The Dorset Schools Cross Country Championships were held at Port Regis School, Motcombe Park, Shaftesbury, on Thursday 15 January, and those BAC athletes who competed, representing their schools, all turned in top performances. In the Minor Boys category, Tom Farwell and Conor Charlwood were 4th and 8th respectively, of a total field of 96, and, of the 107 who competed as Junior Girls, Elsa Charlwood was 12th. Jim Dence was 27th of the 80 Junior Boys, and Jim‘s sister Bridget, who continues with her consistently high standard, was 3rd of the 54 Inter Girls. The performances of Conor and Jim were even more remarkable considering they are both at the very youngest age of their categories. Well done, everyone!
BAC‘s Senior Men may just have done enough at the penultimate fixture of the 2014/15 Hampshire Cross Country League, at Prospect Park, Reading, on Saturday 10 January, to avoid relegation to Division 2, whereas BAC‘s Senior Ladies enjoyed another excellent team result. In addition, we welcomed Anthony Clark, running in a BAC vest for the first time, and, although Anthony was unable to count as part of BAC‘s team, as he has already competed in the League for another club this season, his finishing position amongst the leaders shows what a valuable acquisition Anthony will be for us.
Josh Cole led our Senior Men, Simon Munro not far behind (followed closely by Anthony), and third for BAC was Robin Copestick, showing good form after a lengthy break through injury. Ross Smith was next, clearly benefitting from his frequent and successful gruelling off-road duathlons, and, completing the BAC team was Nick Kenchington, a regular Hampshire League competitor. The outcome of the day was that BAC‘s Senior Men were 6th of teams on the day, and our aggregate position for the season is 8th, one position above relegation. There is a considerable gap between BAC and the 9th team (and, at Reading, the team scored fewer points than the top team of Division 2), so relegation may have been avoided, but it could still occur without a good result at the final fixture at Kings Park, Bournemouth on 7 February. Perhaps it’s also worth mentioning that, at the Reading fixture, with Nick supported by Steve Cox and Ian Graham, BAC actually produced a Veteran Mens‘ team, which, on the day, was 5th of 8 completed Veteran Mens‘ teams.
As already noted, BAC‘s ladies had an excellent day at Prospect Park, with the team of Nikki Sandell, Heidi Tregenza and Cherry Sheffrin, with the ever-present Louise Price as back-up, finishing 6th of 19 (yes, 19!) Ladies’ Teams. Unfortunately, having missed an earlier fixture, our ladies don’t count towards the aggregate positions, but Nikki Sandell at present lies 6th (of 62!) in the Veteran Ladies‘ aggregate table for the season, the table being compiled from the best 3 performances to date.
Another noteworthy performance at Reading was from Tom Farwell, who was 21st of 62 in the U13B race. Tom, with Jim Dence and Conor Charlwood, made up BAC‘s fourth team of the day, finishing 8th of 10 U13B race.
Although Bridget Dence wasn’t competing at Reading, it’s worth noting that in the aggregate positions for the season so far, Bridget is 2nd U17W of a total of 33.
So, well done and thank you to everyone who turned up at Reading, not just those noted above, and we look forward to some good results at the Kings Park fixture, which is being hosted and organised by BAC.
Results (BAC) – Senior Men: 30. Josh Cole 30.28; 35. Simon Munro 30.59; 38. Anthony Clark 31.20; 66. Robin Copestick 33.06; 71. Ross Smith 33.27; 114. Nick Kenchington 36.14; 143. Mike Cowham 38.53; 146. Steve Cox 38.55; 178. Ian Graham 43.34. 200 finished. Senior Women: 15. Nikki Sandell 23.00; 22. Heidi Tregenza 23.56; 52. Cherry Sheffrin 26.28; 89. Louise Price 29.07. 115 finished. U17M: 25. Sebastian Hearn 20.42; 29. Brandon Meredith 21.53. 32 finished. U13B: 21. Tom Farwell 11.28; 37. Jim Dence 12.03; 42. Conor Charlwood 12.15. 62 finished.
