Young Athletes Cross Country – end of season report

Final race of the cross country season took us to Perry Park, the home of Birchfield harriers. The club went into the race guaranteed of second place, with age group and individual medals still to be decided.

Although, the conditions were very cold on the day, under foot conditions were perfect for cross country racing. Under 17 girls set the event off, but were one short of a full team, due to Rachael Jones injury. This would prove significant as the day unfolded, but more of that later. Beth Tabor set off with positive intent, and was up with the leaders on the first small lap. She faded somewhat after this, but an intense battle between Beth and Amelia silk followed for the remaining two miles of the race. Mille gained a 10 metre lead after the lake on the final lap, but a sprint finish between the two friends, saw Beth just edge Mille on the line. This was Millie’s final young athlete’s race, as she heads off to the senior ranks, where she will be a massive asset to the growing success for the senior ladies.

Finishing positions on the day, and for the season.

Race 5                                    Overall

Beth Tabor 11th                                    9th      

Amelia Silk 12th                      10th

Rachael Jones                      28th

Elizabeth Allen                       48th

Second race was the under 11 boys, who lay 4th in the league table, but realistically too far behind Stratford to claim a team bronze. A team of eight represented the team on this occasion and battled well to finish 5th place on the day. The boys were led home by Noah Sandland who achieved a season’s best 9th place result. Finishing positions:

Race 5                                    Season

Noah Sandland 9th                          14th

Lee Hallam 34th                     23rd

Charlie Ward 35th                  72nd

Oliver Hallam 54th                  44th

Jacob Bennett 61st                45th

Josef Koren 75th                                 66th

Harrison Shale 89th                         81st

Taylor Farmer                        99th

James Neilson                      116th

Isaac Deans                          124th

Oliver Burns                           136th

Griffin Mobey                         143rd

Elliot Cox                                158th

Third race was the under 17 men, who went into the race tied for third position with Rugby & Northampton. This race was the final under 17 race for Harry Cresswell, Eliot Jones, and Jamie Ward as they head off into the senior ranks. Harry Cresswell is one of a few athletes who’ve raced for the club from under 11 age group upwards, and he finished his young athlete’s journey in style with a superb 5th place finish. Special mention to Eliot Jones, who in his first season with Wolves & Bilston, managed 6th place overall, for which he received a medal from the league. Incredibly, the points on the day for them team were dead level with Rugby again, so the bronze medal was tied between the two clubs.

Race 5                                    Season

Harry Cresswell 5th                8th

Eliot Jones 7th                                        6th

Steve Thompson 27th           26th

Ryan Hodgkiss                      69th

Jamie Ward                           70th

Reece Ashfield                      72nd

Kai Kehler                              83rd

The surprise result of the day came in the under 11 girls race. As it turned out, we had seven girls finish in the first 33 positions. This saw by far the best races of the season for Sydney and Scarlett Williams, Abigail Kennard and Rosie Briscoe. At the front of the race, Grace Smith continued her domination of this age group with a commanding show of front running to leave the field in her wake. This was Graces fourth victory of the season, which sees her as a thoroughly well-deserved league champion. The strong performance on the day by the team saw them finish second on the day, narrowly behind Rugby, and a richly deserved team bronze for the season. With the depth in talent coming through in this age group, it is very likely the under 11 girls will win their age group next year.

Race 5                                    Season

Grace Smith 1st                                    1st

Sydney Williams 12th           117th

Scarlett Williams 18th            112th

Keeley Beckham 21st           13th

Isabelle Mason 24th              9th

Abigail Kennard 29th             45th

Rosie Briscoe 33rd               106th

Mille Dubberley 54th                       44th

Maddison Lloyd 55th             126th

Morgan Slater 82nd                54th

Clara richardson     90th       69th

Leah Gopal 92nd                    139th

Angel Wood                           83rd

Keira Adcock                         147th

Keira Walters                         165th

Laila Tonks                                      169th

Rachel Hamilton Russell      170th


Again, the under 15 boys team lay in bronze medal position, ahead of this event, with an outside chance of claiming silver. Adam Saul Braddock and Harry Dyall were absent on this occasion, but the boys performed admirably to finish third on the day. Matt Hogg had a seasons best 4th place finish on the day, as did Jack Pickett in 9th position. Special mention for Jack in his first season for the club. Many may not realise that jack makes a 100 mile round trip from Ellesmere to train with the club. He’s been a major asset for us through this year, and goes from strength to strength. As a team, the boys were successful in achieving bronze medal for their seasons efforts. Finishing positions:

