It was another action packed weekend for young and old from Wolverhampton & Bilston AC as the cross country season moved on with the second fixtures for the men and ladies and then third fixtures for the younger club members.
Pride of place went to Amelia Samuels who raced to victory at Stratford upon Avon, Samuels put last weekend’s disappointment to one side to record a comprehensive win over a tough, hilly course, described by one club member as “more like a fell race”. Crossing the line in 23.37 she had a good 15 seconds lead on second place. Louise Hackett came home in 6th place and 2nd U20 in 24.47 after leading the race, Ruby Richards was 42nd in 28.26 and Ceri Card bought the A team home in 30.33 to take 71st. Sabrina Thomas was 75th in 31.04 and Joanne Hackett was 149th in 35.47. Numbers may have been depleted due to the three Is, illness, injury and isolation however a strong effort placed the club in 5th place behind Loughborough University, Birchfield Harriers, Birmingham University and Leamington AC.
The men’s team travelled to Northampton for their second fixture in the Birmingham Cross Country League. Like the ladies, numbers were also down however a sterling effort meant they left a cold and windy course with their heads held high. Jamie Ward made the radical decision to run in his road shoes rather than spikes, this was a good decision as he romped to a 32nd place finish in 33.47, Jonny Harris ran well to place 46th in 34.34, Louie Lambeth finished in 61st in 34.56, Dan Turner was 77th in 35.40 and Anthony Parkes was 6th counter for the club and 111th overall in 37.23. Dave Smith was first counter for the B team in 139th in 38.33, Dave Norman was 179th in 42.07, Andy Dyall 190th in 44.40, Pete Hood 202nd in 45.41, Rob Edwards 209th in 47.07 and Lee Partridge finished in 48.55 for 214th place. This was good enough for the A team to place 10thon the day, maintaining their 12th position in the 16 team league and, with Jack Bonser looking to return for the next fixture, they should be looking in front of them at the likes of Newcastle AC and Coventry Godiva who are within touching distance in the league.
Twenty four hours later it was the turn of the younger members to carry the club forward over the fields, and this week was a home game as the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League stopped off at Aldersley.
The U17s got things underway with a win for Isabelle Price who crossed the line in first place in 14.39, unfortunately she was the only one in the age group for the club which put the hosts on the back foot. There was another win for the club in the U11s race with Seb Palmer claiming victory in 5.24, Isaac Danbury was 6th in 5.38, Harry Dornan 7thin 5.41, Theo Ulfig 16th in 5.56, Nathan Tierney 25th in 6.11, Thomas Buggins 45th in 6.35, Elijah Webb 56th in 6.50, Frankie Mason 68th in 7.21 and Lewis Neilson 74th in 7.35. This placed the club first in their age group. Numbers were reduced again in the U17 men’s race with only a couple competing. James Neilson was 6th in 16.23 and Dylan Illidge finished in 25th in 17.56.
In the U11s race Hattie Thomas came home in 15th in 6.23, Clara Butler Montero was 28th in 6.38, Gracie Billett 36th in 6.45, Olivia Spataro 61st in 7.08, Erin-Mia Nash was a place and 1 second behind, Amiyah Pal was 80th in 7.37, placing the club in 6th in the age group. Theo Palmer was first back for the club in the U15 boys race taking 17thplace in 11.20, Matthew Bassford was 27th in 11.34, Zakari Sandhu-Whitton 35th in 11.48, Jared Richards 51st in 12.22, Kane Carrinton 65th in 13.10, Sebastian Edwards 71stin 13.33, with the club again in 6th place.
Grace Hendy produced another top 10 finish in the U13 girls race in 5th place in 9.07, Ronni Read was 10th in 9.24, Lucy Horton 26th in 9.53, Eleanor Simpson 34th in 10.08, Ruby Jackson 37th in 10.21, Tabitha Rollins 50th in 10.44, Esme Webb 57th in 11.12, Belle Willoughby 58th in 11.17, Tiger-Lilly Savage 60th in 11.31, placing the club in 3rdplace. There was another more than solid performance in the U13 boys event with Sam Thursfield placing 3rd in 8.18 and Oscar Davies breathing down his neck in 4th in 8.23. Jack Stockton was 9th in 8.40, Jayden Burdish 15th in 8.57, William Bassford 25th in 9.13, Will Hughes 26th in 9.16, Leon Asbury 30th in 9.25 and Seth Carrington was 71st in 12.00. This put the club top of the pile in the age group.
Isobelle Jones bagged another win for the club in the U15 girls race crossing the line in 11.32, Megan White was 7th in 12.10, Zena Asbury 12th in 12.26, Ruby Buggins 18th in 12.42, Madison Farley 19th in 12.45, Millie Williams 23rd in 12.50, Scarlett Willoughby 29th in 13.11, Jessica Yang 33rd in 13.23, Bethany Bennett 56th in 14.22, Harriet Evans 66th in 15.14, plaving the club in 1st place the their age group.
Overall the club is now 3rd behind Rugby & Northampton AC and RSCAC, those two look to have pulled away and Wolves are under pressure from BRAT in 4th place. Another good showing and finding a handful of 16 year old could make all the difference.