Five BAC athletes travelled to Bicton House, Exeter, on Sunday 4 January to represent their County, Dorset, at the South West Inter Counties Cross Country Championships. In the Senior Womens‘ race, Nikki Sandell was 27th of a total of 70, and was 3rd V35, in a time of 28.40. Unfortunately, there was only one other competitor from Dorset, so there was no Dorset Senior Womens‘ team, but that takes nothing away from Nikki‘s commitment in undertaking the long journey to compete. Full marks, too, to the other BAC athletes who made the journey, namely Brandon Meredith, Bridget and Jim Dence and Tom Farwell. Brandon ran in the U17M race, but unfortunately there has been a blip and he doesn’t appear in the results, but Brandon DEFINITELY did run! If the results are corrected this report will be updated. In the U13B race, Jim was 31st (of a total of 47) in 12.48, and Tom was 36th in 12.56. Jim and Tom were the 3rd and 4th Dorset finishers respectively. In the U17W race, of 29 finishers, Bridget was 9th in 23.00, and, as the 3rd Dorset athlete to cross the line, won a Silver Medal, as Dorset was the 2nd team. Well done to Bridget, and to all our athletes who flew the BAC flag at Bicton!
The Dorset County Cross Country Championships were combined with the final Wessex Cross Country League fixture at Canford School on Sunday 14 December, and both produced medals and wins for BAC. The full results for the League race aren’t yet available, but the Championship results show no fewer than 6 medals for BAC athletes. Rob McTaggart, who completed the course in 26.54, won Gold, to become no less than the County Cross Country Champion for 2014, and the Bronze medal was won by Simon Munro, finishing in 27.32. A Gold medal was also won by Nikki Sandell, the winner of the Veteran Women competition, and a Silver medal in the U20M competition went to Jamie Grose, with Joe Arundel winning the Bronze. Jamie‘s and Joe‘s times were 26.54 and 27.39 respectively. Bridget Dence continues to impress in her new age category, winning the U17W Bronze medal, finishing in 16.57 in her race. Congratulations to all our medal winners, but let’s not forget our athletes who didn’t collect medals, but were nevertheless there to compete! Louise Price wasn’t far from the VW medals with her time of 21.58, although it has to be said that Ian Graham‘s time of 36.41 left him some way away from the medals! Much nearer were Sebastian Hearn, completing the U17M race in 17.24, and, in the U13B race, and Jim Dence and Tom Farwell both achieving times of 12.31. Tom is only just in this age category, and is showing considerable talent – one to watch for the future! Although the full League results haven’t yet been posted, it does appear that BAC were the first Senior Mens’ team.
Despite this clutch of medals and wins, the fact is that BAC‘s Cross Country season is staggering a bit at the moment. There’s still time to recover this, particularly at the next Hampshire Cross Country fixtures at Reading on 10 January and Bournemouth on 7 February. Also, don’t forget the SW Cross Country Championships at Bicton, 4 January 2015 www.sw-athletics-academy.co.uk (entries online still open, but hurry!), and the Southern Championships at Brighton on 24 January 2015, and the National Championships at Parliament Hill, London (a race EVERYONE should do at least once!) on 21 February 2015. If you want to enter these (it’s believed the club will pay the entry fees), you need to contact Billy McGreevy NOW!
One other event, not strictly cross country, which merits mention is the Rempstone Roast Duathlon, as Ross Smith again displayed his ability on off-road duathlons. Over a course consisting of 2.5 mile run, 10 mile bike and 2.5 mile run, Ross finished second with a time of 1.08.17, the winning time being 1.07.56. Ross‘ split times were 14.13 and 16.29 for the runs and 37.35 for the bike. The following week Ross went on the run a spectacular Poole Parkrun!
Well done to those five BAC athletes who made sure there was a complete Senior Mens’ team at the third fixture of the Hampshire Cross Country League season at Popham Airfield on Saturday 6 December, but the result means that a challenge for a top place in Division 1 is lost, replaced by a fight to avoid relegation to Division 2. There were, however, two remarkable performances on the day, namely from Josh King and Bridget Dence. Although Josh has competed in previous years in this League in younger age categories, this was the first time he had run in the Senior Mens‘ race, and this was Josh‘s first race at this distance over any surface. So it is no exaggeration to say that Josh‘s finish in 21st position was quite outstanding, particularly as he was the first in the U20 race. Equally outstanding was Bridget‘s 2nd place in the U17 Womens’ race, a position Bridget has achieved in each of this season’s fixtures, so, of course, that is her aggregate position for the season so far. Simon Munro also ran well to finish 40th senior man, especially considering that as the starting gun went, Simon was still cleaning Goodwood‘s mud off his spikes! Without stronger support, BAC‘s senior mens’ team was 10th out of 10 on the day, and now lie 7th aggregate of 10. Looking at the points, there is not much difference between BAC‘s points and those of Winchester & District, who are 6th, and Stubbington Green, who are 9th, a relegation position, so we are really going to have to push the boat out at the next fixtures at Reading on 10 January and Bournemouth on 7 February to avoid relegation. And BAC could win this League………………………………..
