The third fixture of the 2019/20 Hampshire Cross Country League took place at Wellesley Woodlands, Aldershot, on Saturday 30th November in unusually good weather for this venue, which has in the past thrown up some treacherous conditions.
The last couple of years participant have been greeted with pouring rain and mud everywhere, so much so that everyone was soaking wet and muddy before their races had even started!
This year, thankfully, the rain held off and the surfaces were reasonably firm, so that made what is an enjoyable course anyway, all the more enjoyable. It was basically two laps, much of it through woods and there weren’t too many hills to worry about either.
Bournemouth AC were present in reasonable depth, with 28 athletes and their supporters making the journey to Aldershot. There were some very strong performances amongst them, particularly from the youngsters.
Jasper Todd and Oscar Ewen Matthews ran to their usual high standard, finishing 9th U17M and 6th U13B respectively, as did Holly Collier who was 17th SW, Neve East who was 8th U15G and Erin Wells who was 4th U13G. Having run sufficient earlier races, Jasper is now the 8th of 42 U17M aggregate for the season so far, and Oscar is the 5th of 63 U13B.
BAC‘s senior men are still holding their own in Division 1, as superb runs from Jacek Cieluszecki and Craig Palmer, with strong support from László Tóth, Stuart Nicholas and Jon Matthews meant that the senior men’s team finished the day 7th of 10 teams. That position reflected in the aggregate standings for the season so far.
However, maintaining Division 1 status isn’t a foregone conclusion. One of the teams in Division 2 and two of the Division 3 teams scored less points than BAC! And of course, in cross country league, the lesser the better.
BAC’s veteran men are, however, in a strong position. The team of Jacek, Jon and Simon Hearn finished 6th of 19 teams on the day and are 5th team aggregate, with Jacek at present the leading veteran man of the league.
Oscar led the only other male BAC team at Aldershot, the other team members being Samuel Brewer and Nathan Mearns, with Isaac Sandell as back up. The team is currently 10th of 11 teams but it is very encouraging to see a Bournemouth AC team in the U13B category.
BAC‘s senior and veteran ladies’ teams are both doing well. Holly was joined by Julia Austin and Nikki Sandell to complete a senior ladies’ team which was 9th of 21 on the day and is currently 11th of 22 in the aggregate standings. Julia, Nikki and Kirsty Drewett made up the BAC‘s veteran ladies’ team and they were 7th of 14 complete teams.
Full results (BAC); SM: 32. Jacek Cieluszecki 34.37, 37. Craig Palmer 35.03, 67. László Tóth 36.33, 78. Stuart Nicholas 37.04, 98. Jon Matthews 38.05, 101. Richard Brawn 38.26, 176. Simon Hearn 42.49, 219. Jud Kirk 44.52, 243. Alan Lewis 49.01, 258. Ian Graham 52.12; U17M: 9, Jasper Todd 22.01, 17. Oliver James 22.55; U15B: 57. Louie Todd 18.53; U13B: 6. Oscar Ewen Matthews 11.20, 51. Samuel Brewer 13.46, 59. Nathan Mearns 14.12, 63. Isaac Sandell 14.31; SW: 17. Holly Collier 24.08, 74. Julia Austin 29.09, 76. Nikki Sandell 29.15, 81. Raluca Basarman 29.55, 114. Kirsty Drewett 31.55, 146. Annette Lewis 36.55; U17W: 22. Anya Sandell 20.01; U15G: 8. Neve East 17.43, 18. Martha Preece 18.23; U13G: 4. Erin Wells 12.24, 26. Imogen Gent 13.57.
The second fixtures of both cross country leagues have now taken place with the Wessex Cross Country League one being held at Lytchett School on 3rd November and the Hampshire Cross Country League one being staged on a new course at Sparshalt College, near Winchester, on 9th November.
Most people will remember Saturday 2nd November. It was the day of the Rugby World Cup final which dawned with high hopes of an England success over South Africa. It was also a day of torrential rain and high winds which resulted in the abandonment of just about every parkrun in the area.
Would the Wessex Cross Country League race go ahead the next day? Well, fortunately, Sunday 3rd November turned out to be a bright sunny day which was ideal for cross country running with plenty of mud, even on a course which consisted mainly of zigzagging up and down a field. It was a course imaginatively worked out and organised by Poole Runners to take place within the confines of the tight area available.
Bournemouth AC‘s youngsters were present in strength, with some excellent results. In the U11 category the BAC stars were William Launder for the boys and Isabel Cherrett and Esmee Hunt Altkins for the girls. William is now 3rd aggregate U11 boy for the season so far, and Isabel and Esmee are 1st and 2nd U11 girls so very well done to them! BAC’s U11 girls’ team now lie 2nd in the aggregate team table.
It is a similar story in the U13 category. Oscar Ewen Matthews was the 2nd U13 boy and occupies 2nd position for the season so far, with the BAC U13 boys’ team leading the competition so far. Such is the depth of BAC’s U13 boys’ involvement that there is also a BAC ‘B’ team in the table.
Erin Wells and Darcy Hawkins were BAC’s U13 girl stars, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively, with the team lying 3rd in the competition, and Erin is 3rd individual U13 girl so far. With our U11 and U13 athletes running so well, together with the depth there now appears to be, there is surely a bright future for BAC’s cross country running.
At the U15 level, many congratulations to Neve East, who won the U15 girls’ race, closely followed by Martha Preece who was an impressive 3rd. Neve, having competed in both fixtures so far, is the leading U15 girl. Anya Sandell, Ruby Bowden and Laura Reeves all ensured BAC has an U17 ladies’ team in the league, which is 3rd on aggregate thus far.
BAC’s teams are also doing well at the senior level. Richard Brawn, who was the first senior man to cross the line at Lytchett (he allowed a couple of U20 men to precede him!), is now the leading senior man for the season so far, and helped by Jonathan Matthews, who was 9th at Lytchett, BAC’s senior mens’ team is now 2nd overall.
Not to be outdone, the BAC’s ladies’ team is now 1st! Holly Collier won the ladies’ race at Lytchett, with Lisa Elmore coming in 3rd. Having competed in both fixtures, Lisa is 2nd lady in the aggregate table for the season so far. Well done to all the 35 BAC athletes who competed at Lytchett. The next fixture is on 15th December at Canford School. Please see below for the full BAC results.
BAC’s senior mens’ team in the Hampshire Cross Country League are keeping the club flying in Division 1 – but only just. The new course at Sparshalt College, set up by Winchester & District Athletic Club, proved to be a genuine cross country course, with plenty of mud, glorious mud, some hills just when you didn’t want them, countryside, and just two long laps. Most people, as they left, expressed the hope that this could become a permanent course.
BAC’s senior mens’ team finished in 7th position (of 10) in Division 1, with 283 points. But the warning signs are there. The top team in Division 2 scored just 2 more points, and the top two teams in Division 3 would now be above BAC were they in Division 1, scoring 156 and 284 points respectively. So we cannot afford to relax! BAC still has a veteran mens’ team in the competition, at present lying 17th of 24 teams.
