It was a busy weekend for athletes, coaches and parents at Wolverhampton & Bilston AC as the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League season kicked off with a fixture at Walsall Arboretum. Again the Wolfpack were at the front, right where the action is, throughout the morning.
Isobelle Jones started the season with a win in the U17 womens race coming home in 14.32 to take maximum points, Scarlett Williams was 3rd in 15.48, Ava Kind was 13th in 16.41 and Millie Williams 35th in 19.10, placing the club 1st as a team.
There was another win in the U11 boys for Seb Palmer crossing the line in 5.08, winning by a solitary second from David Allen of R&NAC. Rocco Hawley was 4th in 5.13, Jonathan Yang was 7th in 5.29, Theo Ulfig 13th in 5.39, Nathan Tierney was 66th in 6.26, Frankie Mason 75th in 6.30, Jamie Whitehouse 81st in 6.35, Mario Atkinson 87th in 6.46, Caleb Pitt 106th in 7.13 and Lewis Neilson 109th in 7.17. The club finished 2nd overall in the age group, only a handful of points behind Rugby & Northampton AC.
James Neilson finished 3rd in 16.46 in the U17 mens race with Zakari Sandhu-Wilson in 21st in 18.07, Theo Palmer 34th in 18.56, Jared Richards 46th in 19.57, with the club placing 6th in the age group.
Lila Pearce brough the club home taking 3rd place in the U11 girls race in a time of 5.44, Gracie Billett was 10th in 5.58, Biba Guest 19th in 6.11, Amiyah Pal 29th in 6.19, Jade Brindley 50th in 6.39, Lily-Mae Whitfield 66th in 6.55, Matilda Berry 71st in 7.01 and Lucy Manning 78th in 7.05, with the club coming 3rd in the age group.
There was another victory for the club in the U15 boys race with Owen Ulfig leading the field home in 10.10, Oscar Davis took 3rd place in 10.36, Bohdi Finn Shields was 11th in 11.04, Sam Thursfield was 15th in 11.13, Jack Stockton 20th in 11.18, Jayden Burdish 38th in 12.16, Kane Carrington 46th in 12.27, Aryan Pal 64th in 13.25 and Charlie Thomas 72nd in 13.46, with the club coming 1st in the age group.
Kiki Guest just missed out on a podium place in the U13 girls race placing 4th in 8.59, Grace Hendy was 6th in 9.07, Lucy Horton was 9th in 9.10, Maisie Roberts was 36th in 9.51, Erin-Mia Nash 48th in 10.10, Clara Butler-Montero 53rd in 10.18, Alice Cattell 55th in 10.24, Amira Moulder 60th in 10.27, Belle Willoughby 61st in 10.29, Beatrice Simpson 77th in 10.57, Olivia Spataro 79th in 11.02, Kaleah Moulder 94th in 11.32 and Hattie Thomas was 110th in 12.50, with the club placing 2nd in the age group.
The club bagged another win in the U13 boys race with Fred Jones crossing the line in 1st place in 7.09, Sam Ball was 3rd in 7.47, Will Hughes 5th in 8.05, William Bassford 12th in 8.23, Isaac Danbury 17th in 8.39 and Seth Carrington was 88th in 11.21, the club coming 2nd in the age group.
And finally, Ronni Read was first back for the club in the U15 girls race in 5th place finishing in 12.25, Megan White was 8th in 12.42, Scarlett Willoughby was 14th in 13.05 just ahead on Zena Asbury a place behind in 13.08, Eleanor Simpson was 32nd in 13.49, Ruby Buggins 46th in 14.21, Macy Read 64th in 15.35 and Harriet Evans was 74th in 16.43, again the club placing 2nd in the age group.
With the club managing consistent results across all age groups we came away top of the overall league with 40 points in hand on Rugby & Northampton AC, with Stratford upon Avon in 3rd place who already appear to be adrift.
Elsewhere there was a 2nd place finish for Lucy Calrow in the Tamworth 10k coming home 11th overall in a time of 38.14, Lucy only giving second best to GB international Gemma Steel. Emily Simmonds was 51st in 45.24 claiming 2nd F40 and Mark Perry was 84th in 48.57 and 3rd M55.
Pete Hood was also amongst the prizes in the Lakeland Trails Helvellyn 15k trail race, having pocketed a free entry from winning his age group last year Pete came away with another free entry for the 2023 renewal, winning the M60 age group and coming 36th overall in a time of 1.15.32. And Dave Norman took part in the Windsor Lakeside Marathon, 4 laps of the lake at Eton Dorney, a venue used for the Olympic rowing events in 2012. It was a tough day having to run past his parked car 8 times, Dave fell apart a little on the last lap but held on to finish 7th overall and 1st M50 in 3.21.03 bringing home a nice little trophy.
And further south a trio of athletes took part in the Great South Run, a 10 mile race through Portsmouth finishing along the sea front. Rob Cartwright was 103rd in 59.14, Ben Pilsbury was 139th in 1.00.54 but the third of the group, Lee Pearson, made it to 6 miles before injury prevented his completion. Hopefully he will be back soon.