Hampshire and Wessex Cross Country Leagues

BAC's Ladies' Team - Gemma Bragg, Nikki Sandell and Louise Price
BAC’s Ladies’ Team – Gemma Bragg, Nikki Sandell and Louise Price

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 heads towards 9th position
Jacek Cieluszecki heads towards 9th position

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.

Simon Munro tackles a Farley Mount hill
Simon Munro tackles a Farley Mount hill

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.

Jez Bragg approaches the finish at Farley Mount
Jez Bragg approaches the finish at Farley Mount
Paul Hill completes the Farley Mount course
Paul Hill completes the Farley Mount course
Nick Kenchington concentrates
Nick Kenchington concentrates
Ian Graham - smiling!
Ian Graham – smiling!
Jacek Cieluszecki moves through the field
Jacek Cieluszecki moves through the field
Simon Munro in good form
Simon Munro in good form
Jez Bragg leads a crowd
Jez Bragg leads a crowd
Paul Hill takes it in his stride
Paul Hill takes it in his stride