Particular mention must be made of Henry Bramwell-Reeks who, having competed in both Hampshire Cross Country League fixtures so far, is 8th U20 man so far. BAC’s senior ladies were impressively led home by Holly Collier, with the team 16th of 26 teams. Unfortunately, there has not been a BAC veteran ladies’ team in either fixture so far, so fall out of the competition.
In the younger categories, Jasper Todd was the 6th U17 man, and lies 7th U17 man aggregate for the season so far. Martha Preece featured in the top echelons of the U15 girls’ race as did Erin Wells in the U13 girls’ race and Oscar Ewen Matthews in the U13 boys’ race. Oscar, having competed in both fixtures is 8th U13 boy so far, and it is pleasing to report that BAC has an U13 boys’ team in this league, currently lying 9th (of 14). Well done to all of the 22 BAC athletes who competed at Sparshalt College. Perhaps there will be a few more to the next fixture at Aldershot on 30th November. Please see below for full BAC results.
Full results (BAC) Wessex Cross Country League, Lytchett School, 3 November. Senior Men: 3. Richard Brawn 33.17, 9. Jonathan Matthews 34.11, 24. Chris O’Brien 36.58, 39. Simon Hunt 40.49, 40. Richard Nelson 41.22, 49. Ian Graham 46.58; Senior Women: 1. Holly Collier 26.00, 3. Lisa Elmore 28.25, 15. Raluca Basarman 31.39, 22. Kirsty Drewett 33.51, 39. Jayne Wade 39.06; U17W: 7. Anya Sandell 20.15, 8. Ruby Bowden 20.22, 9. Laura Reeves 22.09; U15B: 15. Massinoa Lawson 14.11; U15G: 1. Neve East 13.21, 3. Martha Preece 14.08; U13B: 2. Oscar Ewen Matthews 10.29, 17. Daniel Couch 12.08, 19. Harry Green 12.33, 20. Ewan Brown 12.45, 24. Samuel Brewer 13.20, 25. Nathan Mearns 13.49, 29. Isaac Sandell 14.56; U13G: 3. Erin Wells 11.32, 4. Darcy Hawkins 11.42, 19. Emily Hawkins 12.51, 23. Imogen Gent 13.14, 27. Mariah Marshall 13.42; U11B: 5. William Launder 8.23; U11G: 2. Isabel Cherrett 8.59, 3. Esmee Hurst Atkins 9.04, 11. Clodagh O’Brien 9.36, 12. Albha O’Brien 9.41, 18. Amy Betts 10.01.
Full results (BAC) Hampshire Cross Country League, Sparshalt College, 9 November.Senior Men: 55. Craig Palmer 34.56, 58. Rob McTaggart 35.07, 77. Henry Bramwell-Reeks 36.02, 93. Stuart Nicholas 37.08, 109. Richard Brawn 37.48, 191. Simon Hearn 42.11, 206. Jud Kirk 42.42, 278. Ian Graham 50.18; Senior Women: 28. Holly Collier 27.12, 99. Raluca Basarman 33.51, 190. Annette Lewis 41.52; U17M: 6. Jasper Todd 23.42, 22. Callum Olden 25.43; U17W: 29. Anya Sandell 19.38; U15B: 48. Louie Todd 16.52; U15G: 17. Martha Preece 16.24; U13B: 6. Oscar Ewen Matthews 11.04, 65. Samuel Brewer 13.52, 66. Nathan Mearns 13.56, 78. Isaac Sandell 14.45; U13G: 6. Erin Wells 12.12, 56. Imogen Gent 14.00.
The 2019/20 cross country season started with the first Wessex Cross Country League fixture at Canford Heath on 29 September, and continued with the start of the Hampshire Cross Country League at Kings Park on 12 October.
The Wessex Cross Country League continues to grow, having revived from almost disappearing a few years ago, and Bournemouth AC‘s participation also grows, particularly amongst the youngsters. The were some excellent performances from BAC athletes, including wins by valuable new signing Lisa Elmore (SW), Jasper Todd (U17M), Neve East (U15G), with other notable runs from Ed Porter (another valuable new signing) and Richard Brawn, 3rd and 7th SM respectively, James Oliver, 7th U13B, Martha Preece, 4th U15G, Erin Wells, 4th U13G, Oscar Ewen Matthews and Oliver Hill, 2nd and 7th U13B respectively, Isobel Cherrett and Esmee Hurst Atkins, 2nd and 3rd U11G respectively and William Launder, 4th U11B. In all, 314 athletes competed at Canford Heath, and congratualtions and well done to each and every one of the 29 BAC athletes included in that total. Please see below for the full BAC results. The next fixture is on 3rd November at Lytchett School.
For the 8th year in a row, BAC hosted a fixture of the Hampshire Cross Country League at Kings Park, this year the opening fixture of the season on 12 October. First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who turned out to help, marshal, time-keep, issue finishing tickets and do all the other jobs which are needed to enable the fixture to take place. No athletic fixture takes place by someone clicking their fingers and everything is there! It rained most of the day making the efforts of the volunteers even more noteworthy. 838 athletes (for some reason – the rain perhaps – over 100 fewer than last year) competed in 10 separate races throughout the day, 41 of whom proudly wearing the BAC vest.
Having said that, it was perhaps a little disappointing that BAC‘s senior men were unable to take full advantage of the home fixture as they didn’t have their strongest team out. Nevertheless, well done to Jacek Cieluszecki, Henry Bramwell-Reeks, Alex Goulding, Steve Ross (another valuable re-signing) and Richard Brawn who scored 283 points to ensure a reasonably secure mid-table placing in Division 1 (6th out of 10), comfortably ahead of the top team of Division 2.
Plaudits also go to Jacek, Alex and Simon Hearn, who secured an excellent 4th of 21 veteran men’s teams. The senior ladies’ team of Holly Collier, Lisa Elmore and Raluca Basarman can be pleased with their 9th placing of 21 senior ladies’ teams. Unfortunately, only two of our ladies were veterans, not enough to make up a veteran ladies’ team. BAC also fielded complete teams in the U17 men, in which Jasper Todd, Oliver James and Callum Olden ran very well to secure a 3rd position of 7 teams, and the U13 boys, the BAC team of Stanley Peters, Archie Kilburn and Will Bradfield brought the team in 8th of 12. Other notable performances came from Erin Wells, 6th of 61 U13 girls, Isobel Cherrett, Esmee Hurst Atkins and Katie Kilburn, 6th, 10th and 14th respectively of 41 U11 girls, and Isaac Jose, William Launder and Charlie Peters, 11th, 13th and 19th respectively of 62 U11 boys. There are no team results for the U11 races, which are organised by BAC separately from the league. Please see below for the full BAC results. The next fixture is on 9th November at Sparsholt College, Winchester.
