id1695-Junior Surrey XC Report

Written by SD   

Midwinter young athletes XC report featuring the 2nd Downs League on 30 Nov 2014 and the Surrey County Champs on 3rd January 2015

Since the last report on junior XC running and this one, quite a lot happened.  Many of our runners have run their District School’s XC Champs and qualified for the upcoming Surrey Schools.  Moreover, at the School’s Intercounties on 15th November, U13 Olly Wilson (13th), U13 Darcy Mason (59th) and U15 Sam Shaw (13th) had great runs.  Of those who went to the London Youth Games XC on Parliament Hill on the same day, U17 Neil Wellard came 5th, Josh Hall 28th, Chris Cecil 73rd and Harry Reynolds 79th; U15 Zak Wort was 5th, Aaron Bruce 15th, 2nd claim athlete Sol Harris Woodfin 19th, Gabriel Lewis 70th, Tiago Beltrao 139th; U13 Jorge Beltrao was 19th, Josh Bellamy 154th; U15 Molly O’Sullivan finished 2nd, Scarlett Walker 42nd, Rebecca Keddie 53rd, Isabella Busa 58th, Kathryn Bartle 63rd, Caitlin Williams 71st, Amy Counihan 137th and U13 Imogen Busa 123rd, each in races of some 200 athletes.  On from this, on 13th December, U13 Jorge Beltrao and U15 Mollie O’Sullivan had Surrey selection and run for their victorious teams in the SEAA Intercounties.  And of course U20 Phoebe Law had National selection, and on her debut at the European XC Champs in Bulgaria, she came 14th.  But this report will focus on two events that haven’t been covered yet, Match 2 of the U11-U15 Downs Cross Country League and the Surrey County Cross Country Champs on 3 January 2015.

Downs League Match 2 on 30 November 2014

Obviously, nothing will ever beat the conditions we had for the first Downs League match, and we all rejoiced that it was neither bucketing down from above nor did we have wind speeds typically associated with the Outer Hebrides.  And so our athletes fared much better, and there were numerous PBs.  Yet the PBs were so amazing that they have to be ascribed to genuinely improved form and not just the kinder conditions.

We set out with our U11s where new runner Theo McChesney had a fantastic first outing.  He came 6th in 11:42, in my book the 9th best time ever clocked by a K&P athlete on the Downs.  Next was Michael Webb-Bourne in 19th with a time of 13:02 (improving last year’s PB by 6s).  He was closely followed by Daisy Parry in 13:03 who smashed her PB by a full minute and pipped Charlie White on the line (also 13:03, new PB by47s).  Poppy Parry was plagued by a stitch but still finished in 24th place, a time of 13:21 and a new PB by 21s, and new runner Hannah Chowdhury in 25th place and a time of 13:24 showed that also she will be a real asset for the team in the future.  Next were Samuel Hall in 29th place and 13:46, improving last year’s PB by 53s, Alfie Westley in 32nd place and 14:14 (new PB by 32s), Esme Cerilli in 35th place and 14:35 (new PB by 19s), and we closed the team score with Jonny Schafer in 38th place/ 15:34 and a massive improvement of his PB by 2min:21s.  The team was 5th on the day which pushed our overall ranking from 8th to 6th – well done!

Our U13 team was led home by Jorge Beltrao in a formidable 4th place/ 12:01 (new PB by 3s) and, just a whisker behind, Olly Wilson with his first proper U13 run in 5th/12:02.  And in my book, these are the 3rd and 4th fastest times for K&P U13s ever.  Next were Ben Taplin in 19th place and 13:15 (improving his PB by 3s) and Louis Orlovac who on his first outing as U13 finished 21st and in 13:44.  Josh Bellamy then led the next group of K&P athletes home in 24th (14:10, new PB by 42s), with Gemma Watts 25th in 14:25 (new PB by 24s), Hannah Lester 26th in 14:48, Imogen Busa 28th in 15:10, Amelia Bell 29th in 15:17, Aaron Marlow 31st in 15:41 and Zoe Shepherd 32nd in 15:43.  Ciara Healy on her debut finished 38th in 16:38; the team came 3rd and held 3rd place overall, just 3 points behind 2nd placed Herne Hill-B – another very well done!

