Weekly update 14th February 2023

There is only one place to start this week’s round up and that is on our own patch as the five race West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League came to its conclusion with a home game at Aldersley. With the club sitting pretty on top of the pile with a handy lead they were confident of success, but as we all know, it can all go wrong and it’s so difficult to get over that line.

There were fantastic performances throughout the day. In the U11 Girls race Lila Pearce placed 3rd in 5.44, Gracie Billett was 13th in 6.05, just holding off Bibi Guest, who was just a place and 4 seconds behind. Heidi Hayes was 18th in 6.13, Evelyn Haines 39th in 6.30, Lucy Manning 50th in 6.42, Jade Brindley 53rd in 6.44, Amiyah Pal 58th in 6.48 and Lily-Mae Whitfield placed 73rd in 7.00. There was a win for Rocco Hawley in the U13 Boys race, just holding off the Rugby & Northampton athlete by a single second with Seb Palmer also in the mix in 3rd place in 5.22. Jonathan Yang was 7th in 5.30, Harry Bunn was 9th in 5.31, Theo Ulfig placed 13th in 5.39, Elias Thomason 56th in 6.25, Frankie Mason 74th in 6.37, Mario Atkinson 91st in 6.53, Nathan Tierney 103rd in 7.34 and Lewis Neilson 104th in 7.39.

Grace Hendy brought the U13 Girls home in 2nd place in 9.21,  Kiki Guest was 11th in 9.21, Lucy Horton placed 18th in 9.29, Maisie Roberts was 27th in 9.47, Alice Cattell was 29th in 9.49, Esther Smith 34th in 9.54, Erin-Mia Nash 35th in 10.00, Amira Moulder 47th in 10.21, Beatrice Simpson 70th in 10.56, Clara Butler-Montero 74th in 11.05, Belle Willoughby 76th in 11.06, Olivia Spataro 77th in 11.09, Maisie Evans 82nd in 11.27 and Kaleah Moulder 90th in 12.07. There was a clean sweep in the U13 Boys race with Fred Jones crossing the line in 1st place in a time of 7.21 leading in Sam Ball in 2nd on 7.47 and Will Hughes 3rd in 8.02. These three have carried all before them throughout the season and a clean sweep was fully deserved. William Bassford was 20th in 8.56, Harry Dornan placed 38th in 9.25.

In the U15 Girls race there was a 6th place finish for Megan White, who at one point had moved into 2nd, in a time of 11.53, Eleanor Simpson was 14th in 12.22, Ronni Read 18th in 12.32, Zena Asbury 23rd in 12.57, Scarlett Willoughby 26h in 13.01, Ruby Buggins 30th in 13.10, Madison Farley placed 32nd in 13.14, Macy Read 52nd in 14.20 and Tabitha Rollins was 60th in 14.56. There was a win for Owen Ulfig in the U15 Boys race crossing the line in 9.51 in a comfortable lead, Oscar Davis was 5th in 10.16, Sam Thursfield placed 11th in 10.30, Jack Stockton was 15th in 10.39, Bohdi Finn Shields placed 24th in 10.59, Jayden Burdish 40th in 11.35, Kane Carrington 61st in 12.14 and Aryan Pal crossed the line in 76th in 13.22.

There was a comfortable win for Isobelle Jones in the U17 Women’s race crossing the line in 14.11, Scarlett Williams placed 5th in 15.25, Jessica Yang was 17th in 16.22 and Millie Williams was 27th in 17.57. And in the U17 Men’s race James Neilson placed a battling 4th in 15.44 with Theo Palmer in 20th in 17.48 and Jared Richards finishing in 37th in 19.51.

That sparkling set of results meant there was a procession back and forth to collect medals and trophies for overall season performances, with team and individual prizes a plenty. The U17 women claimed the 1st prize with Isobelle Jones wining the individual title.  The U17 men were 8th as this is an age group where we were struggling for numbers, James Neilson claimed an impressive individual bronze medal.