Results (BAC): Sen/Vet/U20 Men: 21. Josh King (1st U20M) 33.34; 40. Simon Munro 34.48; 133. Paul Hill 39.59; 195. Steve Cox 44.01; 226. Ian Graham 47.38. U17 Men: 30. Sebastian Hearn 19.35; 31. Brandon Meredith 19.53. U13 Boys: 23. Tom Farwell 11.30. U17 Women: 2. Bridget Dence 19.44.
Rumour has it that several BAC athletes took part in the Endurance Coastal Trail Series event on the same day, Saturday 6 December, which takes place along the Dorset Jurassic Coast at distances of 10k, Half Marathon, Marathon and Ultra. Results now available at www.endurancelife.com – congratulations to Toby Chapman on finishing 4th of 187 in the Marathon, but commiserations to Manol Dimitrov who was forced to retire from the Marathon, whilst well-placed, with an injury. In the 10k Jacek Cieluszecki accompanied Ela, his wife along the course, finishing 111th and 112th respectively.
The second fixture of the Hampshire Cross Country League took place in conditions which became steadily worse at Goodwood on Saturday 9 November. Apart from the fact that BAC‘s senior men and ladies were present in greater strength than at the first fixture at Farley Mount (both teams creeping up the League tables), the main stories of the day were Bridget Dence‘s run in the U17W race, Brandon Meredith competing in the senior mens’ race, having just missed the start of his own (U17M) race as a result of traffic difficulties on the way and the welcome presence of a BAC U13 Boys’ team.
For the senior men, Steve Way, 11th overall and 1st Vet, David Long, Rob McTaggart and Simon Munro all had excellent runs, and would have been joined by Jacek Cieluszecki, who was running well until the latter part of the race when he slightly twisted his ankle. Jacek continued for a while, but as he was rapidly losing places decided, sensibly, to retire, but hopefully there has been no lasting damage. Fortunately, Toby Chapman had undertaken a three hour return trip to compete, and, as BAC‘s fifth scorer, saved the team from slipping one further place, both on the day and in the aggregate table. In total there were 11 BAC senior/vet men taking part, so well done to everyone for turning out on what was potentially going to be a dreadful day, and turned out to be so late in the afternoon with strong winds and heavy rain. Well done particularly to Brandon Meredith, who arrived just too late to participate in his own U17M race and, rather than giving up, decided to run in the senior/vet race, which is a considerably longer distance, and this was the farthest Brandon had actually raced.
BAC‘s senior men finished 4th on the day, and have moved up to 5th in the aggregate table (in both cases of 10 complete teams), and both positions would have been lower had Toby not travelled so far to compete. The individual aggregate placings are not too meaningful as yet, but nevertheless Steve is 1= Vet, and David is 10= U20M. BAC also fielded a Vets’ team at Goodwood, which finished 6th of 11 teams, of course considerably helped by Steve‘s run!
BAC‘s ladies had an excellent day, with Nikki Sandell, Heidi Tregenza, Cherry Sheffrin, with Louise Price in reserve, finishing 7th on the day of 21 complete teams, and in the aggregate table lie 6th of 16 complete teams in the first two fixtures. This was Heidi‘s first race in BAC colours, and she demonstrated what a useful asset to the club she will be. In the aggregate table, Nikki is 8= Vet Lady.
Bridget Dence continues to astonish, performing so well in her new age category, finishing strongly in 2nd position in her race, and Bridget lies 2nd in the aggregate table for U17W. There was a third BAC competing at Goodwood. Jim Dence, Tom Farwell and Conor Charlwood (competing in the Hampshire Cross Country League for the first time) formed an U13 Boys’ team, who were 8th of 10 complete teams on the day.
Results (BAC): (full details on Hampshire Athletics website) Senior/Vet Men; 11.Steve Way 28.28; 18, David Long 29.41; 20. Rob McTaggart 29.52; 27. Simon Munro 30.12; 35. Toby Chapman 30.34; 62. Paul Hill 32.11; 90. Ross Smith 33.42; 134. Brandon Meredith 36.03; 142. Nick Kenchington 36.39; 176. Mike Cowham 38.38; 221 Ian Graham 42.55. There were 241 finishers. Senior/Vet Women; 24. Nikki Sandell 23.13; 36. Heidi Tregenza 23.54; 62. Cherry Sheffrin 25.43; 110. Louise Price 29.05. There were 152 finishers. U17 Men; 36. Sebastian Hearn 18.44. There were 46 finishers. U17 Women; 2. Bridget Dence 16.24. There were 33 finishers. U13 Boys; 26. Jim Dence 12.10; 28. Tom Farwell; 49. Conor Charlwood 13.05. There were 72 finishers. See below for more photos……………..
