There was plenty of cross country action for athletes from Wolverhampton & Bilston AC at the weekend as the senior leagues got under way and the juniors took part in their second fixture of the season. In addition, there were regional honours for a couple of club members who had been selected to represent the Midlands and another claiming international honours..
It was ladies first at Betley Farm to the north of Stoke on Trent on the Cheshire border in the Midlands League Division Once fixture. The ladies completed two laps of rolling farmland which, despite being bone dry, was very testing with some trying gradients on a course where athletes felt they were always working hard to maintain a position. Ella Semple was first home for the club in 11thplace in 24.09, Maddie Mastrolonardo was 22nd in 25.08, Beth Tabor was 25th in 25.21 and Lucy Calrow completed the team with 4 to count in a time of 25.25 to take 28th place, Sabrina Thomas was 68th in 27.55 and Emily Simmonds placed 96th in 30.29. This placed the ladies 4th on the day behind the big guns of the universities with Amelia Samuels and Louise Hackett to return hopefully for the next fixture at Stratford.
The men got under way an hour later over the same course but one lap further for just shy of 6 miles. Dan Turner brought the club home in 74th place in 33.07, Dan Maskew was 86th in 33.38, Louie Lambeth was 89th in 33.46, Ben Foster was 122nd in 34.55, Dylan Illidge was 127th on his senior debut in 35.15 and Joe St Quinton was 141st in 35.51 again making his senior league debut to complete the A team. Anthony Parkes was 7th for the club in 144th place in 35.55, Dan Vaughan was 202nd in 39.03, Darren Owen-Jones was 206th in 39.18, Dave Norman was 237th in 42.43, Paul Clarke was 241st in 43.00, just holding off Lee Partridge in 243rd in 43.17 with Adam Guy in 244th in 43.33. Andy Dyall was 254thin 45.36, Stuart Whitehouse 261st in 47.32 and Russ Blair finished the club off in 270th in 55.20. This performance places the club in 12th place in the league of 16 with some of our bigger hitters still to return for the next fixture when the men have a home game at Aldersley.
Elsewhere on Saturday the club had two athletes representing the Midlands at the Home Counties International Cross Country at the poetically named Teardrop Lakes near Milton Keynes. Louise Hackett was 12th in the U20s race in 18.37 and Tyler Hawley, also running in the U20s, was 45th in 25.17 both for a Midlands team. As far as vest go Beth Rawlinson went one better pulling on the red vest of Wales finishing in 19th place in 19,01 in the U20s race. Gareth Briggs, took advantage of being on site and ran as a guest in the Chiltern League placing 259th out of 502 athletes in a time of 38.55.
Twenty four hours later it was the turn of the junior club members who competed in their second race of the season at Newbold Revel hosted by the league leaders Rugby & Northampton AC. In the U11 girls race Lila Pearce was 3rd in 6.17, Gracie Billett 7th in 6.36, Biba Guest 26th in 7.00, Amiyah Pal was 36th in 7.11, Evelyn Haines 42nd in 7.16, Matilda Berry 61st in 7.34, Lily-Mae Whitfield 66th in 7.38, Jade Brindley 68th in 7.39 and Lucy Manning 81st in 7.54. In the U11 boys race there was a win for Seb Palmer who led the field home in 5.51, Rocco Hawley was 6th in 6.02, Jonathan Yang 9th in 6.10, Harry Bunn 11th in 6.13, Theo Ulfig 19th in 6.24, Frankie Mason 66th in 7.15, Mario Atkinson 81st in 7.31, Elias Thomason 97th in 7.53, Caleb Pitt 107th in 8.35 and Lewis Neilson 109th in 8.37.
In the U13 girls race there was a 3rd place finish for Grace Hendy in 10.40, Lucy Horton was 5th in 10.46, Maisie Roberts 30th in 11.55, Kiki Guest 34th in 12.01, Amira Moulder 36th in 12.09, Alice Cattell 37th in 12.13, Clara Butler-Montero 39th in 12.15, Erin-Mia Nash 47th in 12.29, Belle Willoughby 57th in 12.51, Olivia Spataro 66thin 13.04, Maisie Evans 80th in 13.42, Kaleah Moulder 90th in 14.34 and Hattie Thomas 92nd in 14.46. In the U13 boys race there was another win for the club with Fred Jones claiming victory in 8.33, Sam Ball followed him home in 2nd place in 9.07, Will Hughes was 10th in 10.05, William Bassford was 13th in 10.15, Isaac Danbury 18th in 10.28 and Seth Carrington 82nd in 13.36.
In the U15 girls race Megan White was 9th in 11.52, Eleanor Simpson 11th in 11.59, Scarlett Willoughby 16thin 12.20, Zena Asbury 17th in 12.23, Ruby Buggins 19thin 12.28, Harriet Evans 67th in 14.47 and Tabitha Rollins was 68th in 14.47. And in the U15 boys race Owen Ulfig romped to victory in 9.25 with Oscar Davis placing 6th in 10.05, Sam Thursfield was 10th in 10.09, Bohdi Finn Shields 13th in 10.16, Jack Stockton 17th in 10.26, Jayden Burdish 43rd in 11.20, Kane Carrington 58th in 11.46, Aryan Pal 74th in 12.34 and Charlie Thomas 78thin 12.54.
And in the U17 ladies race there was another 1st place finish for Isobelle Jones who crossed the line in 14.32, Scarlett Williams was 5th in 15,41, Jessica Yang 26th in 18.17 and Millie Williams 28th in 18.52. In the U17 mens race James Neilson brought the club home in 4th place in 17.39, Theo Palmer was 31st in 19.37 and Jared Richards stopped the clock in 20.56 for 42nd place.
With two races done this puts the club in a strong position at the top of the league with a lead of over 200 points from Rugby & Northampton AC in 2nd place and Stratford upon Avon AC in 3rd. Another strong showing at Warley Woods in the next fixture could go a long way towards cementing that position.
To bring things to a close can I just remind people that the club AGM is due to take place on Thursday 17thNovember at 8.00 at Fordhouses Cricket Club. The purpose is to vote for next year’s officers, constitution amendments, membership fees, consider life membership and review the previous twelve months rather than an open discussion. There is also a Track and Field Presentation again at Fordhouses Cricket Club on Sunday 20th November between 2.00 and 4.00, this is free of charge but as a result there will be no buffet provided, those wanting food can purchase bar snacks and cobs will be available if pre-ordered with Colin Thompson. Those wishing to attend please confirm with either Dave Perkins or Ruth Burton.