Mon 24th Sep 2018
A team of 21 Winchester U13s & U15s travelled to Crystal Palace for the 2018 Southern Road Relays and returned wet through but with some medals to show for the day's endeavours.....
In miserable squally conditions, WADAC's U13 boys set the ball rolling with two four-man teams. Stan Parkinson is only just old enough to qualify as an Under-13, but showed ability beyond his 11 years and 3 weeks as he took on the first leg and thus the fastest runners from the best clubs across the South and East of England. Returning in 17th place in an incredible 11m39s, Stan handed on to Ben Chesterfield, whose 11m43s saw Winchester up to 8th place at the end of leg two. The ever-reliable Michael Shingleton-Smith also ran 11m43s and by now the WADAC boys were lying 5th and ready for a final-leg assault on the podium places. James Lewis is a handy runner to have waiting for the last leg, and he stormed on to the quickest time of the day by any WADAC junior runner, 11m05s, taking Winchester into 2nd place and the silver medals. WADAC's other U13 boys team of Matt Duckering, Toby Pace, Ben Hutchings and Ieuan Thomas were consistent throughout the race, never moving more than two placings from start to finish, and finishing 41st.
The Winchester U13 girls team were all making their first appearance in the relays, and again, were solid throughout, finishing in mid-division with Emma Shedden on first leg, Jaz Jones on second and Aisling Hitchman returning from injury to see the team home.
With a couple of athletes unfortunately unavailable, the U15 boys team of James Medley, Dom Exworthy, Harry Harvey and Thomas Briggs nevertheless showed good consistency through the race, sitting between 24th and 28th places throughout and finishing in 26th.
The U15 girls race featured two WADAC teams of three runners. The trio of Rose Chesterfield, Amelia Moore and Lily Neate ran superbly and were just edged out of the top ten, finishing in 11th place, barely a minute overall outside the medal places. In what is a very high-quality age-group for WADAC, the other team of Millie Burgess, Ellie McErlean and Katie Nicholson also finished in the top half of the results table with good runs from all three athletes.
Thanks to the many parents who helped out on a cold, wet day to ensure that all our athletes were ready on the start line every time and were well supported out on the course.
The focus switches now to the first Hampshire League cross-country event of the season, on October 13th, and then back to the relay format again, on November 3rd, when Winchester will be taking strong junior teams to Mansfield for the National Cross-Country Relays and the hope of further medal chances.