i) International success
Once again, congratulations to Hannah Hobbs, who continued her sparkling start to 2018 by representing England in the Cross Internacional de Itálica meeting in Seville on 21st January, and winning the U20 women’s title!
She is pictured here with her other successful England team mates, and some bloke called Sebastian Coe, who apparently used to be quite good but finished in 35th place in the Masters race….
ii) Avon Schools Cross Country
Westbury Harriers athletes enjoyed great success at the Avon Schools Cross Country Championships held on ‘home turf’ at Blaise Castle on 21st January, with a number of race victories and top 10 finishes to qualify for the Avon team for the South West, and potentially English, Schools events.
In the boys’ races, George Peacock ran well in the Minors for 10th place and Avon qualification. In the juniors, Seamus Robinson was just pipped for first, but with his impressive 2nd place he was joined in the Avon team by Artie Savage-Swaine (3rd) and Will Connors (8th). In the Inter Boys, Westbury athletes took 4 of the top 10 places, with Abdi Hasan finishing 2nd just behind perennial rival Same Gentry. Behind him there were excellent runs by Bryn Davies (3rd), James Harrod (5th) and Greg Hayward (9th). In the Senior Boys, Avon will be represented by the Westbury trio of Ben Rawlins (6th), Aidan Noble (8th) and Ben Whitaker (9th).
The girls fared even better, with two County champions and multiple top 10 Avon qualifiers.
In the Minors race, there were excellent runs by Laura Chance (4th), Clemmie Lee (8th), Abbie Woodworth (10th) and Tanya Ghosh (11th).
The Junior race, perhaps not surprisingly, resulted in a Westbury Harriers 1-2, with Dalis Jones winning and Kate Howard not far behind in 2nd.
Westbury dominated the Inter Girls race, with the highlight being a superb front running performance by Rosie Hamilton-James, who pulled away from the field to win by a distance. Not too far behind her there were excellent runs by, and Avon qualification for, Rhiannon Paton (5th), Emily Whitaker (6th) and Lottie Livesey (7th).
Finally, there was success in the Senior Girls too, with Rosie Allen finishing strongly for 3rd place and an impressive run by Phoebe Gould to finish 6th.
iii) Midlands Cross Country Championships
A small but determined band of Westbury athletes, mostly female, made the trip north to a wet and muddy Wollaton Park in Nottingham on 27th January, for these prestigious and highly competitive races.
From Women’s Team Manager Tamsin:
“A big well done to our ladies team at the Midland XC Championships today. A long journey was rewarded with some fantastic performances. A great 8km course with some hills, mud and a few logs to jump. A large field of 249 ladies. A big thanks to Neil Miller for being there the whole time with the tent. A fabulous 9th team out of 34.
28th Katie Hughes, 44th Kirstie Hamilton-James, 61st Emma Woodworth, 73rd Tamsin Elson Chick, 165th Linda Phillips.”
Earlier in the day, the U15 girls put in a tremendous performance, winning the bronze team medal. Dalis Jones (4th), Rosie Hamilton-James (8th), Kate Howard (15th) and Rhiannon Paton (23rd) all ran their hearts out on 4km of mud, hills and logs. When the final places were calculated, the three medal winning teams were separated by only one point, with Wreake and Soar AC winning on the ‘last finisher’ placing. But 3rd place, against such strong regional opposition, was yet another great achievement for this team.
In the U17 girls, Phoebe Gould was the sole representative and ran well to finish 44th.
The chaps were represented by just a pair of solo runners. Seamus Robinson ran very well for 8th place in a field of 114 in the U13s, while late in the day Robin Phillips flew the flag for the Westbury men with a highly creditable 185th place in the large field of 473. Former Harrier Felix McGrath, now running for Newcastle Staffs AC, was 4th overall.
As Tamsin said, many thanks to Neil for his presence and help all day, with the Westbury tent and banner in a prime location as always!
iv) Warmley 1-2-3!
Finally, very well done indeed to Westbury trio Scott Campbell, Oli Beale and Alex Hamblin, who swept the podium places in the Warmley Forest Park multi-terrain 10k on 27th January! (pictured in action below)