Wessex Cross Country League, Canford Heath, 29 September results (BAC): Senior Men: 3. Ed Porter 29.06, 7. Richard Brawn 30.58, 45. Ian Graham 40.20; Senior Women: 1. Lisa Elmore 26.20, 17. Raluca Basarman 29.59, 35. Jayne Wade 36.00; U17M: 1. Jasper Todd 14.03, 7. James Oliver 15.22; U17W: 8. Anya Sandell 19.07, 11. Laura Reeves 21.14, 12. Ruby Bowden 21.23; U15G: 1. Neve East 15.10, 4. Martha Preece 15.48, 18. Abigail Phillips 18.41, 21. Emily Stonier 22.41; U13B: 2. Oscar Ewen Matthews 11.56, 7. Oliver Hill 12.42, 12. Will Bradfield 13.15, 13. Archie Kilburn 13.18, 15. Daniel Couch, 13.27, 22. Samuel Brewer 15.20, 25. Isaac Sandell 15.33; U13G: 4. Erin Wells 13.32, 13. Imogen Gent 14.45, 17. Emily Coltman 14.56; U11B: 4. William Launder 9.11; U11G: 2. Isobel Cherrett 9.50, 3. Esmee Hurst Atkins 9.51, 36. Olivia Urbanek 12.51.
Hampshire Cross Country League, Kings Park, 12 October results (BAC): Senior Men: 19. Jacek Cieluszecki 33.11, 38. Henry Bramwell-Reeks 34.26, 67. Alex Goulding 36.03, 75. Steve Ross 36.17, 84. Richard Brawn 37.13, 94. Mat Du Cros 38.02, 132. Simon Hearn 39.49, 172. Jud Kirk 42.41, 188. Ryan Ford 44.15; Senior Women: 16. Holly Collier 23.14, 53. Lisa Elmore 25.05, 98. Raluca Basarman 29.06, 144. Steph Palmer 31.02, 170. Jayne Wade 36.06; U17M: 8. Jasper Todd 20.49, 16. Oliver James 22.09, 18. Callum Olden 22.14; U17W: 23. Anya Sandell 18.26; U15G: 23. Martha Preece 16.33; U13B: 23. Stanley Peters 12.08, 32. Archie Kilburn 12.23, 43. Will Bradfield 12.39, 65. Samuel Brewer 14.19, 66. Nathan Mearns 14.24, 71. Isaac Sandell 15.08; U13G: 6. Erin Wells 12.30, 35. Imogen Gent 13.51; U11B: 11. Isaac Jose 8.13, 13. William Launder 8.17, 19. Charlie Peters 8.27, 35. Jake Selwood 9.00, 49. Leo James 9.39, 50. Connor Bailey-Pearce 9.41, 51. Solly Abu-Ghaba, 54. Liam Sharp; U11G: 6. Isobel Cherrett 8.39, 10. Esmee Hurst Atkins 8.55, 14. Katie Kilburn 9.05, 26. Amy Betts 9.59, 35. Jasmine Mahmoudi 10.40, 37. Jessica King 10.43.
There were some spectacular BAC performances at the final Hampshire Cross Country League fixture of the season at DibdenInclosure, New Forest, on Saturday 9 February, and earlier at the Southern Cross Country Championships held at Parliament Hill, London on 26 January. Featuring in both were Rob McTaggart, 19th Senior Man (of 194) in the New Forest, and 87th (of…….wait for it……………1154) at Parliament Hill, and Jasper Todd, who was 8th U15B of 47 at the Hampshire League fixture (and is the 10th U15B for the season) and finished an astonishing 34th in a field of 296 in the Southern Championships. Martha Preece also produced quality runs in the U13G races at both fixtures, finishing 90th of 316 at Parliament Hill and 15th of 60 at Dibden. Holly Collier continues to amaze, finishing 9th Senior Woman at Dibden (3rd U20W), and, for the season, has achieved the heights of 2nd female overall.
There had been high hopes of a 2nd or 3rd Senior Men team final position as the final fixture of the Hampshire Cross Country League at Dibden Inclosure on 9 February approached, but, the day before, it looked as if BAC would have neither a Senior or Veteran Men team at all, except by relying on an ageing Ian Graham to run as the last scorer for both teams. Fortunately, Sanjai Sharma came to the rescue, with the result that there was a reasonable outcome, if not what had been hoped for nor what BAC is capable of producing. Nevertheless, many thanks to those who turned up and ran their socks off so that, at the end, the BAC Senior Men comfortably retain their Division 1 status, which is the main aim throughout the season. Rob McTaggart led the team home, and, with RichardBrawn, Stuart Glenister, Sanjai Sharma and Simon Hearn all finishing within the top 100, Division 1 status was secure. IanGraham, having thought, the previous day, that it was inevitable that he would have to run, ran anyway in case anyone dropped out. Stuart, Sanjai and Simon completed the VeteranMens‘ team, ensuring a position in the season’s results, which otherwise would not have occurred as BAC had no VeteranMens‘ team at an earlier fixture. On the day, BAC‘s Senior Men were 7th of 9 teams, and, on aggregate for the season, 6th of 9 teams, which has to be considered satisfactory – however, a glance at the positions for each of the five fixtures (3,2,8,6,7) gives a clue as to what might have been. On the day, BAC‘s Veteran Men were 9th of 19 teams, 11th of 19 for the season. The fact that there were more BAC ladies than men competing at Dibden is an indication of the fantastic progress of BAC‘s ladies over the last few years. Holly Collier was amazing as ever, with strong runs from Nikki Sandell and Julia Austin securing an excellent team result of 5th of 20 teams on the day, and BAC‘s Veteran Ladies of Nikki, Julia and Kirsty Drewett finishing as the 6th team of 16 on the day. BAC‘s teams had plenty of support with Louise Price, Mandy Adams, Annette Lewis and Jayne Wade also completing the course. Annette is a very welcome addition to the BAC squad – although Annette couldn’t score for BAC this time as she has competed this season for Poole Runners she will certainly count next season! So, at the end of the season, BAC‘s Senior Ladies were 7th aggregate of 18 teams, the Veteran Ladies an amazing 4th of 13 teams, and there were individual aggregate placings for HollyCollier (2nd overall female – by a quirk of the resulting Holly was 3rd U20W, with Poole Runner‘s Serena O’Connor 2nd; Serena was 3rd overall!) and Nikki Sandell who was 9th Veteran Lady. Well done BAC ladies!! A feature of Hampshire Cross Country League races this year has been the welcome increase in the number of BAC youngsters taking part (a tribute to the hard work of Simon Hearn and Tom Cochrane). For instance, another very notable individual placing was Jasper Todd, who finished the season as 10th aggregate U15B. At Dibden Jasper ran well, as always, to finish 8th in a field of 47. There has been an U13B team at each and every one of the 5 fixtures this season, which must be a first for many, many years, and, in this respect, BAC is one of only six clubs who can claim this. Congratulations to Louie Todd, Sam Brewer and Isaac Sandell who made up the BAC team at Dibden. Clubs which have produced teams at just four fixtures still count in the final results, and BAC‘s U13B team was 9th for the season. BAC was also represented in the girls’ races – Anya Sandell in the U15G and Martha Preece in the U13G. Many thanks to everyone who supported the various BAC teams in the Hampshire Cross Country League season, and especial thanks to Simon Hearn, who has taken the club tent and banner to all the fixtures, which does so much to enhance the ‘cross country experience’! Subject to confirmation, the next season is likely to start at Kings Park on 19 October. Please see below for full BAC results.
