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Gwent League Cross-Country: Swansea - 19th March 2022

Updated: Apr 2

The final Gwent League of the season saw the club wrap up another successful Cross-Country campaign, with individual podium finishes on the day and a host of team and individual league podium finishes. Congratulations to everyone who has raced for B&W this year in the Gwent League, and to all the coaches, helpers and parents who have helped make it possible!


Match 5 - Top 3 Performances

Individual

1st: Hannah Dyer (U23 Women), Claire Jolliffe (Female Masters 55)

2nd: Ishmael Bradley, Chelsea Creak (Senior Women), Sarah Everitt (Female Masters 55)


Club

1st: Senior Women, Female Masters 45, Female Masters 55,

2nd: Novice Boys, Senior Men, U13 Girls, Female Masters 35

3rd: U13 Boys, Novice Girls, Senior Women B,


At the end of the Gwent League season, congratulations to the following athletes who finished in the top-3 overall in their classes, and to the teams who secured top-5 league finishes:


Overall League Positions:

Individual

1st: Hannah Dyer (U23 Women), Chelsea Creak (Senior Women), Claire Jolliffe (Female Masters 55)

2nd: Adam Stokes (University Students), Pete Baines (Male Masters 35), Katy Roy (Female Masters 35)

3rd: Fletcher Rogers (Novice Boys), Ishmael Bradley (U17 Men)


Club

Novice Boys - 4th

U13 Boys - 2nd

U17 Men - 4th

Senior Men - 1st, 1st B division, 2nd Reserve Division

Male Masters 35 - 5th

Novice Girls - 5th

U13 Girls - 1st

U17 Women - 4th

U23 Women - 5th

Senior Women - 1st, 3rd overall and 1st B Division, 1st and 2nd Reserve Division

Female Masters 35 - 2nd

Female Masters 45 - 1st

Female Masters 55 - 4th


Chris Elson reports on the Senior teams performance at Singleton Park.


Where to start with so much news to impart! Perhaps the results first with the teams final standings.

Women

Another amazing statistic is that B&W had 7 (including Katy Roy who has now joined us) in the first ten in the overall standings out of 590 women competing


Chelsea continued where she left off at Blaise, but this time faced the Welsh Cross-Country champion, Lauren Cooper. Chelsea had the satisfaction of winning the overall women’s league title and cutting the deficit between Lauren and her from 67 seconds at Cardiff in the first match of the season to 8 seconds yesterday. Chelsea finished fast and over the last 300m Roger, Steve and I thought she might catch Lauren up. One thing is for sure, there’s much more to come there!


Kat has been injured since her joust with the mud of Parliament Hill Fields, and only decided to “trot” around. Some trot: an amazing run. Ever consistent, and consistently getting faster, Catie was not far behind, followed by U23 league champion Hannah Dyer, who must look back with satisfaction on how far she has progressed this season.


That left this race’s revelation, Caz Buckridge to complete the team. With a young family to look after and a job, Caz doesn’t have much time to devote to running - perhaps a parkrun, WISE on Wednesdays and another run is about it. So after her cross-country debut at Blaise in 52nd place it’s difficult to find a superlative to describe her 13th place yesterday.


Our golden masters trio of Liz Sanigar, Claire Jolliffe and Sarah Everitt dominated both the overall and masters standing and with Verity Potts another who has made commendable progress over the season, together with master, Tanya Chowdhury, brought the B team home in third place on the day. Antonia Gooder led the C team home with another outstanding run and was 7th V55. Next Esme Stallard and Amelia Marshall made creditable debuts coming in the top third of the field, leaving Olivia Zeltner to make up the team. Olivia must have set a League record if not an entry into the Guinness book of records by completing a 6k Cross Country race while 30 weeks pregnant!

Men

Will Parkin set off conservatively and purposefully worked his way through the field. Will was just edged out of the podium by former club member and sub four minute miler, Angus McLean, now working in Swansea. Adam Stokes did likewise and looked strong in 10th place, followed by Pete Baines who had the satisfaction of coming 2nd in the overall V35 competition out of 520 competing. Chris Nielson and Richard Elston, both had excellent runs with their highest finish positions in the competition, with those fiving making up the triumphant A team.


Graham Donald continued to improve and led the B team home. Andrew Grigg was still carrying his 2 hour 33 marathon in his legs and did well therefore to finish 46th. Sam Johnson had his best run of the season in 51st and he too looked to be running very strongly. Aled Anderson was suffering from a painful back problem but hung on bravely to finish, while Hamish Wyatt showed how well he’s coming on in 84th place. That left our two masters to make up the C team, namely Richard who was 19th over 50, and Dan. A nine kilometre cross-country is a long way for a 1500m masters so Dan deserves congratulations for finishing 15th V55 out of 46 competing.


Overall the team can look back on another successful and indeed remarkable season. It’s notable that a veritable host of newcomers to the club tried cross-country running for the first time and took to it like ducks to water. Finally, I thank Roger Brocklesby and Steve Grant for their unstinting support and help throughout the season.

Chris Elson


Simon Jones reports on how the junior girls fared at Singleton Park:

We are the champions!

We are absolutely delighted for our Under 13 Girls who have taken home the gold medal in the Gwent League! With two of our highest performers this season (Gabi Ritter-Sheratt and Holly Massey-Jones) competing in the English Schools Cross Country Championships, we were confident that our strength in depth would secure us silver. Our girls went one further on the day! Caitlin White came home in a stunning seventh place, with Mairi-Carver Brown (12th), Amira Chowdhury-Barratt (14th) and Millie Pope (16th) working together throughout the race before battling it out on the finishing straight!

The B team competed superbly too, with Imogen Sparrow (33rd) continuing to improve her placing leading them in. She was closely followed by (what was arguably the performance of the day) Megan Purdie in 35th. Lucy Wilkinson (36th) and Phoebe Sanigar (37th) contributed to a final 10th place finish, and 1st B team. The C team were the highest placed C team, with Anisa Lawson (42nd) and Maddie Smith (46th) contributing to the numbers there.


The Under 11 team finished the season strongly, with Sylvia Ritter-Sherratt coming home in 13th, securing 9th place for the season overall. Sylvia was joined in the A team by Cora Lambourne (21st), Poppy Dixon (25th) and Loretta Chowdhury-Barratt (28th), securing fifth overall in a very strong season. Isla Brown was first home for the B team shortly behind Loretta in 29th, closely followed by Scarlett Smith in 30th. Alana Cooper finished in 32nd and completed the B team, ensuring that we finished as the highest placed B team in 16th! Mya Cronin finished in a strong 42nd position, again demonstrating our strength in depth, and continuing the crossover between our cross-country team and quad kids' team.


Our Under 15 and Under 17 teams were severely depleted because of the English Schools, with only 2 runners in the Under 15 race. We were delighted for them both with Eliza Bott finishing in 12th and Mia Buscemi in 24th. The Under 15 team finished seventh overall and, despite having no runners in the last race of the season due to English Schools, the Under 17s finished fourth.


An amazing season that is tinged with sadness, as our wonderful girls U11/13 endurance coach Paul Owen has decided to step back for a while. Paul has coached many of our female endurance athletes over the years, and certainly had an influence on much of the success across the age groups one way or another this year. What a brilliant way to sign off, bringing home the gold with the Under 13 girls. The girls unanimously dedicated their victory to him. Thanks Paul, you will be sorely missed.

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