The previous Sunday, 2 November, the second fixture of the Wessex Cross Country League took place at Canford Heath. Bridget Dence ran well, to finish 3rd in the U17W race in 18.15, with other BAC results as follows: U17M; 9. Brandon Meredith 18.32; 11. Sebastian Hearn 20.11; U15G; 10. Elsa Charlwood 13.47; U11B; 9. Conor Charlwood 7.48. Full details are available on the Team Dorset website.
Finally, in addition to rapidly improving running, Ross Smith is apparently something of a talented mountain biker. On 1 November, Ross took part in the ‘Grim Duathlon’ at Swinley Forest, Blackwater, a run/cycle/run duathlon entirely off-road, on an army testing area. Of 168 finishers, Ross was an astonishing 2nd, with a 1st run in 21.27, Bike 1.04.03 and a 2nd run 22.44. Well done!
More photos of the Hampshire Cross Country League “in no particular order”, as they say on ‘Strictly’…………………
The first Hampshire Cross Country League took place at Farley Mount, Winchester, a welcome return to this venue, on Saturday 10 October. The notable performances of the day were from Jacek Cieluszecki, 9th in the Senior Mens’ Race, Bridget Dence, 2nd in the U17W race, and our three senior ladies, Nikki Sandell, Gemma Bragg and Louise Price, who made up the first BAC ladies’ team in this competition for many, many years.
Jacek Cieluszecki’s run was quite outstanding, 9th of a total of 236, in a time of 33.46, against a winning time of 32.39. A superb run was also produced by Simon Munro, 28th in 35.45, with Jez Bragg providing solid support, 70th in 39.02. The most important aim in these races is to ensure there is a complete team of five, so the runs of Paul Hill, 119th in 41.17, and Nick Kenchington, 129th in 41.57, were absolutely vital. Thank goodness BAC didn’t have to rely on Ian Graham, 221st in 52.08, to score! The end result was that BAC Senior Men were 8th of the 10 teams in Division 1, with 355 points (not far behind Winchester’s 344 in 7th), so perhaps this isn’t the start we’d hoped for, but at least it is good enough to progress forward during the season.
It was tremendous to see a BAC ladies’ team competing, and an excellent performance it was. Nikki Sandell was 41st in 26.53 with Gemma Bragg not far behind, 48th in 32.41. Completing the team was Louise Price, 110th in 32.41, and the team’s final position was 8th of 17 complete teams (all the ladies’ teams compete as one division), so this is a fantastic start – well done to the ladies! Let’s hope the momentum can continue for the rest of the season.
Bridget Dence continues to excel, finishing 2nd (of 35) in the U17W race in 19.52, a superb result considering Bridget has just moved up into this age category. Of the U17M, Brandon Meredith was 40th in 20.15 and Seb Hearn was 42nd in 20.51. In the U13B race, Jim Dence was 43rd in 13.15 with Tom Farwell 44th in 13.17. Well done to all our youngsters for their participation; we’re sure they’d welcome some of our other youngsters to compete alongside them
The week before, Sunday 5 October, the Wessex Cross Country League season opened at Avon Heath. Brandon Meredith and Seb Hearn were BAC‘s representative, in the U17M race, with Brandon 4th in 21.48, and Seb 5th in 24.33.
A bit of catching up to do – going back to Saturday 8 March Dorset was well represented at the Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships held at Crofton Park, Birmingham, with BAC athletes contributing to team results in three age categories. In the Senior Mens’ competition Steve Way, Richard Horton and Rob McTaggart were part of the six man team which finished 20th of 32 complete teams – not bad for tiny Dorset competing against, for example, Yorkshire, Scotland West and Scotland East. The Dorset U20 Mens’ team achieved an excellent result, scoring 4th of 27 teams, helped by David Long and Jo Arundel, with Brendan Kirkton also running in this race. The U15 Boys Dorset Team was 24th of 40 complete teams, and running in this race was Seb Hearn. The U15 Girls Dorset team received a substantial boost from Bridget Dence, finishing 39th of a total of 277, well before any other Dorset runner, whose efforts are nevertheless to be commended, ensuring there was a complete Dorset team, finishing 21st of 40. Well done to everyone who made the long journey to Birmingham to represent their County!
