Ali’s army rise to the challenge.
The Pontypool course was certainly one of the more testing courses so far this cross country season and provided a great warm up for the National cross country in two weeks time. Despite the dreaded flu and half term there was an exceptionally high turn-out in all the younger races with over 100 boys finishing the novice race.
Once again Bristol & West put out very strong teams and were to the fore in both races. Overall it was a terrific performance with several new lads proudly wearing their club vest for the first time. Even those who have suffered from the flu in recent weeks made it to the start line determined to give of their best.
Under-11 Boys Race
Josh Lewis (4th) was very up-beat from the start and this had a very positive effect on his great performance leading the team in. Next was Sony Walsh(53) who is young in the age group and has a great future next year. In his first race Felix Pearson (57) really showed how competitive he can be. This was a great start for his racing career. Another youngster Ben French(67) showed great commitment closing the A team in for what I hope will be our best result so far this season.
First in for the B team Morgan Candy (79) was happy once the starting gun had fired. Next time he may have to consider wearing ear muffs to mask the noise. Rest assured he is not the first young athlete to be distressed by the starter.
Another new recruit Oliver Draper (89) appeared to have really enjoyed himself smiling as he ran into the finish, clearly there is more to come at his next outing. Our final finisher was the ever reliable Rio Dutton(106) who seemed to save his best for the final 20 metres. It must have been the music!
Under-13 Boys Race.
As we are currently in the bronze medal position we really needed to consolidate our position and there were several impressive performances, most notably Alex Robertson who has improved significantly over the last year.
Joseph Hull (7th) ran a very gusty race from the start and his position is well deserved showing what can be achieved after 4 years of consistent training and racing. Not far behind there was a real battle between Fred Cummins (13th) and Tomek Czerepinski (14th).Both lads ran brilliantly with Tomek overcoming recent flu and Fred running with much greater confidence. Ishmael Bradley (32) gave everything as usual and closed in as fourth scorer for the A team.
The B team consisted of several lads who are new to racing and must have surprised themselves. First in was Luki ffrench (43) who was happy to race without his hat on provided he could keep his leggings on. Jacob Franklin (44) in only his second race looked very much at home in the mud and is a welcome addition to this young team. Alex Roberson (45) looks better at every race and scored valuable points as Henry Godfree (64) closed in a complete B team which is to be applauded.
So the future looks rosy for both age groups. The final Gwent league is on Saturday 3rd March 2018 at Blaise Castle so there should be no stopping us at our home fixture. We will need an abundance of cakes for afterwards to celebrate the end of the season.