Please see below for more photos from Dibden…………..
Simon was also providing support to the BAC athletes competing in the Southern Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill on 26 January, which was very much appreciated. In addition to RobMcTaggart, Jasper Todd and Martha Preece, already mentioned, BAC vests were also worn at the fixture by Neve and Lauren East and Louie Todd. Neve ran particularly well, as can be seen from the full results which follow. Here are the full BAC results from Parliament Hill: Rob McTaggart (SM; 87th of 1154; time 51.15; distance 15k), Lauren East (U17W; 97th of 176; time 22.51; distance 5k), Jasper Todd (U15B; 34th of 296; time 16.18; distance 4.5k), Neve East (U13G; 24th of 316; time 13.03; distance 3k), Martha Preece (U13G; 90th of 316; time 13.52; distance 3k), LouieTodd (U13B; 257th of 330; time 14.06; distance 3k).
Results (BAC) of Hampshire Cross Country League, Dibden Inclosure, 9 February.Senior/Veteran Men: 19. Rob McTaggart 34.41, 63. Richard Brawn 38.41, 83. Stuart Glenister 40.17, 85. Sanjai Sharma 40.24, 96. Simon Hearn 41.35, 177. Ian Graham 50.41; Senior/Veteran Women: 9. Holly Collier (3rd U20W) 23.15, 28. Nikki Sandell 26.04, 47. Julia Austin 27.23, 76. Kirsty Drewett 29.59, 82. Louise Price 30.31, 95. Mandy Adams 31.43, 105. Annette Lewis, 110. Jayne Wade 34.05; U15B: 8. Jasper Todd 15.21; U13B: 60. Louie Todd, 66. Sam Brewer, 67. Isaac Sandell; U15G: 41. Anya Sandell 20.12; U13G: 15. Martha Preece 11.03.
On what is perhaps the toughest and most brutal cross country course in the country, no fewer than five Bournemouth AC members from the youth development squads were bold enough to make the daunting trip over to Parliament Hill and lace up their spikes for the South of England AA Cross Country Championships.
In the Under 13 Girls race, both Martha Preece and Neve East were in action for the yellow and blues, whilst Lauren East went in the Under 17 Girls category. Louie Todd competed in the Under 13 Boys division, with his brother Jasper Todd flying the flag in the Under 15 Boys race.
There was also room for one big kid amongst the line up, with Rob McTaggart pitting his wits against the region’s finest in the Senior Men‘s race.
Under the expert stewardship of Tom Cochrane and Simon Hearn, the BAC junior athletes have really been flourishing of late and the hard work they have been putting in in training is clearly paying dividends.
The juniors participate in track sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and as a bonus session, Simon has been running a training group over at Hengistbury Head on Sunday mornings where they practice hills.
Those additional hill sessions would have certainly helped in the South of England AA Championships as Parliament Hill is renowned for its extreme inclines and undulating profile throughout.
As is always the case at Parliament Hill, the mud was thick and it must have felt like wading through treacle at times for the athletes as they trudged round their respective routes, jostling for position in much larger fields than they would ordinarily be used to.
Continuing her fantastic recent run of results, Neve East had another outstanding performance to finish in 24th place out of 316 in the Under 13 Girls race. Recording a time of 13:03 for the 3k course, Neve finished less than a minute behind the race winner Ruby Vinton of Ipswich Harriers.
Considering she was up against the best young girls in the South of England, it was a remarkable achievement from Neve in what has been a truly magnificent season.
Winning her age category in the Wessex Cross Country League, Neve also finished 8th when competing for Dorset in the South West Inter County Championships.
She also won the Dorset County Championships for the Under 13 Girls at Bryanston School a couple of weeks before Christmas.
Also running an excellent race in the Under 13 Girls category was Martha Preece, who crossed the line in 90th place in a time of 13:52, so again, well up the field despite the high standard of the opposition.
Martha has also had a cracking season on the cross country circuit and was part of the same Dorset team as Neve that took 3rd place at the South West Inter Counties, finishing in a highly impressive 19th place that day.
Taking 5th position in the Under 13 Girls category in the Wessex League Cross Country this season, it`s clear to see that Martha has a bright future ahead of her.
On top of that, she was also 4th in the Dorset County Championships and regularly finished high up the pecking order in the Hampshire Cross Country League fixtures.
Meanwhile, back at the South of England AA Champs, the Under 17 Girls had a 5k route to contend with and Neve’s sister Lauren East featured in that race for Bournemouth AC.
She came in in a very creditable 97th place in a field of 176, which was a decent result for Lauren, especially considering that she was up against the best that the South of England has to offer. Lauren`s time was a very solid 22:51.
There have been many positive results for Lauren over the numerous cross country fixtures she’s taken part in this season and finishing 26th in the South West Inter Counties could well be one of the highlights. She also finished 10th in the last Hampshire League Cross Country fixture at Prospect Park in Reading.
As for the boys, it was Louie Todd wearing the famous yellow and blue in the Under 13 race, which was also 3 kilometres in length. He gave it everything he’s got, securing 257th place out of the 330 who took part and clocking a superb time of 14:06.
Having also competed in a number of the Hampshire League and Wessex League Cross Country fixtures over the course of the season, Louie has shown great enthusiasm to get involved, as has his brother Jasper, who featured in the Under 15 Boys race at the South of England AA Champs.
Demonstrating the terrific talent he has in his armory, Jasper Todd was 34th over the line, completing the 4.5k course in a staggeringly quick time of 16:18. That was out of a field of 296.
Jasper’s achievements for the season so far include a 10th place finish in the South West Inter Counties where he was part of a Dorset team that took 3rd place in the Under 15 Boys category.
Also winning a gold medal in the Dorset County Championships at Bryanston School, this would have to go down as an extremely successful season from Jasper’s perspective.
Finishing just outside the top ten in a couple of the Hampshire League Cross Country fixtures, Jasper also took 2nd place in the Wessex League race at Lytchett School back in October.
Going along to support the juniors that he coaches, Simon Hearn was extremely proud of their efforts at the South of England AA Championships and was thrilled to see them all performing so well.
In fact the junior athletes deserve a lot of recognition for all the hard work they’ve put in over the season and there’s certainly no doubt that these bright prospects are putting Bournemouth AC on the map when it comes to the youth athletics scene.
Also in action for Bournemouth AC in the Senior Men`s race was Rob McTaggart, who has been involved in some pretty raucous races at Parliament Hill over the years.
