Mon 2nd Dec 2019
75 WADAC squad members make the trip, and again come away with five team victories in eight categories
For the first time this autumn the WADAC squad were able to enjoy a rain-free fixture in the Hampshire Cross Country League as crisp, cold conditions greeted them on arrival at Wellesley Woodlands, Aldershot. The squad had made the trip to the north of the county buoyed by strong performances in rounds one and two of the competition, and the good form was to continue here.
There was a bonus for the younger WADAC teams, who were there early enough to be introduced by coach Nick Anderson to Andy Vernon, Olympian, former National Cross Country Champion and European Championship track and XC medallist. Perhaps inspired by this, both Under-11 teams proceeded to dominate their respective races and finish as top team.
The Under-11 girls were led home this time by Hannah Lowe, a strong finish giving her second place just ahead of team-mate Poppy Taylor in 3rd. Grace Baker again completed the scorers for Winchester, finishing 7th, with Ellie Jepson once more racing well to finish 9th. There were great races also for Laura Speirs, Pippa Hodges, Bella Close, Kali Ruffell-Moreira, Sara Bucci, Camilla Hart, Amber Price, Veronica Bucci and Daisy Quartley.
The WADAC Under-11 boys have shared out the honours so far this season, and this time it was Casper Wilson who was first home, finishing an agonising second as he was caught on the run-in by the Southampton athlete, having broken away from the field halfway round the second lap. Seth Noott was again to the fore, finishing 4th, followed by Ethan Skipwith (6th), Joe Hasan (7th) and Alfie Keegan (10th). Luke Furby, Iosu Harfield, Jeremiah Adams and Oliver Foden all made the top 20, and were followed by Felix Sclater, Dara McErlean, Tom Pate, Edward Duxbury, Richard Osben, Mikel Harfield, Felix Hoskins, Rory Paine and Tom Price.
Winchester’s Under-13 girls’ team was again severely depleted by injuries and absences, but Scarlett Anderson (17th) and Lauren McGee (35th) were in good form nevertheless.
James Lewis returned to winning ways in the Under-13 boys’ race, reversing the result of the previous fixture by outpacing Southampton’s Jon Pepin with 200m to go, and with Stan Parkinson (4th) and Jack Moores (7th) continuing their great form, this was another comfortable team victory. WADAC’s second scoring team of Will Hasan (10th), Will Atkins (13th) and Ieuan Thomas (14th) was also too strong for all other clubs, and there was a top-20 finish too for Reuben Hobbs. Aiden Furby, Sam Nicholson and Haydn Moore were a few seconds further back, followed by Billy Jones, Matthew Friend and Boaz Lurcock.
WADAC’s current crop of Under-15 girls has a fabulous record at this venue, and so it was again as Rose Chesterfield (2nd), Millie Burgess (4th) and Amelia Moore (5th) stormed home to win the team event, followed by Emma Shedden and Ellie McErlean in the top-20 and Jaz Jones, Jemima Hodges, Phoebe McGee and Beth Brown all racing strongly.
Winchester’s under-15 boys were yet again involved in a tight contest for third team place, but despite finishing a single point ahead of Southampton, had to settle for fourth, just behind COPAC who made the top three for the first time this season. Harry Wilson was again WADAC’s first finisher, continuing his breakthrough season with 8th place in a very strong field, and was again followed in the scoring team by Ben Chesterfield (13th) and Harry Harvey (25th). Just behind came a flurry of seven black and gold vests in twelve places, in the forms of Ben Yates, Leo Smith, Sam Evans, Tom Briggs, Connor Dutton, Ben Schofield and Michael Shingleton-Smith.
Winchester’s second race-winner of the day was Lily Neate, who scored a magnificent victory in the Under-17 girls’ race, leading home the winning team with Sasha Tydeman (7th) and Hannah Foster (8th). They were followed by the trio of Issy Beck, Aisling Dunne and Katie Nicholson.
Doug Scally (16th) and James Medley (29th) were the two WADAC finishers in the Under-17 boys’ race, with a team score again eluding us due to illness and injury to other team-mates.
The WADAC squad can now enjoy a few weeks away from club racing, as they prepare for the January double-header, with the Annual County Championships on the 4th, in which the club will be defending several team titles, and the next Hampshire League fixture at Reading on the 11th.