There was a full weekend of cross country action for athletes from Wolverhampton & Bilston AC across both days and across all age groups as the Birmingham League for the men and the West Midlands League for the ladies resumed after and absence of 664 days and the second fixture of the WMYACC league took place at Warley Woods.
The ladies and mens races both took place at Betley Farm near Crewe, along with all the other divisions which meant for a bumper turn out as, with 2 ladies divisions and 3 mens divisions, there were upwards of 1000 runners circling the fields over the course of the afternoon.
The ladies got proceedings underway covering a 2 lap course of roughly 4 miles. Amelia Samuels was a comfortable second behind race winner Amelia Quirk of University of Birmingham, our Amelia coming home in 21.55, just 16 seconds behind U of Bs GB international. Louise Hackett looked strong coming home in 6th place in 22.59, Abi Wells-Day finished in 90th in 28.17, Sabrina Thomas was 109th in 28.54, Sarah Thurley 130th in 29.46, Ceri Card 149th in 30.40, Hannah Corns 158th in 30.58, Emily Simmonds 159th in 31.01 and Joanne Hackett 196th in 32.49. This places the ladies in 6th place in the league behind the two universities of Birmingham and Loughborough, Birchfield Harriers in 3rd, BRAT in 4th and Leamington in 5th.
The men got their season underway an hour later covering an extra lap of the same course for the thick end of 6 miles. Jack Bonser brought the A team home in a fantastic 37th place in 32.20, Jonny Harris was 60th in 33.25, Jamie Ward 69th in 33.45, Louie Lambeth 76th in 34.05, Harry Dyall 90th in 34.32 and Dan Turner completed the A team coming home in 34.47 to take 97th place. This places the club 12th in their 16 team league and in a strong position to maintain their division one status. Dave Smith brought the B team home in 157th in 37.24, Gareth Briggs was 161st in 37.39, Ben Pilsbury 175th in 38.40, Dan Vaughan 185th in 39.19, Dave Newport 189th in 39.30, Greg Asbury 196th in 39.51, Dave Norman 200th in 40.12, Andy Dyall 215th in 42.29, Paul Clarke 216th in 42.34, Rob Edwrads 227th in 44.37 and Lee Partridge 238th in 48.30.
For the men the next fixture will be at Northampton while the ladies with be at Stratford, both hoping to build on their promising start.
Twenty four hours later it was the turn of the younger generation to pull on the vest and compete across the country taking the far shorter journey to Smethwick. In the U11s boys race Seb Palmer was first home for the club taking 7th place in 7.23, Harry Dornan was 10th in 7.32, Isaac Danbury 15th in 7.39, Jonathan Yang 20th in 7.46, Theo Ulfig 23rd in 8.00, Elijah Webb 30th in 8.13, Frankie Mason 65th in 9.16, Caleb Pitt 74th in 9.33, Thomas Buggins 75th in 9.33, Lewis Nelson 95th in 10.24 with the club placing 2nd behind Royal Sutton Coldfield. Hattie Thomas brought the club home in the U11 girls race in 14th place in 8.20, Gracie Billett was 35th in 8.51, Clara Butler Montero 38th in 8.55, Alice Cattell 52nd in 9.10, Erin-Mia Nash 66th in 9.29, Olivia Spataro 74th in 9.43, Amiyah Pal 83rd in 10.05 with the club finishing 6th.
There was a win in the U13 boys race with Fred Jones crossing the line in first place in 9.20, Sam Thursfield was 4th in 10.03, Sam Ball 5th in 10.04, Oscar Davies 6th in 10.07 and Jack Stockton 9th in 10.30. William Bassford was 21st in 11.11, Jayden Burdish 28th in 11.20, Leon Asbury 29th in 11.22, William Hughes 31st in 11.26, Aryan Pal 62nd in 12.51. With such good grouping and five runners home in the first ten places not surprisingly the club finished 1st in their age group. In the U13 girls race Daisy Frost brought the club home in 6th place in 11.18, Grace Hendy was 10th in 11.30, Ronni Read 23rd in 12.18, Lucy Horton 33rd in 12.29, Ruby Jackson 38th in 12.33, Tabitha Rollins 42nd in 12.44, Esme Webb 53rd in 13.10, with the club placing 3rd.
Theo Palmer was first home in the U15s boys race in 14th place in 12.58, Matthew Bassford was 30th in 13.26, Zakari Sandhu-Whitton was 31st in 13.28, Jared Richards took 55th position in 14.40, Sebatian Edwards was 72nd in 15.58 with the club placing 7th. There was another victory on the afternoon in the U15 girls race with Isobelle Jones taking the win in 13.18 with Rosie Kind chasing her home in the runners up spot in 13.31, Megan White took 8th in 14.13, Zena Asbury 10th in 14.21, Ruby Buggins 20th in 14.33, Millie Williams 27th in 15.03, Scarlett Willoughby 29th in 15.16, Jessica Yang 35th in 15.43, Bethany Bennett 71st in 17.26, again good clustering at the sharp end placed the club in 1st place.
James Neilson was first home for the club in the U17 mens race in 12th place in 18.45, Dylan Illidge was 24th in 19.41 these being the only two representatives from the club. And it was a similar story in the U17 ladies race with Isabelle Price finishing in a fine 2nd place, just 9 seconds adrift of the winner, Jade Charlton from Tipton, with Beth Rawlinson coming home in 16th place in 18.45.
Despite low numbers in the older ages the club currently sits in 3rd place overall just behind Rugby & Northampton and Royal Sutton Coldfield AC, a nice position to be in after two fixtures.