The U15 girls claimed the overall win, with Megan White highest placed in the individual standings in 7th place. The U15 boys walked away with the winners shield and there was an individual gold for Owen Ulfig.

The U13 girls placed 2nd with an individual silver for Grace Hendy. And the U13 boys were 3rd overall with Fred Jones taking the individual gold, Sam Ball pocketing the silver and Will Hughes missing out on the bronze medal finishing in 4th place by a solitary point.

The U11 girls placed 3rd overall with Lila Pearce taking home a bronze medal and the U11 boys claimed another win for the club carrying away a shield that was almost as big as them with Seb Palmer taking gold and Rocco Hawley bagging the silver with only 2 points separating the winner and runner up.

Not surprisingly the overall title went to Wolverhampton & Bilston AC who topped the pile on 33319 (in a competition where it’s the bigger the better), Rugby & Northampton AC were 2nd on 32362 and Stratford upon Avon AC were 3rd on 30904.

Congratulations to everyone involved throughout the whole season, the athletes themselves the coaching group, the admin team, the parents and everyone who made a contribution towards this success, not just on the day but throughout the whole season. To see the discipline and commitment but also the sheer enjoyment, the full-on Wolfpack experience, was an absolute joy.

Elsewhere over the weekend the senior leagues reached a conclusion with the ladies travelling to Burton Dassett Country Park in Warwickshire for the conclusion of their season. The course was described by some as more suitable for a fell race, lumpy and bumpy, close cropped grassy domes to run up and down. Imagine where the Teletubbies live and you wouldn’t be too far away. Amelia Samuels was in La-La land claiming victory in 26.06, almost a minute clear of the runner up, to show that she is back in good shape after 9 months of injury. Beth Rawlinson brought her first senior season to a close with a 6th place finish in 27.40 and claimed an impressive individual junior gold and overall bronze medals, Maddie Mastrolonardo placed 18th in 29.01 and Lucy Calrow completed the A team in 21st place in 29.16, with 46 points, this was the lowest score of their season (lower is better here) and placed the team 2nd on the day and 4thoverall for the season behind the might of the two universities Birmingham and Loughborough, with Birchfield taking third. There was another solid run from Beth Tabor in 30th in 30.15, Beth Dyall was 40th in 31.12, Sabrina Thomas placed 58th in 32.36, Emily Simmonds was 80th in 34.24 and Audrey Wilson placed 86th in 34.36.

Meanwhile the men had the long trek to Northampton for their final race of the season with the club placed 5thfrom bottom of a strong Division One and with some big hitters missing it would be a case of one club filling the last relegation stop with a straight shoot out between ourselves, Gloucester AC and Halesowen. With some solid performances the club were able to do enough to maintain their Division One status with Halesowen suffering the drop. Louie Lambeth had probably his best race of the season in 44th place in 33.53, Tyler Hawley was 52nd in 34.13, Dan Maskew made his seasonal debut when it mattered most with 72nd in 35.22, Ben Foster was 83rd in 36.00, Joe St Quinton placed 98th in 36.44 and Dan Vaughan completed the A team in 124thin 38.28. Gareth Briggs brought the B team home in 130th in 39.47, then a phalanx of Wolves runners chased each other over the line with Jay Patel in 161st and 43.22 leading home Adam Guy in 162nd in 43.38 and Pete Hood in 163rd in 43.44, Dave Norman had them in sight finishing in 169th in 44.59, Lee Partridge was 173rd in 45.52, Rob Edwards 175th in 45.58 and Mark Illidge placed 178th in 46.20. Good enough for 12th out of 16 on the day and 13th, and most importantly the right side of that relegation line for the season. The B team placed 3rdbehind BRAT and Coventry Godiva to show that everyone matters.

And finally, there was some indoor action in Manchester at their open meeting at Sport City with Dave Perkins taking a small group of athletes north but there were more support crew than competitors with Charlotte Higgins placing 2nd in 10.10 in the 60m hurdles.

Dave Norman

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