It was one of the busiest weekends yet as athletes travelled far and wide in this post Covid world to compete, some for the club and some for the area over a variety of distances, terrain and age groups.
First to take place were the West Midlands Schools cross country trial at Sutton Park with plenty of club members representing Wolverhampton. In the Minor Girls race there was a win for Grace Hendy who covered the 2.6k distance in 9.11 with Lucy Horton finishing runner up in 9.42. There was another win for Fred Jones in the Minor Boys race over 3.6k with a winning time of 11.02 with Sam Ball in 3rd place in 11.55 and Leon Asbury in 4th in 12.50. The club bagged another victory in the Junior girls race with Madison Farley crossing the line in 12.35 for the 3.6k race, Megan White was 2nd in 12.40, Zena Asbury 3rd in 12.47 completing a clean sweep, with Ronni Read chasing them home in 5th place in 12.59. Bodhi Shields was 5th in the Junior Boys covering the 3.9k distance in 13.06. There was another win in the Intermediate Girls race with Isabelle Jones crossing the line in 1st place in 12.57 with Millie Williams placing 7th in 14.21 and finally in the Intermediate Boys race James Nielson took 3rd place in 15.03 over 4.8k.
Closer to home there was more cross country action on the fields around Aldersley as the club hosted the Midlands Cross Country Relays. Whilst many ran hard the harder work was done by more than 30 volunteers who worked tirelessly through the days leading up to the event and on the days itself to ensure it was a success. And it was certainly a successful afternoon of racing for the club.
The club claimed victory in the U13 Boys race with Oscar Davis finishing in 11.17, Samuel Thursfield in 11.22 and Jayden Burdish in 12.03. The club also placed 4th with Williams Bassford 11.54, Jack Stockton 11.47 and Will Hughes 12.29. The girls were 7th with Tabitha Rollins running 14.19, Belle Willoughby 14.47 and Ruby Jackson 14.47. There were bronze medals for the U15 Boys team with Matthew Bassford running 11.36, Z Sandhu-Whitton 11.35 and Theo Palmer 11.12 and the club bagged another gold in the U15 Girls with Ava Kind 12.03 and Rosie Kind 11.08 getting the team off to a great start and Scarlett Williams securing victory with a 11.46 leg. Rosie Kind also claiming the prize for the fastest overall leg.
With no teams in the U17s due to the clash with the West Midlands schools it was onto the Senior Women who also claimed gold with Louise Hackett taking the first leg in 21.24, Isobel Cotham running the second leg in 22.36 and Amelia Samuels running the fastest leg of the day in 20.36 for victory. The B team of Abigail Wells-Day 25.48, Ruby Richards 25.30 and Hannah Corns 28.52 were 13th.
The Women’s Masters Team were also top of the pile winning gold with Becky Palmer running 25.17, Sabrina Thomas 25.30 and Vicky Mackay 23.05 and the B team of Joanne Hackett 29.58, Danni Braine 29.03 and Julia Condon 37.53 were 11th. With two gold medals from two events congratulations must go to Jackie Halford, the ladies manager, who appears to be the Alex Ferguson of cross country.
In what was a very competitive men’s event the Senior A team placed an impressive 5th with Jonny Harris running 20.12, Jamie Ward 20.13, Louie Lambeth 20.13 and Jack Bonser 19.53. The B team finished a creditable 22nd with Harry Dyall running 20.20, Pravesh Patel 22.51, Shaun Bennett, drafted in as a late replacement, 24.13 and Joe St Quinton making his debut for the club crossed the line in 23.26. In the Masters event there was an 8th place finish for Gareth Briggs who set the tone with 22.42, Greg Asbury 23.19, Dave Norman 24.44 and Richard Wright 22.44 and the B team were 12th with Roger Grand finishing in 23.56, Dave Davies 24.51, Paul Clarke 25.55 and Garry Palmer 25.20.
Elsewhere we know that Ceri Card was in Liverpool for the Rock and Rock races over a variety of distances up to half marathon but results are difficult to come by and Mark Perry was the only representative of the club on the Church Stretton 10k which raced up The Burway but despite plenty of internet digging results are proving difficult to find. However we did find that Lee Partridge completed the Stroud Half Marathon in 1.42.13 to finish in 177th place and a group of lunatics travelled to South Wales for the Newport Marathon with Dave Joynson banging out yet another race and is rapidly closing on his 200th marathon, this week’s time was another impressive one of 3.05.22 top place 178th, Jay Patel improved on his Manchester performance only a fortnight ago with 3.10.41 to place 238th, Tony Cheema “fresh” from London three weeks ago clocked 3.12.32 despite having to use the facilities twice during the race and Gillian Mitchell clocked another good time with 5.02.13 to tick off another marathon completed.