Athletes from Wolves & Bilston AC didn’t need a tent at the weekend, a kite would have been more appropriate, or even some ruby slippers as the conditions were more akin to opening scenes of The Wizard of Oz than a cross country race. With storm force winds battering the north of the country this meant that conditions for the Midlands Cross Country Championships at Mansfield were at best considered testing, at worst next to impossible. Despite the wind, or possibly helped by it, the course was relatively dry, from the start and around where the clubs had based themselves was nice open field, albeit into the teeth of a gale and the return loop through the woods was undulating but relatively mud free and with each lap being around 1.6 miles there was plenty of opportunities to see most of it whatever the age group.
The club were amongst the medals again with Fred Jones claiming victory in the U13s over 3k finishing in 10.11, Sam Thursfield was 5th in 10.37, Sam Ball 13th in 11.08, Leon Asbury 49th in 12.35 also claiming gold in the team event. In the U13 girls race Grace Hendy placed 11th in 12.10, Ronni Read 26th in 12.45 and Tabitha Rollins 65th in 15.06.
There were no representatives in the U15 boys race however Isobelle Jones finished in 6th place in the U15 girls event over 4k in 15.58, Ava Kind was 22nd in 17.16, Zena Asbury 27th in 17.35, Ruby Buggins 32nd in 17.57 and Scarlett Willoughby 53rd in 19.01 good enough for a team bronze medal
Isabelle Price came home with gold in the U17 women’s race covering the 5k distance in 19.17, Beth Rawlinson was 14th in 21.01, Sara Jones 24th in 21.51, also claiming a team gold, but there were no U17 men competing with James Neillson having a well-earned down week faced with the possibility of racing 3 weekends out of 4.
There was a fine silver for Louise Hackett, the newly crowned England international just missing out on gold by 5 seconds coming home in 22.17 over the 6k course. Joe St Quinton’s cross country education took a further step as he finished a creditable 29th in the U20 men’s race over 8k. And in the senior women’s race, again over 8k, Beth Tabor placed 39th in 33.39, Ceri Card was 73rd in 36.39.
The senior men had to cover 4 laps of the course and 12k in distance with Dave Smith first home for the club in 96th place in 46.31, also picking up an individual silver medal in the Midlands Masters race as they were using this as a combined event, Gareth Briggs placed 130th in 48.25, Greg Asbury was 167th in 50.54, Garry Palmer was 174th in 51.44, Dave Norman was 196th in 53.36 and Rob Edwards placing 240th in 58.22. The senior men did well to get enough together to field a team coming 15th overall.