In fact, he’s competed in the Southern Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill on five separate occasions now and also featured in the event at Stanmer Park in Brighton last year. He’s also been to Parliament Hill for the National Cross Country Championships on a couple of occasions.
Very few of those races have gone by without incident though and this one was no different. Tag found himself face down in the mud on a couple of occasions, once just 600m into the race and the second time at around 4km.
He rallied well though did his best to move through the field and make up for any lost ground. Although he had a couple of bad patches on the muddier sections, he was very satisfied with his performance and even managed a decent sprint finish at the end to take 87th place.
That was a mightily impressive result in a huge field of 1,154 men and of course, being the South of England Championships, the standard of the competitors he was up against was extremely high.
Completing the brutal 15 kilometre course in a time of 51 minutes and 15 seconds, it was certainly one of his best cross country performances to date and demonstrates how he often manages to raise his game in the most challenging of races, and in particular, those where the stakes are notably high.
The South West Regional Championships took place Yeovil on Sunday 6 January with BAC well represented, its athletes competing in both club and county colours. The event is an inter-county competition between counties from Cornwall in the west to Dorset and Wiltshire in the east It is also a club competition and those athletes selected to represent their county, and run in county colours, also represent their club alongside their non selected club mates who run in club colours. Several BAC athletes achieved podium positions in the inter-counties competition – congratulations to gold medallist Georgia Wood, the South West F35 Champion, and bronze medallists Helen Ambrosen, 3rd South West F55, and Neve East and Martha Preece, part of the 3rd placed Dorset U13G team, Jasper Todd, part of the 3rd placed Dorset U15B team, and Amelia Reynolds, part of the 3rd placed Dorset U15G team. Congratulations also to ex BAC athlete Heidi Tregenza, running for her native Cornwall, and achieving no less than a gold medal as the overall South West Ladies’ Champion! This was a well organised, enjoyable fixture, helped by the fact that the large BAC and WAC tents were combined, which became the base for all the Dorset athletes, promoting a great team spirit. The course is one of the best available, used also for the Wessex XC League, and it is a tremendous pity that this time next year it may well be covered with housing. Please see below for full BAC results.
See below for more photographs of the SW Regional XC Championships………
The penultimate fixture of the Hampshire Cross Country League season took place at Prospect Park, Reading, on Saturday 12 January. There were some excellent BAC performances, particularly from Rob McTaggart, 17th in the SM race, Holly Collier, 9th in the SW race and Neve East, 2nd in the U13G race. Holly is the only BAC athlete to feature in the top 10 individual aggregate placings so far, being 7th female, and an excellent 3rd U20W. The only complete teams fielded by BAC at Reading were the SM and S/VW, and although the SM team wasn’t the strongest the club could produce, BAC is still on course to finish the season in a highly respectable position in Division 1 of the League, provided we come fully up to the mark at the final fixture at Dibden Inclosure on February 9. There were no BAC Veteran Men competing at Reading, but as one result can be dropped, the Veteran Men team will still feature in the season’s results provided a team competes next time. BAC‘s Veteran Women are currently 4th aggregate for the season, so a good result at the final fixture would leave them well placed. Please see below for full BAC results.
See below for more photographs of the Hampshire Cross League fixture at Reading………………….
Results (BAC) at SW Regional Championships, Yeovil, 6 January2019: Senior Men(total field 162): 83. Richard Brawn 35.27, 107. Richard Wade 37.39 (6th of 17 M50), 108. Stuart Glenister 37.44 (18/38 M40), 128. Simon Hearn (9/17 M50) 39.37, 156. Ian Graham (6/7 M60) 46.10, BAC team 6/9, DC team 6/6; Senior Women(total field 91): 7. Georgia Wood (1/24 F35) 21.19, 70. Kirsty Drewett (18/24 F35) 27.37, 76. Louise Price (14/19 F45) 28.29, 79. Helen Ambrosen (3/5 F55) 30.04, 85. Jayne Wade (18/19 F45) 31.21, BAC team 6/9, DC team 5/5; U17W: (total field 41) 26. Lauren East 18.24, DC 4/5 team; U15B: (total field 49) 10. Jasper Todd 14.39, DC team 3/6; U15G(total field 56): 16. Amelia Reynolds 15.06, DC team 3/5; U13B (total field 68): 66. Louie Todd 16.00; U13G (total field 62): 8. Neve East 13.44, 19. Martha Preece 14.18, 36. Erin Wells 14.54, DC team 3/6.
Results (BAC) Hampshire Cross Country League, Reading, 12 January 2019: Senior Men(total field 207): 17. Rob McTaggart, 61. Stuart Nicholas 35.34, 62. Craig Palmer 35.38, 63. Richard Brawn 35.44, 88. Ross Smith 37.22, 93. Mat du Cros 37.58, BAC team 6th of 9 on the day, season aggregate 3= with Basingstoke & Mid Hants (Southampton 2nd and Reading RR and Reading AC both 5=); Senior Women(total field 150): 9. Holly Collier (6th U20) 20.25, 43. Nikki Sandell (9th VF) 22.48, 53. Julia Austin (15th VF) 23.47, 84. Louise Price (32nd VF) 26.03, 113. Jayne Wade (52nd VF) 28.55, BAC SW team 9/19 on the day, season aggregate 8/21, BAC VW team 6/12 on the day, season aggregate 4/15; U17W (total field 22): 10. Lauren East 16.23; U15G(total field 44): 13. Amelia Reynolds 12.27, 39. Anya Sandell 14.55; U13B(total field 66): 60. Isaac Sandell 14.06, 64. Nathan Mearns 15.51; U13G (total field 61): 2. Neve East 11.08, 18. Martha Preece 11.58.
Some more images of the SW Regional Championships at Yeovil…
More BAC athletes running also for Dorset at Yeovil…….
And a few more photographs from the Hampshire XC League……..
The final fixture of the Wessex Cross Country League took place at Bryanston School on Sunday 16 December with some BAC first individual and team places for the season and, as the fixture was also the Dorset County Cross Country Championship, a number of BAC gold, silver and bronze medals. In the meantime, at the third Hampshire CrossCountry League fixture at Popham Airfield on Saturday 1 December, despite the absence the entire team from the previous fixture at Aldershot, some exceptional performances kept BAC very much in the running.