Race 5                                    Season

Matt Hogg 4th                         8th

Jack Pickett 9th                                     15th

Joel Humpage 16th                          17th

Leon Haffie-Hobday 39th         43rd

Alex Blair 59th                                         98th

Robert Peacock 60th             56th

Owain Morris 63rd                 73rd

Adam Saul-Braddock           9th

Harry Dyall                             14th

Miles Pearce                          61st

Charlie Scotton-Peters         69th

Oliver Evans                          87th

The incredibly strong under 13 girls team were the sixth race of the day, and looked almost assured of age group Gold for the season. Beth Dyall was a notable absentee on the day, so the team needed to remain focussed to achieve the victory they deserved. Elizabeth Marshall was our leading athlete going into this race, lying second in the league cheap lorazepam online standings, but during the race, she didn’t look too comfortable, and ended up not being able to complete the course. However, Aliya Westwood’s return to form continued as she led the team, closely followed by Brogan Pugh. These young ladies were admirably supported by Emilie Bullock, Becky Loundes and a seasons best performance from Louise Saul-Braddock in 22nd place. The standard of the athletes we have in this age group all bodes well for the future, but we should not forget the girls who compete for the club at each race, and would be leading athletes at many other clubs. Credit to Megan Davies, Abigail Preston, and Evie Giddings for their efforts throughout the season. All the girls have contributed significantly to assist the girls finish top of the league in this age group, for the first time in the clubs history. Expect this age group to be even stronger next year, with a number of very competitive girls moving up from the current under 11 age group.

Race 5                                    Season

Aliya Westwood 7th                         8th

Brogan Pugh 9th                    6th

Emily Bullock 20th                              13th

Rebecca Loundes 21st                   17th

Louise Saul Braddock 22nd          21st

Megan Davies 31st                          22nd

Abigail Preston 44th               44th

Evie Giddings 54th                            29th

Holly Graham 79th                      164th

Madeline Richardson 90th       88th

Elizabeth Marshall                 2nd

Beth Dyall                              15th

Holly Briscoe                         156th

Toni Smith                              179th

Abbie Morgan                        184th

Sonora Marksimova              194th

Freya Sandland                    195th

Another team looking for team honours are the under 13 boys, who were in bronze medal position after the first four races. However Oscar Hamilton-Russell and Oliver Mason were absent today from the usual scorers, so the remaining members would be looking to make up for their absence. Ellis Carter ran a superb race to finish first counter in 13th place, which represents a huge confidence boost for Ellis. The remaining members of the team battled extremely well behind him, which resulted in a third place finish on the day, and therefore bronze medal position on the league. This has been the closest age group of all the eight age groups and it’s great to see the boys finish up with a team medal, which gives them something to build on for future success. Even in his absence Oliver Mason had accumulated enough points to finish as fourth place overall in the league. Great result for Oliver in his first cross country season for Wolves & Bilston.

Race 5                                    Season

Ellis Carter 13th                                     53rd

Tyler Francis 16th                            15th

Brady Watkinson 27th           24th

Leo Tonks 33rd                      34th

Louie Lambeth 35th                         35th

Alfie Oliver 39th                      65th

Jayden Meath 41st                           52nd

Callum McDermott 46th                               40th

Tom Hipwood 50th                            46th

Cian Gopal 53rd                                   109th

George Edge 79th                             96th

Oliver Mason                         4th

Oscar Hamilton-Russell       91st

Thomas James                     77th

Zac Taylor                              107th

Levi Lawrence                       108th

Liam O’Brien                          133rd

The final race was the under 15 girls, who were back to full strength on the day. The girls were in third place going in to the race, and were hoping for a strong result to maintain their medal aspirations. As the race unfolded, it was clear that Amelia Samuels was back. Amelia has had a tough season with form and illness, but at Perry Park, she was back to her commanding best. Looking strong after the first lap, she closed down the leader quickly and immediately stormed straight past. The speed she went past had a dramatic effect on the leader, and league champion, Amy Walker, as she immediately buckled and pulled out of the race. Min continued to stretch her lead and won comfortably. Behind, Holly Sides finished the season strongly, whilst Lydia Silk carved through the field in 16th position, whilst Zoe Brickley had a seasons best 19th place finish, and Lucy Evans, overcame illness problems in 26th. Together these results, ensured the girls were second on the day, and finished in bronze medal position overall.

Race 5                                    Season

Amelia Samuels 1st               9th

Holly Sides 12th                     10th

Lydia Silk 16th                        19th

Zoe Brickley 19th                   60th

Lucy Evans 26th                    12th

Ellie Willis 57th                                       79th

Hannah Corns 81st                125th

Jessica Hipwood 84th           127th

Camilla Oliver                        103rd

Jorgie Pendrous                             111st

Olivia Davies                         115th

Lana Smith                                      128th

Grace Nicholls                       135th

Overall the club finished second on the day, but only 61 points behind Rugby & Northampton. Having never beaten Rugby before, this shows how much we are improving. If we consider that we were one short in the under 17 age group, we realise that we would have won with a full strength team. This also underlines the importance of athletes competing, whether or not they feel 100% fit, or whether they feel they will count, a point that was underlined by the senior men and women a day previously at Aldersley. Putting that to one side, it has been a hugely successful year for the cross country team, one where we have achieved more age group and individual medals than ever before, whilst also accumulating our highest amount of points as a club, as well as having our highest number of competitors during the season with 100 competitors. We are already looking ahead to next season, and with the signs looking that we well be even stronger in each age category, that elusive gold medal team prize moves ever closer. The support provided by team managers, coaches and parents was once again awesome with many staying behind after their events to cheer on fellow club members.

The cross country awards presentation is at the Lindens on Tettenhall road, on Saturday 30th April. Tickets will be on sale soon on club nights.

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