Aldon Hill Park on the outskirts of Yeovil provided a great setting for the South-West Cross-Country on Sunday 7th January 2018. It was a crisp day with a biting wind providing a wind chill despite the blue sky and lack of any rain, sleet, hail or snow. The club tent provided welcome shelter. The club had no representatives in ether of the under-11 races so it was left to the Senior Men’s Team to open our account and what a start they made. Owain JONES might be less than 100% race fit but he used all of his experience to judge his race to perfection to finish fifth ad lead the team home with a 30.58 clocking which brought him to within 3 seconds of Bideford’s Mark Jenkin. Harry ALLEN made a faster start and did well to dig in and hold on to thirteenth place (31.58) just one place and three seconds clear of Andy WATT (fourteenth in 32.01). Kurt TAYLOR was twenty-fourth in 32:57 and with Maciej BIALOGONSKI finishing twenty-ninth in 33.06 our scoring five scored 85 points to finish 30 points clear of Wells City Harriers.
The ‘B’ team was led home by Dan TITHERADGE (sixty-first in 35.16 who was ably supported by Tim WATSON (sixty-sixth in 35.32), Tony ROPER (seventy-fifth in 36.12), Anthony HALL (seventy-ninth in 36.39) and Tom DOBRA (eighty-seventh in 37.21). Club athletes also helped Avon to finish second in the County standings behind Devon.
Five young athletes competed with the first up being Clementine HOULDEN in the Under-13 Girl’s race where she finished eleventh in 14.58 with Molly THOMAS twenty-seventh in 15.45.
Elizabeth PLEWS finished twenty-first in the under-17 Ladies race in 18.44 with Alice BRIDGER MORALES eighteenth in the Under-15 Girls race in 16.07.
Rufus THOMAS finished twenty-sixth in the Under-15 Boys race in 16.09.
The concluding race of the day was the Senior Ladies event which saw the strongest team performance of the day by a club team. As with Owain in the Senior Men’s race Natalie GRIFFITHS (22.02) ran a finely judged race and, like Owain, her highest position in the race was her finishing position. Fourth overall was good enough for Bronze in the senior race as second-placer Hannah Hobbs of Westbury Harriers took the Junior title. Behind Natalie Fiona MARKS battled on to finish eighth in the Senor race in 22.34 with Catie O’DONOGHUE not far behind in tenth place in 22.40. Imogen PECK finished fifteenth in 23.04 as our first four scored 36 points to finish well clear of Avon Valley Runners who scored 105.
Naomi AYLWIN finished twentieth to lead the ‘B’ team home in 23.36. Sarah EVERITT finished twenty-seventh in 23.52, Molly CHILTON was thirty-seventh in 24.34, Lisa NEWING was forty-third in 25.28, Nicola OLDROYD enjoyed her strongest run yet in club colours to finish forty-seventh in 25.43, with Tracy ALLAN next home (forty-eighth in 25.48). Rosey MUSHENS finished fifty-sixth in 27.01 with Lucy BIRD in fifty-eighth place in 27.23 and Henrietta ANSTEY was sixtieth in 28.07. There were 88 finishers in a race that was far more competitive than last year’s event. The ladies also had the pleasure of providing three of the five ladies who took the team title for Avon ahead of Devon.
Full results are available below: