All posts by Ian Graham

Hampshire XC League finale plus Southern XC Championships

Simon Hearn, who does so much coaching the youngsters and providing a BAC base at fixtures, competing at Dibden







There were some spectacular BAC performances at the final Hampshire Cross Country League fixture of the season at Dibden Inclosure, 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 DibdenHolly Collier continues to amaze, finishing 9th Senior Woman at Dibden (3rd U20W), and, for the season, has achieved the heights of 2nd female overall.

Rob McTaggart on his way to 19th position at the final Hants XC League fixture in the New Forest

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 Richard Brawn, Stuart Glenister, Sanjai Sharma and Simon Hearn all finishing within the top 100, Division 1 status was secure.  Ian Graham, 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 Veteran Mens‘ team, ensuring a position in the season’s results, which otherwise would not have occurred as BAC had no Veteran Mens‘ 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 Holly Collier (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.

Holly Collier leads the BAC ladies home at Dibden

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 Rob McTaggart, Jasper Todd and Martha Preece, already mentioned, BAC vests were also worn at the fixture by Neve and Lauren East and Louie ToddNeve 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), Louie Todd (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.

More photos of BAC athletes at Dibden………………..

Richard Brawn
Stuart Glenister
Sanjai Sharma, whose late decision to compete may have saved BAC’s Division 1 status, at Dibden
Nikki Sandell
Julia Austin
Kirsty Drewett closely followed by Mandy Adams
Louise Price
Annette Lewis
Jayne Wade


Cross Country – SW Regional Championships and Hampshire XC League

Richard Wade and Simon Hearn (running for both County and Club), Ian Graham and Stuart Glenister (who would have been selected for County had he not transferred to BAC just that day)

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.

Georgia Wood – top of the podium as the SW Regional F35 champion
Helen Ambrosen (right) with her bronze medal as 3rd SW Regional F55
Heidi Tregenza – ladies SW regional cross country champion and gold medallist

See below for more photographs of the SW Regional XC Championships………


Holly Collier and Nikki Sandell line up for the start of the senior ladies’ race at Reading

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.

Richard Brawn is determined on a Prospect Park, Reading Hill

See below for more photographs of the Hampshire Cross League fixture at Reading………………….

Results (BAC) at SW Regional Championships, Yeovil, 6 January 2019: 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…

Dorset ladies’ team at SW Championships including Kirsty Drewett (2nd left), Jayne Wade (4th left), Louise Price and Helen Ambrosen (6th and 7th left)
Stuart Glenister and Simon Hearn tackle the SW Championship course at Yeovil
Richard Wade about to tackle one of the Yeovil hills
Richard takes the tactical inner curve at Yeovil – does he overtake Stuart??

More BAC athletes running also for Dorset at Yeovil…….

Kirsty Drewett
Holly Collier
Jayne Wade
Helen Ambrosen
Louise Price
Simon Hearn and Richard Brawn

And a few more photographs from the Hampshire XC League……..

Julia Austin on course at Reading
Louise Price tracks her opponents
Nikki Sandell digs in
Jayne Wade – yet another hill!
Richard Brawn happy with his run at Reading, despite………………
………… with someone else’s spikes!!

Cross Country: Wessex League Triumph and Hampshire League show still on the road


BAC’s mens’ team at Popham – Theo Irvine, Stuart Glenister, Richard Wade, Richard Nelson, Stuart Nicholas, Matt du Cros, Richard Brawn, Laszlo Toth, Simon Hearn, Ross Smith, Jud Kirk and Brandon Meredith

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 Cross Country 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 Country League 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 Bryanston School 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, Neve East, 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.

BAC’s ladies team at Popham – Kirsty Drewett, Helen Ambrosen, Jayne Wade, Julia Austin, Nikki Sandell and Holly Collier

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; U15 Girls: 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 17 Women: 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; U13 Girls: 11. Martha Preece 12.37.

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.

Cross Country Season under way

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 girls Wessex 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 Wessex League 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 Jemma Bates 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 NelsonStu Fox, Richard Wade and Simon Hearn were the BAC veteran men 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 Leon Griffin 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 Archie Kilburn making up the team which was 9th of 15 teams, the rest of the squad being Louie Todd, Alfie Stopler, Ben Worley, Sam Brewer, Isaac Sandell and Nathan Mearns Lauren East and Laura Reeves ran for BAC in the U17 women race, and in the U15 girls race BAC‘s team of Amelia Reynolds, Anya Sandell and Ruby Bowden, supported by Abigail Phillips were 7th of 11 teams.  Also 7th of 11 teams were the U13 girls team of Neve East, Martha Preece 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 Isabel Cherrett, 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 Isaac SandellNeve 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 senior men, 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; U13 Boys: Oscar Ewen Matthews, Sam Farwell, Louie Todd, Alfie Stopler, 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: Amelia Reynolds (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 10 November (Hampshire League, Aldershot).  Will we be having proper cross country weather by then?

Successful BAC finish to Hampshire XC season

Dave Long led BAC’s senior men to a successful Hants XC League 3rd final position in Division 1

As BAC embarked on the final fixture of the 2017/18 Hampshire Cross 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.  Nikki Sandell 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.

Dave Long led BAC’s senior men to a successful Hants XC League 3rd final position in Division 1

Hampshire Cross Country League success at Reading


Dave Long (left) and some of the BAC team he led to 2nd place at the Hants XC League fixture at Reading (also Jud Kirk, Graham Robinson, Richard Brawn, Steve Cox, Pat Robbins and Stuart Nicholas)

What a weekend of athletic triumph! England‘s cricketers trounced the Australians in the first ODI, and then the Cherries floored Arsenal with a 2-1 win. But before all that, and most importantly, BAC‘s senior men romped to a clear second place in Division 1 at the penultimate fixture of this season’s Hampshire Cross Country League at Reading on Saturday 13 January.

Craig Palmer

The BAC charge was led by Dave Long who is surely pleased with his last minute decision to compete.  Dave ran an intelligent, tactical race, keeping with the leading group until it dwindled down to just three, Dave and the two leading AFD athletes, well ahead of fourth.  Dave eventually judged that he would be unable to take the AFD athletes so, instead of expending unnecessary effort in an attempt to do so, and being well clear of the next athlete, Dave eased off to finish a comfortable third.  Not far behind, Craig Palmer and Josh  King were battling it out for a top spot, with Craig finishing eighth, and Josh tenth, just 11 seconds later.  Rob McTaggart and Graham Robinson were also running out of their skins, and it paid off, with 21st and 28th finishing positions respectively.  So BAC‘s senior men concluded the day with their best result of the season, just 70 points, to place them second on the day, well ahead of third placed Southampton AC on 111 points.  BAC‘s aggregate position for the season so far is third.  No-one is going to catch Aldershot, Farnham & District, but, having finished 5th, 2nd, 5th and 2nd it is all to go for to achieve 2nd of Division 1 for the season, but it will need a similar performance at the last fixture at Aldershot on Saturday 10 February.

Josh King
Graham Robinson

Spare a thought for Stuart NicholasStuart powered round the course at Reading to finish a magnificent 40th, despite having competed in – and won! – not one, but two, marathons only a week earlier.  On any other day Stuart would have counted in the team, but the fact that, had anything gone wrong, or any of our ‘super five’ team athletes not made it to Reading, Stuart‘s 40th position would still have left us with an excellent result, shows just how important the sixth runner is.

Stuart Nicholas

BAC are, of course, going well in the veteran men and veteran women competitions.  Pat Robbins was BAC‘s first veteran man to cross the line, running very strongly to finish 66th overall, to be followed by Jud Kirk, who had ‘called in’ at Reading to compete during a journey from Cambridge back home to Bournemouth.  The team was completed by Steve Cox, and finished in 12th position on the day.  However, based on the best three results, BAC‘s veteran men are 3rd equal aggregate – 3rd equal with Poole AC, so a good result at Aldershot is essential!  Unfortunately, the ‘Reading curse’ struck again for the ladies, with BAC represented by just Nikki Sandell and Kirsty Drewett.  Although, therefore, there is no team result for the day, BAC still lies 6th in the table for the senior women, and an impressive 3rd for the veteran women, but a strong turnout at Aldershot will be needed to maintain these positions.