There has been greater support of this year’s Wessex Cross CountryLeague from BAC than for many years, and this is reflected in the final aggregate results. Winners for the season in their respective age groups are Laszlo Toth (senior men), Nikki Sandell (veteran women), Neve East (U13 girls) and Amelia Reynolds (U15 girls). Other notable placings were Chris Phelan-Heath (3rd senior man), Julia Austin (3rd veteran woman), Isabel Cherrett (7th – of 24 – U11 girl), Oscar Ewen Matthews (2nd U13 boy) and Martha Preece (5th – of 26 – U13 girl). There were BAC team wins for senior men, senior and veteran women, U13 girls and U15 girls and a second team placing for the U13 boys. On the day at BryanstonSchool the notable performances were from David Long, Sean Edwards, Stuart Nicholas and Laszlo Toth with a 1,2,3,4 in the senior men (although Ben Lewis of Poole AC, U20 man was 2nd in the race), Georgia Wood, 1st senior woman (although just pipped on the line by Serena O’Connor of Poole Runners, U20 woman), Nikki Sandell and Julia Austin, 1st and 2nd veteran women respectively, Holly Collier, 2nd U20 woman, finishing an astonishing 3rd in the combined U20W, SW and VW race, Isabel Cherrett, 8th U11 girl, Arief McKenna and Oliver Hill, 2nd and 8th U13 boys respectively, NeveEast, Martha Preece and Erin Wells, 1st, 6th and 11th U13 girls respectively, Jasper Todd, 1st U15 boy and Amelia Reynolds, 3rd U15 girl. In the County Championship there was a BAC clean sweep for the senior men, the winners being David Long (gold), Sean Edwards (silver) and Laszlo Toth (bronze), and other medal winners were Georgia Wood (gold, veteran women), Julia Austin (silver, veteran women), Neve East (gold, U13 girls), Arief McKenna (silver, U13 boys), Amelia Reynolds (silver, U15 girls) and Jasper Todd (gold U15 boys). Many thanks to everyone who has participated in the Wessex Cross Country League this year – it has been very enjoyable to see the number of BAC vests in the various races at all levels. Please see below for the full BAC results in championship and the league fixture at Bryanston School.
The absence of some of BAC‘s top runners due to various reasons at the third Hampshire Cross Country League fixture at Popham Airfield on 1 December meant that it was going to be difficult, but after some exceptional running BAC is still on course for a good placing at the end of the season. Well done to our five scoring senior men. Laszlo Toth and Stuart Nicholas have been involved in healthy rivalry this year, and both ran out of their socks at Popham to finish 42nd and 45th respectively. Also running above themselves were Ross Smith and Rich Brawn, 54th and 86th respectively, and well done to Matthew du Cros, who finished only just outside the top 100, an excellent performance in a very strong league, to complete the team. The senior mens’ team were 8th in Division 1 on the day, but on aggregate remain 2= taking the best two results so far. BAC‘s veteran mens’ team of Richard Wade, Stuart Glenister and Simon Hearn were 11th on the day, and the team on aggregate is 11th (of 24) in the season so far. For the ladies, the outstanding performance came from Holly Collier, who was 9th overall (3rd U20 woman). Nikki Sandell and Julia Austin completed the BAC team, which was 10th (of 24) on the day, and lies 8th aggregate for the season. Nikki and Julia were joined by Kirsty Drewett to make up the veteran womens’ team, which finished 5th (of 18) on the day and is 4th aggregate for the season. Slowly but surely the number of youngsters competing in the league is growing, a trend very much to be welcomed, and there were outstanding runs at Popham from Jasper Todd, who was 18th of 59 U15 boys, Amelia Reynolds, 9th of 57 U15 girls and Martha Preece, 11th of 71 U13 girls. There has been an U13 boys team at every fixture so far. Please see below for full BAC results at Popham.
Dorset County Championship results, Bryanston School, 16 December(BAC): Senior Men: 1. David Long, 2. Sean Edwards, 3. Laszlo Toth; Veteran Women: 1. Georgia Wood, 2. Julia Austin, 5. Louise Price; Veteran Men: 5. Simon Hearn, 10. Ian Graham; U17 Women: 5. Laura Reeves; U15 Boys: 1. Jasper Todd; U15 Girls: 2. Amelia Reynolds, 12. Abigail Phillips; U13 Boys: 2. Arief McKenna, 14. Oscar Ewen Matthews; U13 Girls: 1. Neve East, 4. Martha Preece, 5. Erin Wells, 10. Ida Waring.
Wessex Cross Country League, Bryanston School, 16 December (BAC results): Senior/Veteran Men: 1. David Long 29.32, 3. Sean Edwards 31.48, 4. Stuart Nicholas 32.15, 5. Laszlo Toth 32.21, 10. Chris Phelan-Heath 34.21, 21. Simon Hearn 35.57, 22. Richard Wade 36.29, 43. Ian Graham 45.01; Senior/Veteran Women: 2. Georgia Wood 25.22, 10. Nikki Sandell 28.59, 11. Julia Austin 29.08, 19. Kirsty Drewett 31.07, 24. Louise Price 33.01, 32. Helen Ambrosen 34.52, 33. Jayne Wade 37.07; U11 Girls: 8. Isabel Cherrett 7.17; U13 Boys: 2. Arief McKenna 10.36, 8. Oliver Hill 11.25, 19. Oscar Ewen Matthews 11.44, 23. Sam Farwell 11.59, 25. Louie Todd 12.10, 31. Sam Brewer 13.41, 32. Nathan Mearns 13.53, 33. Isaac Sandell 14.00; U13 Girls: 1. Neve East 11.02, 6. Martha Preece 11.34, 11. Erin Wells 12.08, 26. Ida Waring 12.38, 32. Sienna Treloar; U15 Boys: 1. Jasper Todd 11.54; U15Girls: 3. Amelia Reynolds 13.24, 16. Ruby Bowden 15.08, 17. Anya Sandell 15.31, 19. Abigail Phillips 15.48; U17 Men: 10. Tom Farwell 16.45; U 17Women: 8. Laura Reeves 21.56; U20 Women: 2. Holly Collier 25.44.
Hampshire Cross Country League, Popham, 1 December (BAC results): Senior/Veteran Men: 42. Laszlo Toth 38.01; 45. Stuart Nicholas 38.08, 54. Ross Smith 38.28, 86. Richard Brawn 39.45, 104 Matthew du Cros 41.06, 134. Richard Wade 42.47, 136. Stuart Glenister 42.52, 153. Simon Hearn 43.59, 161. Theo Irvine 44,38, 196. Brandon Meredith 46.45; Senior/Veteran Women: 9. Holly Collier (3rd U20W) 24.35, 51. Nikki Sandell 28.05, 58. Julia Austin 28.31, 72. Kirsty Drewett 29.29, 128. Helen Ambrosen 34.31, 139. Jayne Wade 36.44; U15 Boys: 18. Jasper Todd 14.06, 30. Callum Olden 14.47; U13 Boys: 74. Sam Brewer, 75. Isaac Sandell, 77. Nathan Mearns; U15 Girls: 9. Amelia Reynolds 15.48, 46. Anya Sandell 18.11; U13Girls: 11. Martha Preece 12.37.
