Men's team at the Hampshire League Cross Country race in Aldershot

Cross Country Season Marches On

Men's team at the Hampshire League Cross Country race in Aldershot
Some of the BAC squad sheltering from the rain at Aldershot

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 U13 Boys‘ and U13 Girls‘ teams are both in the lead, as are the Senior Mens‘ and the Veteran Womens‘ teams, and in the Hampshire League the Senior Mens‘ team lies in second position as does the Veteran Womens‘ team.  In the last fixtures there were some outstanding individual performances, with, at Yeovil, Neve East winning the U13 Girls‘ race and Martha Preece finishing fifth, Oscar Ewen Matthews second of the U13 Boys, Amelia Reynolds third U15 Girl, Laszlo Toth the fourth Senior Man and Nikki Sandell the fourth Senior Woman. At Aldershot, in one of the strongest cross country leagues in the country, the individual BAC highlights were Holly Collier‘s 16th position in the Senior Womens‘ race (Holly was second U20 Woman), 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 Senior Mens‘ 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; Senior Men; 4. Laszlo Toth 29.39, 26. Richard Wade 33.36, 53. Ian Graham 41.02 (team aggregate 1st): Senior Women; 4. Nikki Sandell 21.23, 9. Julia Austin 22.43, 15. Kirsty Drewett 23.53, 26. Helen Ambrosen (team – Veteran Women – aggregate 1st).

Holly Collier and Nikki Sandell in the Hampshire League Cross Country race at Aldershot
Holly Collier and Nikki Sandell at the start of the womens’ race

There might have been some drizzle at Yeovil, but cross country weather returned with a vengeance at Aldershot for the second Hampshire Cross Country League fixture on 10 November – pouring persistent rain producing mud everywhere. Here are the BAC results: Senior Men; 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 Georgia Wood 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.

Rich Brawn after the Hampshire League Cross Country race at Aldershot
Rich Brawn is proud of his run at Aldershot – and rightly so!

So it is all to go for!  The next fixtures are 1 DecemberHampshire Cross Country League at Popham, Basingstoke, and 16 DecemberWessex Cross Country League at Bryanston School, which is also the Dorset County Championship race for 2018.