The U15s then were the class act once more.  Zac Wort bagged a 2nd emphatic win on the Downs in 11:11 (new PB by 7s), and Sam Shaw came an equally strong 2nd in 11:17 (new PB by 13s), the 4th and 5th fastest K&P times ever.  Charlie Heaton clearly is coming into his own with a 12th place in 12:39 (new PB by 37s).  Isabella Busa led the girls in 15th place overall (13:06; new PB by 18s), followed by Scarlett Walker in 17th (13:17), Rebecca Keddie in 18th (13:25, equalling her PB from match 1), Caitlin Williams in 19th (13:31, new PB by 22s) Kathryn Bartle in 20th (13:31, new PB by 38s) and Alex Shaw in 24th (15:08).  The team won, and has a (hopefully unassailable) 1st place overall, which is brilliant!  Congratulations to all who contributed to this win.

Fast forward, and here is the report for:  The Surrey County XC Champs on 3rd Jan 2015

As much as the day started ok (only slight rain, haha), I was downhearted.  We were already short of runners when I sent the entries out on 27 December, and on the day almost a third of these were afflicted by one ailment or another.  As a result, we were unable to field teams in the U13 girls, U13 boys, U17 men and U17 women age groups.  But those who were able to run did brilliantly!  We started with U13 Imogen Busa, who with a very solid run across treacherous ground finished 66th.  Next came the U13 boys with Ben Taplin finishing an equally respectable 55th and Josh Bellamy 81st.  Next up were the U17 men with the arduous task of two laps on a 6km course.  When they passed by on their first lap, Neil Wellard and Josh Hall looked strong.  When they came round the 2nd time and headed for the finish it was even better:  Neil, who arguably is one of our most devoted and consistent athletes in training, crowned his efforts with an individual bronze medal, and one year younger Josh finished a very strong 15th!

By the time our U17 women had to get out the course had developed into the typical Lloyd Park mud bath, and we all agreed that at some point we should spend it a visit in summer just to once in our lives see it dry (if it ever dries, that is…).  Lucie Fletcher and Ellie Arnfield still produced spirited runs and finished 20th and 26th, respectively.  They set the stage for our U15s who currently are our strongest age group.  In the boys’ race, Zak Wort was the first to come home.  He made a dash for the finish line, but the time keepers saw another guy just about in front and so Zak was given 5th place – which of course is still fantastic!  Excellent runs led Sam Shaw to finish in 12th, Aaron Bruce followed in 19th, and George Chaplin charged down the last hill and overtook some five runners to finish 43rd.  They all ran their socks off! The team result was 4th place – by a single point behind the bronze medallists!  Yes, if only, and it would have been great…  But the result still demonstrates that both individually and as a team, our lads are very competitive indeed -well done!  And then the U15 girls: Mollie O’Sullivan was our first athlete home in 6th place. She normally would have challenged for the medals, but wasn’t quite feeling well.  Yet Scarlett Walker finished in a very strong 14th place, Isabella Busa in 17th, Kathryn Bartle in 36th and Caitlin Williams in 40th.  But we didn’t quite think that this would be enough to snatch a medal.  How wrong we were!  The girls did win bronze with quite some points to spare - congratulations!  Girls, as you had headed home before we learned the result, I collected the medals on your behalf.  They will be there for you in training on Tuesday. A final word on our supporters.  Families and friends had come to watch, and Richard Vassal, Annabel and Nicky Hobday had undertaken the journey to Croydon especially to support the runners.  They all created the spirit that brings out the best in our athletes, and I hope all took home fond memories of the day.  Thank you all!

Next up, folks, will be the Surrey Schools XC Champs in Reigate on 17th January.  If you are a secondary school athlete and finished in the top ten of your District Schools’, you are qualified by right; if you were, say, in the top 14, you will be reserve, and chances are that you will be called up.  Please ensure that your TMs know that you are available.  If you are in years 4-6 of Primary School, your school or your parents on behalf of the School can enter you directly.  Go to the Surrey Schools’ website (http://www.ssaa.org.uk/) for further information.  Deadline for all entries is Friday 9th January.  We’ll be there to support you.

Best wishes to you all

Your junior XC TM

Susanne Dietrich

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