Sun 9th Feb 2020
Two more team wins on the final day add to seasonal medal haul and emphasise strength in depth
The fifth and final raceday of the Hampshire Cross-Country League season took place at Popham Airfield against the backdrop of severe weather warnings related to the imminent Storm Ciara. It was something of a surprise for the runners therefore, to be greeted by the brightest, sunniest day that anyone could recall for the Popham fixture. Instead it was Storm WADAC that continued to buffet the opposition.
With host club Basingstoke again opting not to hold Under-11 races, year 6 athletes were able to take part in the Under-13 events as an alternative. Winchester’s Poppy Taylor took full advantage with a fabulous 9th place finish, racing against girls mainly one and two years older, and was WADAC’s first scorer in the U13G race. She was joined by Zara Barker (16th) and Scarlett Anderson (21st) in the scoring team and followed in by another year 6 athlete, Grace Baker, in an impressive 31st place, and by Rebecca Hutchings, Lauren McGee and Millie Morgan. This was another better turnout for our U13 girls after a disappointing start to the season, and resulted in a 4th place team score on the day.
With team and individual titles for the season already won by WADAC’s U13 boys and James Lewis respectively, both James and Stan Parkinson (already secured individual season’s bronze) were rested, but that offered no respite to the other clubs in this division, as Jack Moores (3rd), Will Hasan (5th) and Will Atkins (7th) proceeded to underline the cohort’s depth and add a fifth team win for the season, clinching a Winchester clean sweep. Ruben Price also made the top ten, with Ieuan Thomas, Sam Wilkinson, Haydn Moore and year 6 Seth Noott all in the top twenty, and Reuben Hobbs, Aiden Furby, Casper Wilson (year 6), Thomas Megoran (year 6), Matthew Friend and Elliot Gurney all following up.
Like their U13B counterparts, Winchester’s Under-15 girls had already built an unassailable lead in their category and so Rose Chesterfield and Amelia Moore were also given the day off. Millie Burgess (7th), Jasmine Jones (17th) and Emma Shedden (19th) put in an excellent performance in their absence, giving the team 4th place on the day, along with Emily Staggs and Beth Brown racing well again.
The one junior category with something for WADAC riding on the final race was the Under-15 boys, where team managers had called for all hands to the pump in the five-way battle to resolve the destiny of both the team silver and bronze medals for the season. Winchester’s boys responded magnificently, with a full turnout and their first team win of the season, and thus did everything that they could on the day to bring home the metalware. Harry Wilson capped an excellent season with 4th place, accompanied in the scoring team by the consistent Ben Chesterfield (7th) and Sam Evans (8th), thus securing both Harry and Ben individual aggregate medals for the season. Harry Harvey and Michael Shingleton-Smith, making a welcome return to form, also made the top twenty, and there were great runs too for Ben Yates, Tom Briggs, Connor Dutton, Leo Smith, Ben Schofield, Alex Nicholson, Oscar Holloway and Oscar Watson. When the calculations were all done it was a case of mixed emotions for the boys. Their team win had left them level in the standings for the season with Southampton AC, who had grabbed second place on the day by a single point. Level points means countback, and with both teams having won one event during the season it went down to the second-place finishes, advantage Southampton, and their silver medals. But bronze was still a good reward after a tough season for our boys, and something to build on next year when some of our all-conquering U13 cohort make the jump up to the next age-group.
The final summary for the season looks like this, setting a new club record for category wins :
Under-11 boys – no official aggregate table, but WADAC unofficially top with four team race wins from four events. Ethan Skipwith – 1 race win.
Under-11 girls - no official aggregate table, but WADAC unofficially top with three team race wins and one second place from four events. Poppy Taylor – 1 race win.
Under-13 boys – league winners with five team race wins from five events. James Lewis – individual aggregate gold medallist with 3 race wins, Stan Parkinson and Jack Moores individual aggregate bronze medallists.
Under-15 girls - league winners with three team race wins and one second from five events. Rose Chesterfield and Amelia Moore individual aggregate bronze medallists.
Under-15 boys – league bronze medal winners with one team race win, one second and one third from five events. Harry Wilson and Ben Chesterfield individual aggregate bronze medallists.
Under-17 women - league winners with four team race wins from four events contested. Lily Neate – individual aggregate gold medallist with 1 race win.
As pleasing as the results above were WADAC’s participation figures, with the numbers of athletes competing for the club in the junior categories far outweighing all other clubs in the league and fulfilling the club’s primary purpose of providing athletics engagement and opportunity to its local community.
WADAC would like to offer its sincere thanks to all those volunteers, at Hampshire Athletics, at the other participating clubs and of course to those at our own club, without whose generous gift of their time and effort there would be no training, no coaching and no competition.