The final round of the Hampshire Cross Country League took place on a very soggy and windy venue in Salisbury. A small but talented contingent from Andover Athletic Club battled the elements to complete this season’s competition with some fine results.
The day started with the youngest runners and U13 Sarah Brett bravely raced through winds and rain and the very final stages of the race saw large hailstones pelt the young girls. She finished after a very positively run race in 21st position and here next outing will be representing Wiltshire at the All England Inter Counties next month.
Lucy Rochford is another who has been picked to race for Hampshire at the same event but she has been struggling with her fitness due to a couple of bouts of illness.
However she was topping the individual league in the U17 women’s category despite being bottom of the age group and knew that she needed to be ahead of her nearest rivals.
She decided her best tactic was to take on the field rather than risk losing the race in a sprint finish to the line. After the first lap she led with one athlete doggedly tracking her however this particular athlete had not scored enough points previously to be of concern so when Lucy was passed she simply worked to maintain second place and the overall league win.
Emma Jones also put in another strong performance to finish eighth and sixth overall and both are looking forward to Caitlin Killick moving up from the U15s to the U17s next year as they will have a very strong team.
Caitlin completed the course with her best race to date, her final position improving all the time in the finishing section resulting in 23rd.
Other awards were bestowed on the Andover Veteran men they took a mighty strides towards securing their league position.
Chris Dewey was the first across the line in 79th, Dougie Brisco next in 94th and a fast tight finish saw Tim Bennett cross in 121st. These tremendous efforts meant that all the hard work was rewarded with a second place in the Veteran’s League.
Senior lady and multi-eventer Natalie Thomas raced hard and looked very comfortable with her 13th place and niinth overall in league. The Veteran Ladies had a full team out with Kay Noyce, who revels in the cross country events, completing the course in 36th, followed home by 58th Janie Parker and 64th Caroline Bennett. These ladies were delighted to see the team result of fourth in the league.
Running a well-paced race, U13 Jared Rolfe started off cautiously, coming through at the end to finish in 26th.
Another athlete also pleased with their day’s efforts was Ben Reed with a season best race in the U15s in 14th proving to himself his faster than normal start paid dividends.
He was accompanied by a tired David Craggs in 57th. The U17s saw Archie McKellar return to racing with a finish in 33rd and the diminutive Matt Cook turn on a feisty performance in 18th.
More athletics with pictures in Friday's Advertiser