English Schools Cross-Country Championships (MARCH 2015)

Sixteen North Somerset Athletes made the trek up to Blackburn to take part in this high quality Competition, more than in any previous year. All the best athletes from across the Country are involved in this, and the conditions were gruelling.

Results as follows;

124th Sam Gentry 13;09 minutes – 2nd Avon athlete
245th Jack Wilkinson 13;37 minutes – 5th Avon athlete
263rd Callum Smith 13;43 minutes – 6th Avon athlete
299th Jaylan Bacon 14;00 minutes – 7th Avon athlete

91st Joe Gentry 19;40 minutes – 1st Avon athlete
212nd David Warnes 20;31 minutes – 3rd Avon athlete

169th Mike Profitt 28;14 minutes – 1st Avon athlete
300th Zack Holdaway 36;27 minutes – 5th Avon athlete

115th Harriet Emery 12;41 minutes – 3rd Avon athlete
118th Olivia Burton 12;42 minutes – 4th Avon athlete
237th Rosie Whitehead 13;19 minutes – 5th Avon athlete
286th Lizzie Plews 13;36 minutes – 7th Avon athlete

196th Sara Flower 14;50 minutes – 5th Avon athlete
224th Alys Withers 15;03 minutes – 6th Avon athlete

94th Cecilie Andersen 18;10 minutes – 1st Avon athlete
100th Katie Grinyer 18;17 minutes – 2nd Avon athlete

Blaise of Glory for North Somerset AC

Gwent - SFIn the penultimate fixture of the five-race Gwent League series, North Somerset AC once again turned out in great numbers for the Blaise Castle estate fixture in Bristol. Despite 14 of the clubs athletes competing just the day before at the South West Schools cross country championships, each of the clubs young athletes stepped up to the challenge and performed superbly to maintain medal winning positions for 6 of the clubs teams.

U11 Harrison Garland in only his 2nd race for the club impressed with a fine 4th place, finishing just behind three experienced Welsh athletes, and will surely relish racing against them again at the final fixture. Sam Smart in his very first race at this level finished a fantastic 13th place with young Guy Owen just one place behind in 14th. Will Maine had his best run of the season as the teams 4th scorer with a fine 37th place, and debutant Emile Swanson looked very comfortable in finishing 41st. Adam Smith and ever-present Louie Brunsdon who took a heavy fall in the wooded section, finished 54th and 59th respectively to complete the team.

The U11 girls have been consistent throughout the season with 5 girls sharing the honours in each race. Ruby Owen was the leader this time to finish a very impressive 6th place, with Connie Ballentine and Grace Ashurst battling it out for 10th and 11th respectively. Charlotte Sidwell carrying an ankle injury continued the race bravely to finish in 21st place with Alice Bridger-Morales close behind in 25th. Libby Bayliss in her first race of the season ran well for a 32nd place finish with Stephanie Brooks having a seasons best of 43rd. Debutant Alysha Forsbrook looked comfortable in finishing 53rd with year 4 Matilda Ballantine just behind her in 58th. The girls were just 8 points off the leaders before this one and are hoping their performances have closed that gap going into the last race.

The U13 boys were depleted having lost Sam Gentry and Alex Collins to injury, which left Jamie Carroll and Ollie Lock to lead the team for this one. They both rose to the occasion with Carroll having his best race of the season in 8th place and Lock supporting superbly close behind in 10th. Debutant Kes Pitchers impressed in 23rd with Ryan Burton and Jonah Murray completing the team scores in 26th and 28th respectively. They’ll be hoping they may have done enough to lift them into the 2nd place overall.

The U13 girls have improved with every race and will have enhanced their medal prospects with a superb team performance. Rosie Whitehead led the race with her two Welsh individual title rivals, and despite her exertions at the schools champs the previous day, she showed great finishing power to pull away for a comfortable victory that takes her to top of the leader board outright. Lucy Maine and Nelly Bridger-Morales worked together superbly with Maine reaching the line in 5th place and Bridger-Morales immediately behind in 6th. Debutant Ruth Day ran very well to finish in 36th place with Isobel Gall close behind in 39th. Maddy and Ruby Soper in 43rd and 48th followed by year 7’s Kerrin Smith, Ellie Maul and Natasha Statham in 49th, 52nd and 53rd respectively completed the team scores.

The strong U15 girls team led their category before this fixture and despite all running the day before, they were determined to consolidate top spot. Alice Davies also held the position of individual leader and had no intention of losing her place before the last fixture. She led from the off, running in her usual aggressive fashion to leave her title contenders trailing. Her race victory along with superb team running from Lauren Ashurst, Sara Flower and Olivia Burton finishing in a remarkable 3rd, 6th and 7th positions respectively that should make the team title a formality at the final fixture.

The U15 boys were down to the bare bones for this one, but Jaylan Bacon, Luca Murray, Callum Smith and Euan Campbell packed well together as a team to finish in excellent positions of 5th, 7th, 8th and 12th respectively. This performance should be enough to keep them in the team medal position.

The U17 boys trio of Joe Gentry, David Warnes and Mike Proffitt in 5th, 7th and 8th respectively will also have done their team medal aspirations no harm at all with this spirited showing in the combined U17 & U20 race. Gentry could also have improved upon his current individual 3rd place position and will anxiously await the official results.

