Weekly Update 19th January 2023

It was another weekend and another muddy field for the majority of athletes from Wolverhampton & Bilston AC. The ladies got things underway with their Division 1 fixture of the Midlands Women’s League, and at least it was fairly local with the club only having to travel to at Warley Woods for race 3 of their 4 race league series.

Amelia Samuels returned to competitive action after almost 9 months off with injury and ran a sensible race to take 2nd place in 23.28 behind the winner Grace Carson of Mid Ulster AC who was running as a guest. Louise Hackett placed 8th in 24.41, Beth Rawlinson was 16th in 25.29 and Maddie Mastrolonardo completed the counters in 28th place in 26.32. This placed the club 2nd in the league on the day behind the hosts University of Birmingham. Lucy Calrow finished in an excellent 32nd place in 26.53 and Beth Tabor was 34th in 26.57, which certainly kept Maddie up to her work. Sabrina Thomas was 63rd in 29.01, Emily Simmonds was 103rd in 31.21 and Jo Hackett was 137th in 34.01.

The men were also at Warley Woods to compete over the same course but with an extra bonus lap to make it up to almost 6 miles in distance. In a red-hot race, that the universities were using as a BUCS selection race , Louie Lambeth was first back for the club in 59th in 32.55, Dan Turner was 99th in 34.39, Ben Foster 115th in 35.11, Dylan Illidge 146th in 36.43, Joe St Quinton 155th in 37.08, Dan Vaughan 173rd in 37.39 to make up the A team counters. Gareth Briggs was 173rd in 38.05, Chris Apperley placed 185th in 39.03, Dan Brazier returned to league action with 41.47 for 222nd place, Jay Patel was 231st in 42.44, Adam Guy continued his prolonged comeback with 43.05 for 237th position, Dave Norman ran a tentative 43.39 for 239th, Pete Hood was chasing him down with 43.45 for 241st, Lee Partridge was 248th in 44.56, Simon Calrow was 245th in 44.37, Rob Edwards 252nd in 45.20, Andy Dyall 256th in 46.19 and Russ Blair 270th in 56.17. This was enough to place the club 14th on the day out of 16 teams and in a relegation spot, but overall in the league the club sits in 12th place with a sizeable gap between them and the bottom three of Newcastle (Staffs) AC, Kenilworth Runners and Halesowen A&CC. We should have enough to maintain Division 1 status. This race was always going to be a struggle as the club were missing genuine A team scorers of Jamie Ward, Harry Dyall, Anthony Parkes, Jack Bonser, Dan Maskew and Tyler Hawley. Hopefully they can return for the final league fixture of the season at Northampton.

Twenty-four hours later it was the turn of the young guns who were at Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton for their West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League fixture. Lila Peace claimed the win in the U11 girls race in 7.26, Gracie Billett was 12th in 8.16, Biba Guest 14th in 8.21, Heidi Hayes 18th in 8.28, Evelyn Hayes 18th in 8.31, Amiyah Pal 35th in 8.53, Jade Brindley 50th in 9.13, Matlida Berry 67th in 9.30, Lucy Manning 79th in 9.41 and Lily-Mae Whitfield 84th in 9.44. In the U11 boys there was another win for the club, this time for Rocco Hawley who took 1st place in 7.15, Seb Palmer was 3rd in 7.21, Jonathan Yang 5th in 7.22, Harry Bunn was 9th in 7.41, Theo Ulfig 10th in 7.43, Elias Thomason 74th in 9.06, Mario Atkinson 88th in 9.16, Jamie Whitehouse 90th in 9.19, Frankie Mason 93rd in 9.21, Lewis Neilson 111th in 10.40 and Nathan Tierney 113th in 10.55.

There was a second-place finish for Grace Hendy in the U13 girls race finishing in 9.52, Kiki Guest was 6th in 10.21, Alice Cattell 27th in 11.33, Maisie Roberts 28th, also in 11.33, Esther Smith 32nd in 11.37, Erin-Mia Nash 34th in 11.38, Clara Butler-Montero 44th in 11.48, Belle Willoughby 63rd in 12.33 and Maisie Evans 84th in 14.12. There was a clean sweep in the U13 boys race with Fred Jones claiming victory in 8.17, Sam Ball taking the runners up spot in 8.45 and Will Hughes taking 3rd in 9.09. William Bassford was 39th in 10.57 and Seth Carrington 64th in 12.04.

In the U15 girls race Megan White placed 7th in 13.54, Eleanor Simpson 11th in 14.02, Scarlett Willoughby 23rd in 14.31, Ronni Read 25th in 14.48, Madison Farley 28th in 15.01, Zena Asbury 30th in 15.03, Ruby Buggins 34thin 15.11, Macy Read 47th in 16.26 and Harriet Evans 68th in 18.14. Owen Ulfig took another 1st place in a winning time of 11.19 in the U15 boys race, Oscar Davis was 4th in 11.36, Sam Thursfield 5th in 11.54, Bohdi Finn Shields 6th in 12.01, Jack Stockton 17th in 12.26, Jayden Burdish 41st in 13.28, Kane Carrington 59th in 14.20 and Aryan Pal 64th in 14.39.

And there was another victory in the U17 women’s race with Isobelle Jones bagging first place in 15.00, Scarlett Williams was 3rd in 15.55, Jessica Yang 20th in 17.29 and Millie Williams was 29th in 19.03. And finally in the men’s U17 race James Neilson placed 3rd in 16.59, Theo Palmer was 29th in 19.28 and Jared Richards placed 37th in 20.34.

All of that placed the club top of the pile on the day on 6717 points from Rugby & Northampton AC on 6483 and Stratford Upon Avon AC on 6258. After number 4 of the 5-race series Wolves are in first place on 26580, a lead of just over 500 points from R&NAC. With the final fixture being a home game on the 12th February it would be great to support the athletes and cheer the young guns home. Let’s give them as much support as we can to claim that league title.

While many were braving the elements the sprinters were doing the sensible thing and staying inside as a small group travelled to Loughborough for an indoor open meeting and raced over 60 metres. Henry Boakye placed 1st in his race in a PB of 7.50, Joshua Welford was 1st in 7.47 and William Parton had two goes: a 2nd place finish in a PB of 7.54 and a 3rd place finish in a not too shabby 7.57.

Dave Norman

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