Wed 6th Dec 2017
In the latest Alton Sports Hampshire League Cross Country fixture, it was the youngest members of the WADAC team whose performances caught the eye. With no U11 races at this fixture, six of WADAC's U11s were asked to step up to race at U13 level.
The U13 girls race was first off, at midday, and Rose Chesterfield continued her good form with 5th place, followed by two more strong performances from Millie Burgess (10th) and Amelia Moore (11th). Their combined score of 26 points secured second place for the team in a very tight contest with both Southampton and Aldershot. It also moves the team up into 2nd place on aggregate for the season to date. Two further Winchester athletes in the top 20, Ellie McErlean (19th) and Aisling Hitchman (20th), are testimony to the club's increasing strength in depth in this age group. WADAC's two U11 entrants, Elreza Mulder (41st) and Lucy Jones (51st), ran superbly against the older girls, while there were also good runs from Emma Shedden (24th) and Phoebe McGee (56th).
The U13 boys race was notable for the performances of James Lewis (6th) and Tom Grote (13th), both U11s, who finished ahead of all their U13 team-mates. Together with Thomas Briggs (14th), the team scored 33 points and finished third on the day, and remain third on aggregate this season. Winchester's other two U11s also ran well in older company, with Stan Parkinson 43rd and Ieuan Thomas 64th. In another big WADAC turnout, our other finishers were Michael Shingleton-Smith (18th), Harry Harvey (22nd), Ben Chesterfield (25th), James Salter (47th), Matt Duckering (48th) and Ben Hutchings (52nd).
In the U15 girls race, the Winchester team, nearly all from the lower half of the age group, continued their recent run with 4th team place on the day and remained 4th on aggregate for the season so far. Hannah Foster (16th) led the way, again picking up several places in the latter stages of the race, and was followed home by Issy Beck (22nd), Lily Neate (23rd) and the improving Katie Nicholson (42nd).
The Winchester U15 boys team was decimated by illness and non-availability, leaving James Medley to plough a lone furrow. However, in a really strong display against a top quality field, James too picked up places in the second half of the race to finish a very creditable 11th.
The next two Hampshire League fixtures will determine team and individual aggregate finishing places for the season, and so a good turnout of athletes is expected at both Reading (Jan 13th) and Aldershot (Feb 10th). Before both those however, are the annual Hampshire Championships (Jan 6th, Fairthorne Manor), where WADAC teams should compete strongly for the medal positions in all six U11, U13 and U15 races.