The return of ‘proper’ cross country weather marked the third Wessex Cross Country League fixture at Yeovil and the second Hampshire Cross Country League fixture at Aldershot. At this point, there are some excellent BAC aggregate positions in both leagues. In the Wessex League BAC‘s U13Boys‘ and U13Girls‘ teams are both in the lead, as are the SeniorMens‘ and the VeteranWomens‘ teams, and in the Hampshire League the SeniorMens‘ team lies in second position as does the VeteranWomens‘ team. In the last fixtures there were some outstanding individual performances, with, at Yeovil, Neve East winning the U13Girls‘ race and Martha Preece finishing fifth, Oscar Ewen Matthews second of the U13 Boys, Amelia Reynolds third U15 Girl, LaszloToth the fourth Senior Man and Nikki Sandell the fourth SeniorWoman. At Aldershot, in one of the strongest cross country leagues in the country, the individual BAC highlights were HollyCollier‘s 16th position in the SeniorWomens‘ race (Holly was second U20Woman), Jasper Todd finishing as 11th U15 Boy, and an incredible team of David Long, Jacek Cieluszecki, Josh King, Craig Palmer and Rob McTaggart scoring second (to Aldershot, Farnham and District, who are never going to be caught) in the SeniorMens‘ race.
The third Wessex Cross Country League fixture took place at Yeovil on 4th November, and, unlike all the earlier cross country fixtures, which have taken place in glorious sunshine, at last there was a grey sky and some drizzle. The course, too, was about as true a cross country course as it is possible to imagine – just two large laps of undulating (to put it mildly) countryside seemingly far removed from any urbanisation – actually about two miles away from Yeovil. Here are the BAC results: U13B; 2. Oscar Ewen Matthews 11.18, 13. Sam Farwell 12.23, 19. Isaac Sandell 14.11, 21. Nathan Mearns 15.14 (team aggregate 1st of 9 teams): U13G; 1. Neve East 11.05, 5. Martha Preece 12.02, 12. Erin Wells 12.46, 30. Mariah Marshall 15.09 (team aggregate 1st of 11 teams): U15G; 3. Amelia Reynolds 16.20, 18. Anya Sandell 19.05: U17M; 8. Tom Farwell 19.05; SeniorMen; 4. Laszlo Toth 29.39, 26. Richard Wade 33.36, 53. Ian Graham 41.02 (team aggregate 1st): SeniorWomen; 4. Nikki Sandell 21.23, 9. Julia Austin 22.43, 15. Kirsty Drewett 23.53, 26. Helen Ambrosen (team – Veteran Women – aggregate 1st).
There might have been some drizzle at Yeovil, but cross country weather returned with a vengeance at Aldershot for the second HampshireCross Country League fixture on 10 November – pouring persistent rain producing mud everywhere. Here are the BAC results: SeniorMen; 16. David Long 33.48, 17. Jacek Cieluszecki 33.55, 19. Josh King 34.10, 25. Craig Palmer 34.38, 40. Rob McTaggart 35.23, 77. Stuart Nicholas 37.31, 96. Ross Smith 38.20, 110. Richard Brawn 39.12, 159. Tom Paskins 41.42, 166. Simon Hearn 41.54, 184. Richard Wade 42.44, 190. Jud Kirk 43.06, 272. Richard Nelson 48.19 (Senior Men team 2nd on the day and 2= aggregate, Veteran Men team 10th on the day and 9= aggregate, Jacek 1st Veteran Man aggregate, one race to count). Spare a thought for Laszlo Toth who misjudged his warm up time and missed the start of the race by about two minutes! U15B; 11. Jasper Todd 15.36, 18. Callum Olden (non scoring for BAC having competed for another club this season) 16.10: U13B; 74. Sam Brewer 14.13, 76. Isaac Sandell 14.16, 85. Nathan Mearns 15.23 (team 13th on the day and 10= aggregate): Senior Women; 16. (2nd U 20W) Holly Collier 24.22, 68. Nikki Sandell 27.32, 109, Kirsty Drewett 30.16, 171. Helen Ambrosen 34.20, 202. Jayne Wade 40.21 (Senior Women team 13th on the day and 7= of 29 teams aggregate, Veteran Women team 12th on the day and 2= of 20 teams aggregate, Emma Caplan 6= and GeorgiaWood 8= Veteran Women aggregate, one race to count). U17G;17. Lauren East 18.34. U15G; 46. Anya Sandell 19.52, 50. Ruby Bowden 20.22. U13G; 25. Martha Preece 13.13.
So it is all to go for! The next fixtures are 1 December – HampshireCross Country League at Popham, Basingstoke, and 16 December – Wessex Cross Country League at Bryanston School, which is also the Dorset County Championship race for 2018.
We are now well into the cross country season (though you wouldn’t know it from the weather) with two Wessex League fixtures and one Hampshire League fixture under our belt. More BAC athletes than in recent years took part and a particularly pleasing aspect has been the number of youngsters competing. There have been some excellent individual and team results as well, perhaps most notably Neve East, who won the first U13 girlsWessex League race at Canford Heath, was second at the second fixture at Lytchett School, and won the Hampshire League (one of the strongest cross country leagues in the country) at Bournemouth, and also Amelia Reynolds winning her two WessexLeague U15 girls races and finishing twelfth at Bournemouth. After two Wessex League fixtures BAC‘s U13 boys, U13 girls, senior men and veteran women teams are all first, with the U15 girls second and the senior women third. Laszlo Toth and Nikki Sandell top the senior men and veteran women categories respectively. In the Hampshire League, BAC‘s senior men are third team in Division 1, led by storming performances from Craig Palmer and Josh King, with our veteran women team, led by Emma Caplan and Georgia Wood lying second of 15 teams.
The 2018/19 Hampshire League got under way at Kings Park, hosted by BAC in unexpectedly warm and sunny weather on 13 October, and huge thanks are due to the organisers and volunteers who ensured that, on the day, 949 athletes were marshalled safely and accurately through ten separate races of varying distances, all of which started exactly on time, with the results published the very next day. In addition to the league BAC organised two U11 races for boys and girls respectively, and many thanks to Hazel and JemmaBates who organised the entries and the resulting for these races, in which a total of 114 boys and girls took part. In the senior mens’ race, the five BAC athletes who made sure we continue to contest Division 1 by achieving third place were Craig Palmer, Josh King , Rob McTaggart, Graham Robinson and Stu Fox, and completing the BAC contingent were Ross Smith, Laszlo Toth, Matt du Cros, Richard Wade, Simon Hearn, Stuart Glenister and Richard Nelson. Stu Fox, Richard Wade and Simon Hearn were the BAC veteranmen team achieving 8th position of 20 teams. Emma Caplan, Georgia Wood and Julia Austin made up both the senior women (6th of 24 teams) and veteran women (second as already mentioned) teams. The ever present Tom Farwell was BAC‘s sole representative in the U17 men race, and Jasper Todd and LeonGriffin ran in the U15 boys race. We had no fewer than 9 athletes in the U13 boys race, with Arief McKenna (6th), Oliver Hill and ArchieKilburn making up the team which was 9th of 15 teams, the rest of the squad being Louie Todd, Alfie Stopler, Ben Worley, SamBrewer, Isaac Sandell and Nathan Mearns. Lauren East and LauraReeves ran for BAC in the U17 women race, and in the U15 girls race BAC‘s team of Amelia Reynolds, Anya Sandell and RubyBowden, supported by Abigail Phillips were 7th of 11 teams. Also 7th of 11 teams were the U13 girls team of Neve East, MarthaPreece and Ida Waring. In addition to the league itself, as referred to, 55 girls and 59 boys ran in two U11 races with 9 Bournemouth based athletes (led by Isabel Cherrett, 10th) in the girls race and 5 Bournemouth based athletes (led by Stanley Peters, 10th) in the boys race.