Kirsty Drewett and Nikki Sandell
Pat Robbins

The Hampshire Cross Country League is one of the strongest in the country, so Richard Brawn was well pleased with his finish in the top 100.

Richard Brawn

More photos below….photos with thanks to Sarah Swift, Richard Brawn and Steve Cox…………

A number of BAC athletes, based on their best three performances, appear in the top ten individual rankings.  Of the senior men, Dave is third and Craig is fifth.  Of the veteran men, Steve Way is sixth and Nikki is third of the veteran women.

Once again, BAC‘s youngsters were conspicuous by their absence, with representation almost exclusively from the Farwell (Tom – U15 boys and Sam – U13 boys) and Sandell (Anya – U15 girls and Isaac – U11 boys) families, though it was pleasing to see in addition Sam Brewer competing with the U13 boys and Nathan Meares with the U11 boys.

Results (BAC): Senior/Veteran Men: 3. Dave Long 31.52; 8. Craig Palmer 32.33; 10. Josh King 32.44; 21. Rob McTaggart 33.39; 28. Graham Robinson 34.08; 40. Stuart Nicholas 35.39; 66. Pat Robbins 37.07; 96. Richard Brawn 39.39; 120. Jud Kirk 41.54; 160. Steve Cox 46.54: U15 Boys: 25. Tom Farwell 14.53: U13 Boys: 48. Sam Farwell 12.31; 62. Sam Brewer 14.25: U11 Boys (not part of the League): 40. Isaac Sandell 12.11; 50. Nathan Meares 12.50: Senior/Veteran Women: 32. Nikki Sandell 23.04; 65. Kirsty Drewett: U15 Girls: 28. Anya Sandell 14.48.

More photos…………….

Josh King and Rob McTaggart
Nikki Sandell
Steve Cox
Kirsty Drewett
The start of the mens’ race
Anya Sandell
Isaac Sandell
Dave Long (left) and some of the BAC team he led to 2nd place at the Hants XC League fixture at Reading (also Jud Kirk, Graham Robinson, Richard Brawn, Steve Cox, Pat Robbins and Stuart Nicholas)


Hampshire Cross Country League – BAC going well

BAC had another strong men’s team out for the second Hampshire League Cross Country fixture at Popham Airfields

The third fixture of the 2017/18 season of the Hampshire Cross Country League took place at Popham Airfield, Basingstoke on Saturday 2 December, and, although BAC‘s teams weren’t quite as strong as at the previous fixture at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, the Senior and Veteran Men and Senior and Veteran Women are all ranked towards the top of their respective tables leading, hopefully, to a satisfactory, at least, conclusion to the season. We welcomed Laszlo Toth and Theo Irvine, competing for the first time in the yellow and blue vest, and Craig Palmer, who competes for BAC as his second claim club in order to run in this League, continues to make a very valuable contribution.

The only less happy note was the absence, once again, of a substantial BAC representation at lower age level, with on this occasion, the boys coming entirely from the Farwell family and the girls from the Sandell family.  So, congratulations to Tom Farwell, 25th of 53 in the U15 boys race in 13.33, to Sam Farwell, 55th of 81 in the U13 boys race in 11.44, and to Anya Sandell, 34th of 55 in the U15 girls race in 16.12.  No doubt, had there been U11 races, Anya‘s younger brother Isaac would have been running.  Let’s hope that in due course Tom, Sam and Anya will have some company with BAC teams in their age categories.