The Bournemouth Parkruns continue to be well supported by BAC athletes, with Robin Copestick winning on 8 March at Kings Park, with Billy McGreevy second and Emma Dews fourth (first lady). Also running were Jud Kirk, Nikki Sandell, Steve Cox, Joe Price, Caroline Rowley and Will Price. The Bournemouth Parkrun is approaching a regular field of 200, with 192 competing on 8 March, and 219 the following week, 15th March, when Emma Dews was again fourth and first lady, closely followed by David Long, with Ian White (very pleased with a Parkrun PB!), Jud and Paula Kirk, Steve Cox and Will Price also running. Meanwhile in Poole Park, BAC had a winner on 8th March, namely Jacek Cieluszecki, with Karl Welch fourth, followed by Simon Munro (14th) and Gemma Bragg (47th). There were 550 finishers, the same number who finished on 15th March, when Simon Way was second with a “massive PB”! The last of the Poole Runners’ Boscombe Pier 5k Series took place on the evening of Friday 14 March and, of a total of 153, 21st was Lawrence Down (18.25), 32nd Jud Kirk (19.07), 48th Steve Cox (20.05), both Jud and Steve running their fastest 5Ks for some time, 64th Joe Price (21.06), rapidly improving after return from injury, and 132nd Will Price in a time of 25.43.
The Weymouth Bay 10k took place on 16th March, with Billy McGreevy reported to be fourth, despite stopping to help another competitor who’d fallen which probably prevented a PB, as Billy’s time was 30 seconds outside his PB. This race appears to be one of a series of 10Ks organised by a promotions company, and may not qualify for inclusion in the Championship Table, but once the results are published this can be clarified, and we’ll know if there were any other BAC athletes taking part.
Finally, not athletics as such but worth a mention – congratulations to Anya Kay who won a Bronze Medal at the British Two-Woman Bobsleigh Championships held at Igls, Austria on 8th March. Anya will be competing at the BAC Open Meeting at Kings Park on 29 March so it will be possible to offer personal congratulations then!
BAC was represented by three of our athletes in the National Cross Country Championships held at Nottingham on Saturday 22 February. Of over 1600 who completed the Senior Mens‘ race, Rob McTaggart was 165th in 42.15, and Manol Dimitrov was 357th in 43.16. In the U20M race David Long was 65th in 34.28 – a total of 186 finished.
The final fixture of this season’s Hampshire Cross Country League took place at Hudson’s Field, Salisbury on Saturday 8 February in blustery conditions with plenty of mud, but the rain held off for the afternoon. BAC’s Senior Men’s team were fourth of the 9 complete Division 1 teams, with David Long running very strongly to finish 11th (David was fourth U20 which gives some idea of the quality of this League). The second, third and fourth BAC positions were sorted out in the last few yards of the race, with Simon Munro, Manol Dimitrov and Robin Copestick crossing the line within seconds of each other. The day was a repeat of earlier fixtures, with BAC missing the fifth finisher within the top 40, but Nick Kenchington again saved the day, completing the League team, with Andy Gillespie providing the vital back-up in the event of a non-finisher or someone not turning up (Andy has previously himself completed the League team as the fifth BAC finisher). For the first time this season a Lady wearing a BAC vest was in evidence, so congratulations and welcome to new signing Louise Price who competed in the Senior Womens’ race. Turning to the Juniors the only BAC competitors were in the U15 Boys’ race, in which Seb Hearn and Brandon Meredith ran, both of whom have been ‘regulars’ this season.
Senior Men: 11. David Long 32.17; 23. Simon Munro 33.46; 24. Manol Dimitrov 33.47; 25. Robin Copestick 33.50; 75. Nick Kenchington 38.25; 138. Andy Gillespie 44.46. A total of 163 ran.
Senior Women: 68. Louise Price 27.01. A total of 77 ran.
U15 Boys: 38. Seb Hearn 16.18; 45. Brandon Meredith 17.07. A total of 57 ran.
Looking at the season overall, the Senior Men aggregate position was 5th of nine complete teams at all the fixtures. The final result is calculated by adding together all the finishing positions, in our case 6, 4, 7, 1 and 4, a total of 22. Reading AC also scored 22, but rank above us as their aggregate of individual finishing positions was considerably lower than ours. Winchester & District scored 23 points, and, above us, Basinstoke & Mid Hants scored 20 and Southampton 17. So, if we had had that all-important 5th scorer in the top 40 in, say, two more of the fixtures we could well have finished second in Division 1 (Aldershot & District were streets ahead in the lead). Maybe we can be satisfied with the final result, which leaves us comfortably in Division 1 (our aggregate individual score was way below the top of Division 2), but it’s perhaps a little disappointing that the result doesn’t reflect the potential of the club. There were no individual BAC award winners, although Bridget Dence only missed out as she was competing in the South West Schools Championships at Kings Park on the same day as the Hampshire League Salisbury fixture.