Gwent League #3: u11 and u13 boys take full advantage of festive home fixture

Gwent League #3: u11 and u13 boys take full advantage of festive home fixture
11 Dec

 The ploy of a festive tent,  Christmas lucky dip plus the usual abundance of cake seemed to work its seasonal magic as all 18 lads turned out for their respective team.

The overall improvement from the u11s resulted in  a move up from 7th position in to the bronze position, but only just. We will need to keep our finger on the pulse at the remaining 2 fixtures.

As a result of great team spirit the u13s finished second on the day & have further consolidated the bronze position moving away from Cardiff but we still need to keep it together for the rest of the season.

 

U11s results.

Leading in the team was Oisin O Halloran (9) who was the Avon bronze medalist at last weeks tri counties. Gradually moving through the field was Tom White (24) who had given his all in a school race the previous day. Having his best race to date Eddie Bent (28) managed to stay on his feet & keep his laces tied up so third time lucky. Rufus Hull (46) was clearly on a mission & is  starting to make a big impact on the team result. Providing useful back up Alfie England (72) continues to combine running with his swimming training & he is looking more confident at every race.

U13s results.

The scoring team consisted of Ronnie Wilmott(9) clearly still on a high after his victory at the Avon xc champs a week ago. This set things up well for Zac Cox (10) who thankfully has recovered from falling off his bike quite badly a couple of weeks ago. Fantastic team packing from Alex Auton Green(11) who has shown real consistency all season meant we needed just one more Bristol vest to show up soon.  So it was down to new recruit  Harry Harvey (28) who  was a real star & listened well to my pre race advice & it certainly paid dividends

The B team packed really well starting with Joey Taylor (34) just holding off a fast finishing Vijay Bakrania (35) who also played his role well as team captain on the day. Never far behind & giving his all was Daniel Jarrold (44) followed very closely by Barney Thomas (47) who has made real progress since Pembrey .

Leading the c team in was Max Finning (48) looking an awful lot happier than his race at Bath last week. His finish is something to behold. Felix Pearson (51) continues to improve & clearly enjoys being part of this lively group. It was good to have Oliver Draper back in the team after a break from competing & finally Ben Pocock (57) now looking much more comfortable after thinking about music terminology whilst running ( legato) springs to mind.

Our final finisher was Walter Davies(66) who has very recently become part of Alis Army so full marks for turning out & giving it a go.

Our next big race is the Midland xc champs at the end of Jan. So we have plenty of time to enjoy some festive running over the next couple of weeks before we starting getting back in the zone for the remaining fixtures next year.

If any one wishes to have a social run on Christmas eve we will be at Ashton Court 10am. Please bring a mince pie & some mistletoe!

Merry Christmas.

Ali

Gwent League #3 – junior girls battle it out at Blaise!

Gwent League #3 – junior girls battle it out at Blaise!
09 Dec

under 11s – Simon Jones reports…

It was a perfect winter’s day for round 3 of the Gwent League at Blaise Castle. Our team of 5 walked the course and warmed up together before taking their positions on the start line with around 90 other under 11 girls. Gabi was first home in 9th, equalling her best placing, and edging into the top 10 of the league overall! Phoebe was second home in 11th, a brilliant run, improving on her 14 place at Cardiff. Holly came home in 19th despite still struggling from a foot injury the previous week. Amira finished in 35th, a fantastic debut and Anisa in 62nd; again improving dramatically on her previous placing, continuing her progress across the season. Most impressively, all of these individual performances meant that the team finished in 2nd overall, just 2 points behind league leaders Swansea! With two meets to go, if they keep this going there is a slim chance of a team medal position!

under 13s – Paul Owen reports…

On Bristol soil and a dry but windy day Holly Sanigar continued her fine development and form establishing herself early on in the top 15-20, steadily progressed and held for a strong and credible finish of 11th in her younger year in this age group. Definitely feel a top 10 finish is on the cards this season. Katie Beech making her first appearance of the season DNF due to being sick part way through. She will be back though and with some consistent training I see her as a top 20 finisher this season.

