Connor Grocott at the Hampshire Cross Country Championships

Connor Grocott was looking to retain the title of Hampshire Cross Country Champion in he Under 13 Boys race

The Dorset County Championships saw some enthralling high class cross country racing with many Bournemouth AC members right in the thick of it, often battling it out with their Poole AC counterparts. The outcome of those races included many Bournemouth AC successes. There was, however, one BAC athlete who was in the hunt for glory across county lines. That was Connor Grocott who was competing in the Under 13 Boys race at the Hampshire Cross Country Championships.

Since he lives in Hampshire and was born there, it makes sense that Connor competes for them and he was back to defend the very title he won at last year’s Hampshire Cross Country Championships. But could he repeat those heroics again and become a two-time county champion?

Connor Grocott in the Hampshire Cross Country Championships

Connor was up against many of Hampshire’s finest

Last year’s race was a tightly fought contest, with just a second separating Connor and Archie Burniston from Basingstoke & Mid Hants. With Archie Burniston in the running again and looking to turn the tables on last year’s result, Connor knew he’d likely have to produce his best again if he was to prevail.

Connor Grocott giving his all in the Hampshire Cross Country Championships

Old rivalries were rekindled as Connor battled it out with Archie Burniston

The event was held at Fairthorne Manor, near Botley and it was a 3.3km course for the Under 13 Boys. It turned out to be another close battle between Connor and Archie but once again, Connor emerged victorious, getting the line in 11 minutes 50 seconds. That was 12 seconds quicker than he ran last year and once again, it was just good enough to see off the challenge of Archie who finished second in 11:55.

Connor Grocott going for the win in the Hampshire Cross Country Championships

The head to head battle between Connor and Archie was going down the wire again

City of Portsmouth star Jonah Tildesley claimed third place in 12 minutes exactly, with Winchester’s Luke Furby taking fourth in 12:04. That standard had certainly gone up since last year’s race but it was great to see Connor once again being confirmed as Hampshire Cross Country Champion.

Connor Grocott battling hard in the Hampshire Cross Country Championships

Connor was absolutely determined to get to the line first

Connor has to be one of the most exciting prospects in the Bournemouth AC youth ranks right now and it will be really exciting to see what else awaits him in racing terms this year.

Last year, as well as winning the Hampshire Cross Country Championship, he went on to win at the Dorset Schools’ Championships and then went on to become Hampshire Multi Events Champion. That competition consisted of a 75m Hurdles, an 800m, a Long Jump, a High Jump and a Shot Put.

Connor Grocott after winning the race

Connor gave absolutely everything to get that county championship win

Connor also came third in the South West Schools’ Cross Country Championships and was crowned Dorset County Schools Champion in both the 1500m and the High Jump. The potential he is demonstrating at the moment has no bounds.

Connor Grocott after winning the Hampshire Cross Country Championships

Connor proudly parades his medal after a tremendous performance

After winning the 2024 Hampshire Country Championships, Connor went on to finish first in his race in the Hampshire League cross country match at Prospect Park the following weekend. One thing is for sure and that is that, in his age group, there are very few boys out there faster than him.

Connor Grocott with his winner's medal

Connor was confirmed as two-time Hampshire Cross Country Champion