However returning to the good news, Dave Long, who led the Mens’ race for much of the way, was first of the BAC athletes to finish, followed very closely by Craig Palmer Dave and Craig were 8th and 9th respectively so an excellent foundation!  Rob McTaggart, Josh Cole and Steve Way completed the BAC Senior Mens’ team, with Steve leading the BAC Veteran Men, the team being completed by Pat Robbins and Sanjai Sharma.  On the day, BAC‘s Senior Men were 5th of 10 complete teams in Division 1, and are 3= aggregate for the season so far.  Aldershot, Farnham and District will never be caught (as ever!), but Southampton, in second place, are within sight, but the real battle is amongst BAC, Reading and Basingstoke and Mid Hants, all of whom are so close that one stutter, or one brilliant performance, could make all the difference.  It isn’t just about the leaders, though.  It was a real pleasure to see 13 BAC men competing with the BAC vest everywhere.

The BAC ladies fielded another competitive lineup

The ladies, too, had a very successful day with Harriet Slade, Nikki Sandell and Joy Wright making up the Senior Womens’ team which finished a highly creditable 6th of 19 complete teams, the aggregate position being 7th of 21 teams.  Yvonne Tibble completed the Veteran Womens’ team (with Nikki and Joy), which finished an excellent 3rd of 12 complete teams on the day, and remain 3rd aggregate for the season of 14 teams.  Kirsty Drewett was on hand to provide the vital back up should this have been needed.

With the best two performances so far counting, BAC athletes are beginning to appear in the top 10 individual aggregate positions.  Of the Senior Men Dave Long is 6th and Craig Palmer 10th.  Steve Way is 6= Veteran Man, and in the Veteran Women table Emma Dews is 4th and Nikki Sandell 9th.

So, with three fixtures gone and two remaining it’s all to go for.  Your club needs you at Reading on 13 January and Aldershot on 10 February!

The yellow and blue army were out in full force

BAC success at Hampshire Cross Country League fixture


Some of BAC’s mens’ team -Simon Hearn, Richard Brawn, Jud Kirk, Stuart Nicholas, Craig Palmer (behind the elbow!), Steve Way, Pat Robbins, Sanjai Sharma, Steve Cox and Nick Kenchington

A strong contingent of BAC men and women competed at what must be the toughest of the Hampshire Cross Country League venues at Queen Elizabeth Country Park, near Petersfield, on Saturday 11 November. This is a new course and involved climbing almost to the top of Butser Hill, the highest point in Hampshire, followed by a sharp descent, and then doing this again, in the case of the men, three times!

The start of the mens’ race, Craig Palmer, David Long and Josh King showing early form

However, this did not daunt a very strong BAC mens’ team, whose objective was to build on the solid fifth place in Division 1 of the League achieved at the first fixture of the season, at Kings Park, to ensure that first division status is maintained at the end of the season.  To say this was done is an understatement, with the Senior Mens‘ team finishing 2nd on the day, with only the untouchable Aldershot, Farnham and District club in front, and now lie 2nd equal in the table after two fixtures.  BAC‘s Veteran Men also had a highly successful day, finishing 3rd of 24 teams.

Rich Brawn soaks up the atmosphere before the start

There was another 2nd position by BAC – the Veteran Women, more about this later.

The course involved climbing the far slope almost to the top (the mast is the highest point in Hampshire) and down the near slope (three times for the men!)

The BAC charge was led by Jacek Cieluszecki, who chased David Long around the course, just edging past David towards the finish, so that David finished just one place behind Jacek, but, as 8th and 9th respectively, it looked as if BAC were on course for a low points count.  This was confirmed when Craig Palmer crossed the line  seconds later, pursued very shortly by Josh King, and when Rob McTaggart finished in 48th position it was clear this was a good result – to have the entire team in the top 50 is always good news!  BAC‘s Senior Men are 2nd in the table, equal with Southampton Athletic Club, so let’s hope the exciting contest with SAC to finish the season 2nd (behind AFD who can never be caught!) of a few years ago can be repeated!

BAC‘s Veteran Men can also be very satisfied with the result from Butser Hill.  The team of Steve Way, Pat Robbins and Sanjai Sharma, by finishing 3rd of 24 teams (there is only one Veteran Mens‘ division), ensured that that the 4th position achieved at the first fixture at Kings Park was retained as the aggregate position.