under 15s – Paul Owen reports…

A strong line up in windy conditions with the girls in team bronze position not far off silver. As ever after a blistering start Megan ‘Duracell’ Hornung soon glided her way to lead position where she kept her foot on the gas and as the race progressed further increased her lead to take 1st position. Amy Nichols looking strong at the finish was next in with 9th, Fleur Hayden also looking good at the finish and continuing her return to fitness and form with 13th, Sophie Hayes not far behind was 14th after putting in a really good effort completed what must be 1st place team on the day. Molly Thomas although a little disappointed with her own performance of 21st worked hard all through the race and will continue to improve this season. Carmen Chance was our final team member in with 37th having ran a consistently paced race. Well done all, looking forward to seeing how much we have closed the gap at the top by…
Current team standings = 2nd place with two races to go. Megan Hornung ranked 1st girls individually. Amy Nichols 2 pts outside top ten.

 

Challenging conditions fail to deter u15 and u17 lads!

Challenging conditions fail to deter u15 and u17 lads!
08 Nov

Emma Withers reports on the u15 and u17 efforts at Mansfield

Saturday saw us drive the 154 miles to Berry Hill Park, Mansfield for the Saucony National XC relays.  With a depleted under 17 team, but the full compliment of u15s we headed off on the coach leaving the high winds and pouring rain in Bristol.  The rain followed us to Mansfield, but despite England Rugby’s disappointing defeat we were not deterred.  13 boys huddled in the Bristol and West tent for shelter, waiting for the start of the u17 race at 12.40pm.

The course was already very churned up by the time our A leg runners set off.  A busy start with much pushing and shoving saw Rufus Thomas (10.07) lead us out.  This his first time at this event and first year u17, coming over the line in 43rd position and handing over to Jay Akbar in 76th place (11.45).  Jay found the conditions under foot challenging handing over to third leg runner Lewis Adamson (11.52).  Lewis, running a steady race and overtaking several runners, finished 65th overall and feeling pleased with his performance.  Otto Kingston also headed out on the A leg, running for a time, finishing in 11.47, pleased to have reached the finish line.

The u15 boys, followed at 1.30pm into what was turning into a mud-fest, the rain did not let up.  Our A runners, Joseph Hull (8.12), Amos Kingston (8.06) and Ollie Robertson Kurd (8.53) set off. Although there were several fallers at the start of this race, luckily this time, all the Bristol and West boys managed to stay on their feet.  Amos, first home, in 94th position, followed by Joseph 98th and Ollie 115th. Our B runners waited in the pen, Eoin O Halloran (7.55), took a sliding tumble just before the finish line, but back on his feet finished in 70th place.  Fred Cummins feeling determined, (8.29) and Jacob Franklin, in his distinctive hi viz shorts and socks, (9.12), 82nd and 102nd respectively.  Our C runners having the longest wait in the cold and wet conditions, Misha Evans (8.09), 56th place, Tomek Czerepinski (8.44) 73rd, Alex Robertson, (9.45) 85th place.  This was Alexs first race back racing since breaking his ankle at the Westbury Wipeout.   All still smiling at the end and although not posting their fastest times this year,  seeming to have enjoyed the race.

A team, 56th, B Team, 73rd and C Team 85th overall.  

I am not sure our bus driver was too pleased to have such a muddy and bedraggled crew back on his bus, but we hopefully took most of the mud home with us!

A massive well done to all the boys who made the journey to Mansfield in what proved to be the most challenging conditions for us this season so far.  I hope the weather is kinder to us in Pembrey Country Park next week.  

u13s revel in mud at National XC Relays

u13s revel in mud at National XC Relays
08 Nov

Ali Hurford reports on the lads’ trip to Mansfield on 2nd November…

Despite the tricky conditions underfoot a young and inexperienced u13boys team ran with true conviction to finish leading junior team from the club at this extremely popular event.

