There were 42 Wells City Harriers competing at Aldon Hill, Yeovil, in the 2018 edition of the South West Cross Country Championships yesterday (Sunday 7th January). The combined forces of Wells Harriers and Yeovil Olympiads again demonstrated the strength of the partnership when winning three SW individual medals, and five SW team medals, whilst also contributing to numerous SW County medals. Individual glory belongs to Elise Thorner, silver u17 women; Emma Fisher, silver F45; and Hannah Blundy, bronze, u13 girls. What was also great to see was the number of Harriers making their debut at this level who battled to the finish on the tough course, in bitterly cold conditions.
(Senior mens start - photo by Paul)
The Championships course was similar to that used previously in successive Somerset Schools or Wessex League fixtures, except for a slight variation on the final hill to complete the full lap where a slightly steeper section had been selected to really test the athletes. A number of Harrier entrants were missing due to colds or flu over the previous few weeks, and a number ran who were still fully recovering from this, or had only been able to do limited training. Note that a large number of the Harriers were also running for the Somerset County AA team, and are seen wearing the white vest with red & black band in the fiollowing photos.
First off for the Harriers in the u11 boy’s race over 1580m were Jamie Guy, Logan Moncrieff and Edward Sherman and they showed no lack of endeavour to keep it going up that steep hill! They finished in 17th, 18th and 21st positions respectively in times of 7.04, 7.07 and 7.23. Edward is only age 9, and was thus the youngest Harrier to compete. Next up we saw our first individual medal winning performance, and team medals, when Hannah Blundy won the SW bronze u13 girls medal with a great bit of gutsy running to finish in 14.28, over the 3,160m course, holding off a rival in the final 300m sprint to the line. Skye Fisher was next in, 17th in 15.16; then Mackenzie Odea, 21st 15.32; Bali Chapman, 43rd, 16.18; Oliwia Cwienczek, 47th, 16.24. There were 63 finishers. For the SW Club team, the Harriers were 2nd, winning SW silver medals – first 4 from the Club: Hannah, Skye, Mackenzie and Bali.
Logan and Edward running hard up that hill!
Bali & Olivia on their way, and Hannah receiving her medal
In the u13 boys race, also over 3,160m, we had two in the top ten, with Bradley Glover 8th in 13.17, and Jake Fisher in 9th in 13.20. Jack Harvey and Ollie Bishop also had good runs, despite Ollie just getting over a Christmas cold, with 34th and 51st positions in 14.36 and 15.29. Lucas Earthy and Owen Dukes were next back for the club, in 58th and 62nd, 16.05 and 17.0, and both are at the younger end of this age group, both being eligible to compete in the same age group next year. The team finished 3rd overall to receive SW Championship Club bronze medals: Bradley, Jake, Jack and Ollie. Well done to all six that competed. Bradley and Jake were also part of the successful Somerset County team to win County silver too.
Jack and Ollie just before the hill
For the u15 girls race over 3,620m, there was a great phalanx of Harriers running, with Holly Bigger getting a top ten finish, in 10th 15.48, followed in by Lizzie Ingram, 23rd 16.20; Abbie White,32nd 17.00; Olivia Earthy, 41st 17.39; Kai Snell, 47th 18.04; with the team just missing out on SW Club medals, finishing 4th overall. In the u15 boy’s race, over 4,080m, the Harrier boys team went onto the podium as SW gold medal winners with Matthew Quarterman running a great race for individual 5th place in 14.53. Daniel Maydew was next home in 16th, 15.48; then Archie Tyler, 23rd in 16.04; the Fred Fisher 36th 16.25; with team mate Toby Watson a step behind in 37th 16.26; with Leo Stockham and James White back in the same time of 16.55, 51st and 52nd. Matthew and Dan also counted in the bronze medal winning performance for the Somerset County team.
Holly & Kai racing to the finish line
In the u17 women’s race, over 4,080m, Elise Thorner once again won a medal in 2nd place, in 16.28, winning the final sprint to the line by a second to ensure SW silver. Daisy Davies was 18th in 18.36. For the u17 men, Dylan Dukes ran to 29th in 22.00, with Will Pate, 39th in 23.04. In the u20 women’s race, Caitlin Carnegie was 13th in 25.16, with Lucy Pittard also running well for 20th, 27.43. for the u20 Harrier men, Sam Sommerville finished 4th in 32.14, with Felix Rusby 7th in 33.02, just a stride ahead of team-mate Ben Lloyd in 8th, 33.03. Sam, Felix, and Ben joined forces with one of our Hon Life members, Luke Prior, who won the race outright representing his first claim club, AFD, in a nippy little time of 31.02 to win the individual & County title for Somerset from the rest of the region’s individuals/Counties.
Elise, soon after crossing the line for the silver medal; and some of the Harriers u15 boys squad
u17s Dylan & Will running well
In the senior women’s race, over 5,280m, Emma Fisher had a great run for 7th, 22,31, 2nd F45, and also completed the ‘Fisher squad effort’, given that her three youngsters had also competed earlier in the day! For the senior men, over the 8,500m course, Matthew Dickinson was first back for the Harriers in 8th, 31.13, then discounting the u20s, (see above), Philip Bridge was 36th 33.31; then Matthew Cole, 82nd in 36.50; Robbie Hawkins 86th 37.17; Tom Dukes 101st 39.07; Nick Somerville, 102nd 39.08; The men’s team of Matthew, Sam, Felix, Ben and Philip (5 to score) won SW Club team silver. The first 6 home for Somerset also gained County bronze – led by Luke Prior, Matthew, Phil Burden, Sam, Felix & Ben (seniors/u20 -please contact Paul if you haven’t yet had your team or County medal (s)).
Sam, Felix and Ben - part of the successful u20s/senior mens tesf
Matt Cole = 10 years on and still running well. Plus u20 men's team on the podium
Our thanks as usual to the organisers of the Championships; to those members of the combined Club who were on marshalling duties; and to those who helped administer and manage the Harrier athletes on the day.
WELL DONE TO ALL THAT COMPETED! Geoff Cole's photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm8ViTof
FULL RESULTS here: https://www.fullonsport.com/event/72661/profile
FINAL CALL FOR NATIONAL XC CHAMPIONSHIPS:
Wells City Harriers will pay the entry fee for any Harrier that competes at the National XC Championships to be held on Saturday 24th February at Parliament Hill, London
So far we have the following names down:
NATIONAL XC ENTRIES
- Hannah Blundy
- Hollie Bigger
- Dan Maydew
- Toby Watson
- Bradley Glover
- Leo Stockham
- Matthew Quarterman
- Oliver Fox
- Sam Sommerville
- Felix Rusby
- Elise Thorner
- Katrina Prior
Keep on Training, and watch for other team annoucements: Training and competing with the Harriers or the Olympiads is available for all paid up members. Harrier training sessions are shown here & all Club/Team news is on the website here - make sure you check once a week.