clifton) was sixth in 12.42 and Luke Garner-Greene (Backwell) was tenth in 13.00.

Overall it was a great day for the club’s young athletes and demonstrates how much hard work they have put into their training so far this winter. We wish all those selected for the county team best wishes in the South-West Schools which will be held in Blaise Castle on Saturday 2nd February 2013 and the English Schools on Saturday 16th March 2013 at Swadlingcote in Derbyshire.

Full results from the Avon Schools can be found at