This race nearly always clashes with half term holidays, bonfire night parties and in the case of Ali’s army certain wedding festivities along with overnight illness so we were not quite at full strength.

The A team consisted of Joey Taylor (8.53) who not only forgot to bring his spikes he also lost a trainer in the bog while walking the course. After 15 minutes of searching we gave up but thankfully we borrowed a pair of trail shoes for him to race in.

Next out for the A team was Ronnie Wilmott (7.58) who was clearly on a mission running a 38 second pb from last year. The anchor leg was down to Alex Auton Green ( 8.19) who made up 13 places to finish the team in 54th position.

The B team was unfortunately incomplete as Vijay was ill overnight but I am sure he will be wanting to make amends at the next Gwent league as I know how much he enjoys taking part.

So it was down to Max Finning (8.54) to run first leg & keeping to my advice he ran his best race this season finishing just one second behind our A team. Hopefully his next race will seem him wearing his characteristic red shorts which unfortunately failed to make their way to Mansfield so Max made do with his leggings which at least kept his legs clean.

Felix Pearson (9.14) ran a very competitive leg passing 11 other teams on his way to the finish where he reunited with the rest of the group  to cheer our A team in the closing stages.

Every year I debate about this fixture due to the date, venue and costs involved with entries and travel expenses but for some reason I keep going back because clearly the athletes really enjoy the event.

This year the journey up due to the rugby coverage kept us all entertained & on the way back a vast amount of food was consumed at a certain service station on the M5 where we are quite well known now.

We are all now gearing up to take on the Welsh at Pembury Park next Saturday.

 

Gwent League #1, Cardiff – junior girls

Gwent League #1, Cardiff – junior girls
19 Oct

Under 11 girls: Simon Jones and Debbie Hunt report…

 

The under 11 girls’ team of 5 (the most we have had for many years at that level!) did brilliantly at the first Gwent League race of the season.  All 5 showed brilliant team spirit throughout, walking the course and warming up together like they had been friends for years! The determination on what was a muddy and wet course was superb, and we were delighted to see all of the runners doing their best coming up the finishing straight. 

Holly was the first B and W girl home in 13th place, closely followed by Phoebe (14th) and Gabi (23rd).  The 3 girls came around the final corner together, as if they were working to pace each other; reflective of the training that they do at Whitehall.  Zoe, who was brilliant throughout the morning ensuring the girls worked together as the most experienced Gwent leaguer, finished 4th from B and W. Anisa completed her first ever club X – Country run brilliantly, as the only girl on the team in the younger age group, to help the team to a 7th placed finish out of 46 teams!  On the morning that Eliud Kipchoge broke the 2 hour marathon barrier, it was great to be involved in the team/sport. Well done girls, see you next time!

 

 

Under 13 girls: Paul Owen reports…

Wales appeared to be the driest part of the UK today for the first xc race of the season and it was one of our relatively newer athletes Holly Sanigar who was first back in 21st, Olivia Tarr who fell at the start and was spiked managed to pick herself up and keep going with determination to finish 96th. Niamh Roe was our final runner home in and achieved her goal of finishing the race. It would be good to add a couple more girls to this group to make a team and see how much improvement can be achieved throughout the season.

Under 15 girls:  Paul Owen reports…

Whilst it is nice to pick up individual medals what I like about the Gwent League is the team focus, and this was highlighted today with our top ranked runner not available and a few other strong runners also not able to make this race. Yet despite that we managed to field a strong team that will mean as others return we can only get stronger. Bodes well for the season. Amy Nichols was our lead runner today in 14th looking composed throughout, with Fleur Hayden not far behind in 19th (did really well as raced in a Biathlon yesterday). Just behind her was ever improving Sophie Hayles-Hall in 21st and Carmen Chance securing a strong team finish with 40th.