In all, 14 BAC men competed in this fixture, and it was a real pleasure to see so many of the yellow and blue vests around the course. Congratulations to all who took partThe only sad feature was that there was not one single BAC U20 or U17 man, nor U15 or U13 boy, although, in the U11 boys’ race, it was great to see Isaac Sandell tackling the course.

There was also a strong BAC Senior Womens‘ team present, with the team of Emma Dews, Harriet Slade and Nikki Sandell finishing 7th on the day, of 27 teams (like the Veteran Men, there is only one Senior Women division), an excellent result, placing the team 7th aggregate in the team.  Emma and Nikki also scored for the Veteran Womens‘ team, and supported by Yvonne Tibble, the team finished an astonishing 2nd on the day, resulting in a 2nd aggregate position.  Just in case anything went wrong (which it didn’t!) Joy Wright and Kirsty Drewitt provided the essential back-up.  The situation concerning BAC‘s youngsters was almost as sparse as with the boys, with no BAC U17W, U13G nor U11G taking part, but, in the U15G race, it was very encouraging to see Amelia Reynolds and Anya Sandell competing.

Results (BAC): Senior/Veteran Men: 8. Jacek Cieluszecki 35.53; 9. David Long 36.02; 13. Craig Palmer 36.24; 21. Josh King 37.25; 48. Rob McTaggart 39.12; 64. Steve Way 40.11; 72. Stuart Nicholas 40.38; 96. Pat Robbins 42.08; 109. Sanjai Sharma 42.53; 156. Richard Brawn 45.28; 166. Nick Kenchington 46.09; 179. Jud Kirk 47.33; 198. Simon Hearn 49.07; 231. Steve Cox 52.18 (286 in race): Senior/Veteran Women: 29. Emma Dews 26.22; 47. Harriet Slade 27.49; 50. Nikki Sandell 28.25; 67. Yvonne Tibble 29.44; 77. Joy Wright 30.31; 93. Kirsty Drewitt (161 in race): U15 Girls: 28 Amelia Reynolds 15.40; 36. Anya Sandell 16.15 (48 in race): U11 Boys: Isaac Sandell (results not yet published – this race isn’t part of the League).

The following photographs (copyright: hammy8241) were taken by Paul Hammond of Eastleigh RC and are reproduced with his permission, for which many thanks………

David Long
Jacek Cieluszecki and Josh King
Craig Palmer
Rob McTaggart
Emma Dews
Harriet Slade
Nikki Sandell


Stuart Nicholas looks determined
Yvonne Tibble
Kirsty Drewitt


Hampshire Cross Country League season starts at Kings Park

BAC ladies’ XC team, Mandy Adams, Harriet Slade, Emma Dews, Kirsty Drewitt and Yvonne Tibble

The 2017/18 season of the Hampshire Cross Country League opened on Saturday 14 October with the first fixture in beautiful sunny weather at Kings Park.

Craig Palmer storming to 15th position

For BAC‘s senior mens’ team the aim this season has to be, at least, to remain in Division 1 of this highly competitive League and thanks to some outstanding performances Saturday was an encouraging start. It is BAC‘s good fortune that Craig Palmer has joined second claim, for the purpose of cross country competition, as Craig‘s astonishing run brought him to the finish line in 15th position. Throughout the mens’ race, Craig was being pursued by Josh King, who edged ever nearer to Craig, finishing one place behind him in 16th. BAC is also fortunate to have recruited fairly recently Stuart Nicholas, running in his first cross country race, who also had an excellent run to finish third BAC athlete. Steve Way followed very shortly afterwards, probably running better than he expected after injury problems, and, completing the BAC mens’ team, Pat Robbins also ran well to finish only one minute (exactly!) after Steve. Steve and Pat were BAC‘s first two veteran men, the veteran’s team being completed by John Phillips, also recently joined (or, more accurately, rejoined after many years!), which meant that BAC‘s veteran mens’ team is no less than the 4th team of the 18 complete veteran men teams (there is only one veteran division), which is an excellent start to the season. BAC‘s senior mens’ team, after one fixture, are 5th of 10 teams in Division 1, so a solid start, but hopefully we can improve on this as the season progresses, and there is certainly no room for complacency! The U20s also ran in the same race as the senior and veteran men, and BAC was sole representative was Brandon Meredith, who should be pleased with his 13th U20M position. Please see the full BAC mens’ results below.

