Emma Withers reports…
21 u15 and u17 boys made the journey to Cardiff on Saturday for the first Gwent League of the season. The rain held off and we adorned Gwent League bibs, got spikes on and completed warm ups. At 12.20 the u17 men headed off for the obligatory team photo and the start line.
Ollie Harper (19.12) brought the A team home in 11th place, picking up his pace in the home straight to overtake runners coming into the finish. Fred Hawker (19.54) with a solid performance, followed in 22nd place. Jay Akbar (20.03) had an exceptional race for his first year in the u17 category, gliding round in 25th. Completing the A team, Cole Edmonds (20.17) also first year u17, in 29th place.
It was great to see Steve Kerfoot (20.25), embracing the mud, leading the B team in 32nd position. Otto Kingston (21.37) enjoying the soft ground underfoot in 48th place. Lewis Adamson (22.42) with gritted determination, whilst battling a painful stitch, 69th place and completing the B team, Jacob Roe (22.54), who had not realised it was two laps, in 71st position. James Casling (23.33) had the most amazing sprint finish, heading up the C team in 73rd place.
The u17 men are currently 5th, 12th and 28th respectively.
1.25 saw the u15 boys ready to run, Eoin O Halloran, who is first year in the u15 category (11.57), heading out the A team, finished in 31st place, 2nd home, Misha Evans, also first year u15 (12.12) in 40th place. Another first year u15, Ishmael Bradley (12.18), also taking on his first XC race this season in 44th place and completing the A Team, Joseph Hull knocking 13 seconds off last years time, (12.19) 46th place.
Amos Kingston (12.30) headed up the B Team, in his new white (yes white!) spikes, with Jay Hunt (12.31) hot on his heels, both managing to stay on their feet this week. Jacob Franklin (13.02) next in, who is improving with every race, position 62. Completing the B Team, Tomek Czerepinski (13.26), returning from injury for his first race this season, 71st place. Ismail Rashid (13.49) has been training with the u15 boys for some time and decided this week that it was time to become a club member, taking on his first ever cross country race, we hope he will return for many more, 76th place. Zac Roe (14.11) recovering from a football glory goal scoring injury, finished in 79th position and Joe McNamara, holding off several Aberdare boys at the finish, (15.23) completed the runners for the C Team, in position 89. Fred Cummins set off solidly but his knees refused to stand up to the run and he was unable to complete the second lap. This did not stop him from cheering on his team mates and he is very determined that he will be back to do it all again in Mansfield.
The u15 boys are currently 7th, 12th and 23rd.