Gwent League, Cardiff, 13th Oct.
Under 13 boys fly in windy Wales.
Despite an ‘amber’ weather warning for South Wales nothing was going to deter 14 young lads turning out for the club at the first of the cross country fixtures.
Even James Thie the commentator remarked on the large Bristol squad as they made their way to the start line & I had a good vibe about the race. I also know someone would surprise me.
Being part of the cross challenge, the field was loaded with some of the fastest u13 lads in the country. Not only are they quick but also twice the size of my gang so clearly more cake is needed.
After a very competitive start it did not take long for the leading contenders to romp round & I waited to see which one of my 6 fastest boys would show first in the finishing straight. So the first surprise of the day was Misha Evans (9th) having the run of his life & clearly making up for his absence at the road relays due to an injury. The ever consistent Eoin O Halloram (15) was not far behind proving his great race at the road relays was no fluke.
Right behind was Jay Hunt(16) who has been in great form recently & has summered well. Completing the A team Ishmael Bradley(17) had a much more positive run then in recent road races & I feel clearly prefers the rougher terrain.
Finishing very strongly & providing fantastic back up was Fred Cummins(21) & hopefully this will give him greater confidence for future races. Tomek Czerepinski (25) never gave up knowing how important every place is & although he was not quite in the same form as his recent races, his time will come & hopefully he will be fighting fit for the relays in Mansfield.
The next surprise shortly arrived as both Jacob Franklin (43) & Ronnie Wilmott (46) put their training into practice with much improved performances. Ronnie needs to consider steeplechase in the future as the photo suggests. William Brown (50) was taking part in his first ever race in club colours & did not let his arm in plaster prevent him from giving it a real go.
Alex Robertson (62) is a prime example of what club running is all about. Although not the quickest he takes part in all the major fixtures & clearly loves just being involved.
Another regular member of the squad Zac Roe(66) continues to do his best along with his younger sister & older brother, full marks must go to the Roe family getting all 3 children kitted out with spikes, etc.
Archie Green (69) taking part in his first cross country race for the club ran very sensibly & had great pace at the end. As he is young in the age group, this year is all about experience & he has impressed me with his positive attitude in training.
Close behind was Felix Pearson (73) who has to be commended for turning out for the team in the National Road Relays at late notice. Athletes like this are invaluable to team managers & always deserve a large slice of cake.
Racing for the first time in the league was Joseph McNamara (76) who very new to competing at this level did himself proud & I know there is plenty more in the tank here. He just needs to keep giving it a go.
This was the best start I could hope for in this very competitive league. As a result of such a solid performance the A team are in the silver position. Personally I feel it is going to be an exciting season & these lads have everything to run for.
Under 11 boys.
As usual this was a very large field & it is always quite a sight to behold as these youngsters show no fear when the gun goes.
The club had just the two boys in this race but both acquitted themselves well & next time there should be more back up from several of the other u11s who were unavailable on the day.
Alex Auton-Green (13) running his first cross country race for the club went off with real intent & his competitive nature will serve him well as he is well capable of a top 10 place very soon.
Young Rufus Hull (67) has started training recently with the group & if he shows the commitment long term like his older brother Joseph he will also has a very bright future in athletics .
So we are all very much looking forward to the sand dunes in Pembrey on Sat 10th November. As is typical of the group some families are already planning on making a weekend of it & perhaps a party as well.