I always feel the biggest medal should be awarded to the organising start team for the Under-13 boys race. Holding back around 600 highly charged young athletes takes some doing. As they all hared up the hill from the start I crossed my fingers hoping all twelve Bristol lads would finish unscathed. An afternoon spent with St John’s Ambulance volunteers would not be helpful. So I was thankful to see them all run-by well into the race.
Tomek Czerepinski (220th in 13:36) was first to show and finish proving he has finally recovered from flu and this was a great start in his first championship race. Ishmael Bradley (255th in 13:46) was only 10 seconds behind and is also clearly back to the form he showed earlier in the season. Eoin O’Halloran (274th in 13:56) with a bloody knee did well to hang on after being spiked but thank goodness only needed a magic plaster at the end. The final place in the scoring team was wide open and Amos Kingston (398th in 14:33) gave it his best shot before he moves up the under-15s next year. The team finished with 1,147 points in forty-fifth position.
A very youthful Joshua Lewis (441st in 14:51) made a big step up from the Gwent league novice boys and his performance should fill him with confidence moving up to under-13s next year. Just a further 3 seconds away Luki ffrench (450th in 14:54) ran a well paced race and is proving to be a consistent member of the squad. Jacob Franklin (496th in 15:22) in only his third race in club colours and Misha Evans (498th in 15:22) recorded identical times. Jacob just getting his foot in front of Misha who is still recovering from illness and did well to get round.
Thankfully for Luca Alison (502nd in 15:26) the sun was out. I am sure the warmer track season will be the time for him to shine. Having just seen his older brother finish Zachary Roe (560th in 17:19) knew the pressure was on and kept up the family tradition of taking part and having fun. Alex Robertson (567th in 18:49) and Henry Godfree (568th in 18:57) appear to have decided on safety in numbers, giving one another support throughout the race until the thought of the Bakewell tart stirred Alex into getting the better of Henry in the closing stages. There were 570 finishers and fifty-six teams closed in.
I very much hope that these young athletes will take inspiration from the well deserved silver medal won by the senior men, proving what can be achieved with the right people around you.
I hope we can all be in Leeds next year giving it our best shot.
Ali Hurford Reports.
The under-15 boys took on the mighty Parliament Hill in the sunshine today and came out on top finishing twenty-first team. Oliver Harper, on his debut cross country run, coming in first for the team in 106th place (17.16), followed by the ever reliable Fred Hawker, smiling and looking relaxed in 156th place (17.38), with only a second between them, Luke Iles in 158th place (17.39) and Lewis Adamson, who has steadily improved over this year was the fourth member of the qualifying team in 244th place (18.23). Otto Kingston, who loves the challenge of a muddy hill, finished in 308th place (18.52). Our next three boys were competing in their first year for the under-15 team, Cole Edmonds 329th (19.03), Jay Akbar 375th (19.28) and completing the second team, Jacob Roe 465th (21.10).
Our under-17 men were represented by Nathan Marchant, showing his experience, working his way through the pack to 237th place, (24.22), supported by Robert Kiekuth 301st (25.32) who hasn’t missed a fixture all year.
A massive well done to all the boys who took part today. They continue to show great team spirit and support to each other. They always manage to find a good balance between competition and enjoyment of the occasion. We are looking forward to taking this to Blaise Castle next weekend, completing our cross country season at the Gwent League.
Emma Withers Reports.