Josh King chasing to finish 16th
Stuart Nicholas in his first xc race (pacing Jamie Grose ex BAC now PAC)

Turning to the ladies, some excellent running led to a satisfactory start to the season.  Despite this being only her second race this year, Emma Dews‘ strong running kept her at the front of the field for the entire race, finishing 12th overall in 22.58 and 2nd veteran lady.  Harriet Slade and Yvonne Tibble, finishing 30th in 24.27 and 70th in 27.14 respectively, completed the senior ladies’ team , and of the 20 complete teams, BAC were placed 8th (there is just one ladies’ division), so that is an excellent start to the season.  Emma and Yvonne were the first two BAC veteran ladies’ the team being completed by Kirsty Drewitt (88th in 28.28) with the veteran ladies’ team also having an excellent start, lying 5th of the 14 veteran ladies’ teams.  Well done too to Mandy Adams who was 124th in 31.53 and provided the essential backup in case of any dropouts.  A total of 156 completed the senior/veterans race, apparently the largest field for many years.

Brandon Meredith on his way to finishing 13th U20

What was slightly disappointing from BAC‘s point of view was the lack of youngsters competing, with not even one  U17M or U17W BAC athlete.  However, well done to those youngsters who did compete, and especially the three U13 girls, as this produced a BAC team result for their category.  They were Martha Preece, who, of the 79 finishers, was 15th in 12.51, Lara Broderick, 56th in 14.16 and Abigail Phillips, 61st in 14.40.  The fact that the team was 11th of the 11 complete teams really doesn’t matter – it is very encouraging to see a BAC team in the younger age groups, and there were plenty of clubs taking part in this race who didn’t have a team.  In the U15 girls, Anya Sandell was 34th of the field of 56 in 17.34, in the U13 boys Sam Farwell was 55th of the 85 finishers in 13.00 and in the U15 boys Tom Farwell was 26th of the 64 finishers in 14.45 and Jasper Todd was 36th in 15.16.  What a pity there wasn’t a third U15 boy to make up a team!  Once again, well done to all the youngsters who competed and kept the BAC flag flying throughout the day.

In addition to the League races, there were also boys’ and girls’ U11 races at Kings Park, which gave an opportunity for our Development Evening youngsters to compete.  It is encouraging that, had these races been part of the League, we could have had an U11 boys’ team!  Of the 75 who completed this race, Archie Kilburn was 12th in 8.21, Sam Brewer 57th in 9.39, Isaac Sandell 59th in 9.43 and Nathan Mearns 66th in 10.00.  There were two Bournemouth U11 girls amongst the field of 47, Ida Waring who was 10th in 9.10 and Katie Kilburn, 26th in 9.43.

This fixture was organised and run by BAC, and many thanks are due to all the marshals, officials and helpers without whom the fixture could not have taken place.  Kings Park appears to be a popular venue for Hampshire Cross Country League clubs (although it is true the first fixture always attracts large numbers) as, throughout the day, including the U11 races, an astonishing 894 athletes completed 10 separate races.

BAC results (senior/veteran/U20 men): 15 Craig Palmer 32.03; 16 Josh King 32.08; 57 Stuart Nicholas 34.45; 60 Steve Way 34.59; 76 Pat Robbins 35.59; 83 Brandon Meredith 36.20; 91 John Phillips 36.47; 96 Tom Paskins 36.52; 108 Richard Wade 37.09; 136 Ross Smith 38.32; 148 Nick Kenchington 39.39; 158 Simon Hearn 40.14; 185 Jud Kirk 41.52.

BAC ladies’ XC team, Mandy Adams, Harriet Slade, Emma Dews, Kirsty Drewitt and Yvonne Tibble