Weekly update – 11th January 2022

It was a very successful weekend for athletes from Wolverhampton & Bilston AC as the club were amongst the medals at county cross country championships, crossing the line first in road races and representing their country in an international race.

We’ll start with the Staffordshire Cross Country Championships which this year were held in Cheshire just to confuse matters. The club went there mob handed with Mary and Derek Harding and Glen Lock officiating in various capacities and there were also plenty of coaches on hand to cajole, encourage and commiserate with their charges. There was a clean sweep of the medals in the U13s race with Fred Jones claiming victory in 11.33 from Sam Thursfield in 12.27 and Oscar Davis in 12.33. Sam Ball was 7th in 13.09, Jack Stockton was 8th in 13.20 and William Bassford was 9th in 13.35. Will Hughes was 18th in 14.14, Leon Asbury was 21st in 14.22. Not surprisingly they walked away with the team prize. Grace Hendy claimed bronze in the U13 girls race in 14.06, Eleanor Simpson was 12th in 15.05 and Lucy Horton was 14th in 15.40 to take home team silver medals.

There was another county champion in the Jones house in the U15 girls race with Isobelle Jones taking the win in 17.06, Madison Farley finished in 18.36 in 5th, Megan White in 18.57 in 7th, Ruby Buggins in 19.34 in 9th, Zena Asbury in 29.59 in 10th, Scarlett Willoughby in 20.35 in 12th and Bethany Bennett in 22.17 in 18th enough to claim the team gold. Matthew Bassford finished in 17.27 in the boys race to take 5th place.

James Nielson took home the bronze medal in the U17 race in 24.56 and a strong team of Ruby Richards who claimed individual gold in 29.45, Maria Calleia who finished an agonising 4th in 30.50 and Hannah Corns who was 7th in 34.38 won the team prize in the U20s. The club only had one representative in the senior ladies’ race where Abi Wells-Day finished in 31.13 to take 8th place.

There were more medals in the upper age groups with Louie Lambeth taking home a bronze in the U20s race with a time of 35.31 where Joe St Quinton made an excellent club debut finishing in 39.59 to take 36th place. Jamie Ward also claimed bronze in the senior event in 35.20, however Jamie did suffer an injury which looks like he might be out for a while. Rich Amor-Wilkes in 42nd in 41.07. And there was another individual bronze in the Masters race with Gareth Briggs claiming 3rd place in 38.18. Dave Smith was 5th in 38.45, Ben Pilsbury 14th in 42.39, Shaun Bennett 17th in 43.34, Dave Norman 19th in 44.06, Roger Grand 20th in 44.11, Darren Edwards 22nd in 45.42, Garry Palmer 24th in 46.41 and Rob Edwards 26th in 47.37. This was enough to walk away with the Masters team prize. Unfortunately Greg Asbury was forced to drop out with one lap of the course remaining with calf issues.

The club also had a single representative at the Shropshire Championships at Attingham Park where again the club were among the medals with Ava Kind taking bronze in 11.17 in the U15s.

Not satisfied with one hard race in a weekend Rob Edwards was out again the following day to take part in the Cannock Chase Trig race, an event over approximately 16 miles which include 1500 feet of climbing, Rob came home on 51st in 2.28.23.

And the club’s marathon man, Dave Joynson, was at it again in the Winter Enigma Marathon in Milton Keynes, this time crossing the line in 1st place in 3.18.25. His partner in crime, Gillian Mitchell, was 35th in 5.59.35.

Finally, the sweetest note is left until the end as Louise Hackett pulled on an England vest for the first time to take part in the Mamo Wolde Series Final, a cross country event in Spain. Louise finished in 17.04 to take 5th (3rd for her country) in a gruelling, wet and extremely muddy event in Elgiobar.Sent from my iPhone

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