The final Gwent League, Blaise Castle: u15 and u17 boys

Emma Withers reports on the boys’ final efforts of the cross country season.

Lie in, leisurely breakfast; time for a parkrun…this can only mean one thing, home turf! The 5th and final Gwent League and XC race for this season took us to Blaise Castle. Having been denied our gold glory run for the u15 boys last year due to ‘The Beast from the East’, there was no stopping our 7 intrepid u15 athletes, plus our guest member from taking on the challenge. New tent in position by parent and athlete power we were off to warm up and on the start line in good time.

Rufus Thomas led the team home with an impressive run in 2nd position, followed closely by Stephen Kerfoot, looking and feeling confident having found his cross country legs, 5th. Cole Edmonds showing no signs of his recent heel injury in 16th position and Jay Akbar 18th, achieving his goal and taking him into the top ten standings for the Gwent League season, which he will be mighty pleased about. Leading our B team in and completing his first year in this age category, Joseph Hull 22nd, Jacob Roe 32nd ran a solid race and Amos Kingston 38th, with Dad and a very noisy dog cheering him round completed our teams. Evan Gerard came over the line in 44thposition, running for the first time in competition with us. It was lovely to see Joe Mead, out due to injury, arriving in time to support his team-mates, aided by a super loud air horn.

The u17 boys fresh from the Nationals and finally picking up their medals from last season, headed out for the 5.5k route. Fred Hawker taking our first position home in 5th place and finally getting that Gwent League t-shirt he so rightly deserves, 7th overall in the Gwent League standings. Ollie Harper, who was supposedly taking it easy, in 13th, Luke Iles 24th, flying through the wooded section with ease and Nathan Marchant 30th, with new go faster hair cut, smiling his way round completed the A team. Otto Kingston 39th having his best run in a long time, held his position and Lewis Adamson 43rd found the course not very forgiving on his knees but true to plan ran a conservative race in order to start and finish.

Both u15 and u17 teams finished 4th overall. B teams 13th and 20th. The u15 boys just 10 points shy of North Somerset and a bronze medal!  So this is the time for everyone to move up a year in their age group, increasing the numbers in both our u15 and u17 squads. We look forward to welcoming the u13 boys to our training groups in preparation for September when we will be back at the Road Relays in Birmingham.

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