The Wessex Cross Country League opened in hot, sunny weather at Canford Heath well organised, as ever, by Poole AC, on 7 October. A total of 27 BAC athletes participated, the first being IsabelCherrett, our sole U11 girl representative. (In this league, unlike the Hampshire League, the U11 races count as part of the league.) BAC‘s 5 athletes in the U13 boys race were Oscar Ewen Matthews, who was 4th, Oliver Hill, Sam Farwell, Sam Brewer and IsaacSandell. Neve East was the winner of the U13 girls race, followed by Martha Preece, Erin Wells, Ida Waring, Emily Coltman and Imogen Gent. Leon Griffin flew the BAC flag in the U15 boys race, with Amelia Reynolds, who was third, Anya Sandell, Ruby Bowden and Abigail Phillips running in the U15 girls race. As at Bournemouth, Tom Farwell was BAC‘s only U17 men athlete, but Lauren East and Laura Reeves were both present in the U17 women race. The U20 men, senior and veteran men all race together, and although Brandon Meredith was BAC‘s only U20 man he was still an excellent 6th in the combined race. Of the seniormen, Laszlo Toth was second, closely followed by Chris Phelan-Heath with Ian Graham following not so closely. Nikki Sandell won the senior/veteran women race with BAC‘s team completed by Kirsty Drewett and Helen Ambrosen.
The second Wessex League fixture, again in unseasonal weather, took place at Lytchett School on 21 October. Excellently organised by Poole Runners, the course was unusual in that 90% was in a field with the course going up and down it four times. After four laps the senior men got to know every inch of that field! There was a total of 30 BAC athletes competing, many of whom had competed at Canford Heath. To summarise; U11 girls: Isabel Cherrett; U13Boys: Oscar Ewen Matthews, Sam Farwell, Louie Todd, AlfieStopler, Isaac Sandell and Nathan Mearns; U13 girls: Neve East (2nd), Martha Preece, Erin Wells, Ida Waring, Emily Coltman and Mariah Marshall; U15 Boys: Jasper Todd (2nd); U15 girls: AmeliaReynolds (2nd), Anya Sandell, Ruby Bowden and Abigail Phillips; U17 men: Tom Farwell; U20 men: Brandon Meredith (6th in combined S/V/U20 men race); Senior/Veteran men: Laszlo Toth (1st), Chris Phelan-Heath (5th), Ian White and Ian Graham; Senior/Veteran Women: Nikki Sandell (2nd), Julia Austin (3rd), Kirsty Drewett, Helen Ambrosen and Sam Laws.
The next fixtures are 4 November (Wessex League, Yeovil) and 10November (Hampshire League, Aldershot). Will we be having proper cross country weather by then?
As BAC embarked on the final fixture of the 2017/18 HampshireCross Country League season on a new, very muddy course at Aldershot on Saturday 10 February there were high hopes for a successful end to what has been one of the best campaigns in this League for some time.
And the Senior Men certainly delivered! Dave Long led a spectacular team performance, finishing 3rd in a high quality field, and with Jacek Cieluszecki 6th, Craig Palmer 8th, Rob McTaggart 16th and Steve Way 18th, the team’s score for the day was a mere 51, placing the team second in Division 1 (behind Aldershot,Farnham and District, whom no-one was going to catch), well ahead of third placed Reading AC. With, during the season, two 5th place finishes and three 2nd place, the final position in the Division 1 table (of one of the strongest cross country leagues in the country) of BAC‘s senior men was 3rd – a very impressive achievement.
Of course, it isn’t all about the winners, and it was pleasing to see a further five BAC vests competing round the course. Stuart Nicholas was the 6th BAC athlete to cross the line, and such was the quality of his run which resulted in a finish in 34th position that, had Stuart been the 5th scorer, the Senior Mens’ team would still have been 2nd!
BAC‘s Veteran Men have also been doing well this season, with some excellent results in the earlier fixtures. Unfortunately, at Aldershot, there was no complete veteran team, with just Steve (who was the 1st Veteran Man) and Richard Wade completing the course. Richard Nelson, despite injury, and setting a Captain’s example as always, started the race, but it quickly became clear that serious injury could result and he made the sensible – and only – decision to drop out. In the event, it is clear that Richard‘s injury has been aggravated, and we wish him a speedy recovery. Nevertheless, because of the strong performances at the earlier fixtures, BAC‘s Veteran Mens’ team finished the season in 5th position, of 17 teams, which is a very creditable result. Next season, of course, Jacek, who became a veteran during this season, will count towards the veteran as well as the senior results.
BAC‘s ladies fielded a full Senior and Veteran team at Aldershot, welcoming Jo Dilling wearing a BAC vest for the first time. NikkiSandell led BAC‘s ladies to the finish, and with Jo and Louise Price the team finished as 12th Senior Ladies’ team on the day, of 19 complete teams, and, aggregate for the season, were 6th of 17 teams. The same team also doubled as the Veteran Ladies’ team and, in this capacity, were 6th of 13 teams on the day, and, on aggregate for the season, were a highly respectable 3rd of 9 teams.
Yet again, there was a scarcity of BAC youngsters competing – in fact, at Aldershot there was just one, namely Anya Sandell in the U15 girls race. Anya has been ever present during the season, and it is be hoped that in the future Anya will have some BAC company – it would be very pleasant to report on some BAC youngsters’ team performances in this League.
With the end of the season come some BAC individual top 10 placings. Of the Senior Men Dave Long is 3rd and Craig Palmer 4th. Of the Veteran Men Steve Way is 4th and Pat Robbins 9th, and of the Veteran Women Nikki Sandell is 3rd.
So it has, in general, been a successful season for BAC and thanks and congratulations to all who have taken part and contributed, and particular congratulations to our top 10 finishers.
Results (BAC): Senior/Veteran Men: 3. Dave Long 34.08; 6. Jacek Cieluszecki 34.50; 8. Craig Palmer 35.00; 16. Rob McTaggart 36.01; 18. Steve Way 36.11; 34. Stuart Nicholas 37.20; 67. Ross Smith 39.55; 90. Richard Brawn 41.41; 104. Richard Wade 42.29; 106. Laszlo Toth 42.43: Senior/Veteran Women: 26. Nikki Sandell 27.50; 50. Jo Dilling 30.11; 83. Louise Price 33.13: U15G: 32. Anya Sandell 21.01.