Alys Withers continues to impress in the U17 girls category. Running with her usual strength and determination she stayed with the leaders throughout to record a superb 3rd place in the combined U17 & U20 race, finishing well clear of the main field. Angharad Flower, finally clear of injuries, is starting to reproduce some of the form that made her one of the clubs top endurance athletes in the South West 3-4 years ago, and her 12th place finish will surely have given her great confidence for the future.

The final fixture at Aberdare on 1st March will see no fewer six of the eight junior teams in the hunt for team medals, which would no doubt secure the accolade of top junior club for the 2014/2015 Gwent League season. With a handful of the clubs athletes also in medal winning positions the Aberdare trip is definitely one not to miss!

Birmingham Games

Birmingham Games (February 2015)

6 Athletes, 11 events, 10 personal bests, 2 event winners, 1 qualification for the World Youth games… All in all a positive day!!

Top performance came from Ada’ora Chigbo in the under-17 ladies high jump. A 1.81m personal best leap to comfortably win the event gives her the qualification standard for Colombia in July…fingers crossed!!!
Another victory in the under-15 girls 60m hurdles, for Sophie Parker. A personal best time of 9.44 seconds reward for her efforts during the winter.

Abigail Roach produced two personal bests, the first in the 200m. Second in her heat, and 7th overall, the time of 26.81 seconds chopping more than half a second off her previous best, and the promise of sub-26 seconds in the summer. Her 300m was similar, another chunk of her previous best, finishing 3rd in her heat and 8th overall in 43.71 seconds.

Charlie Bates looked comfortable in the under-15 200m, a Pb of 25.32 seconds placed him 5th in his heat, but 6th overall. He also finished 6th overall in the 60m with 7.94 seconds.

Jack Priestley found himself in the same heat as Charlie in the 60m. A muscular start saw him alongside the eventual winner until about 30m, and a Pb of 7.71 seconds for a second place finish in the heat and third overall. Another Pb in the 200m, 3rd in his heat and 10th overall with 25.81 seconds.

Jake Middleton continues to progress nicely. A 5th place in the Long jump, just 2 cm shy of a medal and 3cm short of silver, but another Pb with 5.70m an excellent effort. His 200m once again was strong. A 24.59s clocking a massive Pb, 4th in his heat, and 14th overall. The gap between Jake and the medals again agonisingly small. His least favoured event at present, the 60m, saw a 7.87 second Pb for 7th in his heat and 18th overall.

South West U20 Indoor T&F Championships UWIC

NSAC had four athletes competing in Cardiff, three in the South West under-20 event and one in the Welsh Masters. Frankie Allen, based at Cardiff Met, demonstrated the benefit of having training facilities at her disposal, picking up two medals. A 28.21s personal best in the 200m bagged her a bronze, and the same colour medal was collected in the shot, with an 8.08m put. Caitlin Harrold became South West Triple Jump champion with a leap of 9.54m; a reward after a torrid time during the summer with injuries. She backed this up with a 4.32m long jump, finishing 6th overall. Laura Statham also took home a medal, a bronze in the Triple Jump (8.44m), as well as finishing 5th in the Long Jump (4.38m) and 8th in the 200m (29.91seconds). The total for the South West Championships (under-13, 15, 17 and 20) now stands at: Golds x 10, Silvers x 9, Bronzes x 12 – Total 31 medals, smashing the previous best of 21 set in 2013. CHRIS MILLARD WELSH 2015 200MChris Millard recorded a comfortable win in the Masters 60m with 7.61 seconds, another National Title to add to the collection.

Vault Cardiff 2014 – Cally joins the 3m+ club

A great day Vault Cardiff – one of 3 specialist indoor vaulting events in Cardiff, London and Manchester – saw Cally Walder set a new PB of 3.01m.

This will take her towards the top of the u15 girls Power of 10 rankings when they are refreshed with this weekend’s results.

This  height also qualifies her for the England Athletics indoor age group championships on March 1st


North Somerset Cross Country Trio Star in Cardiff

Sunday 18th January 2015

The British Athletics Cross Challenge – Cardiff results

The Avon Schools Cross Country Championships were cancelled last Saturday so three of the clubs leading young athletes negotiated last minute entries for the Cardiff fixture of the highly acclaimed British Cross Challenge series of races.

Despite glorious sunshine bathing athletes and supporters alike, it was a bitterly cold day and the athletes had to navigate very heavy conditions underfoot. First of the clubs trio to race was U13 girl Rosie Whitehead who ran superbly to finish a highly respectable 8th place against some of the country’s leading girls in very large field of 105 runners.

Sam Gentry, who having had a superb season to date went with the early pace in the U13 boys’ race. However, the fast running took its toll with Gentry fading towards the end of the race, but still he finished a superb 8th place in field of 75 runners.

U15 girl Harriet Emery was the last of the trio to race and after a great start she maintained her position with the leading pack throughout from a field of 82. Racing intelligently, Emery saved enough to utilise her speed over the later stages for a very strong finish that took her past several girls to a superb 5th place. Against high class opposition from as far afield as Scotland, her confidence will have taken a huge boost, especially with another year to look forward to in this age group.

Full Power of 10 Results here.


South West England U20 / Senior Championships – Another good day out at Cardiff

Cardiff Met Grand Prix (Inc South West England U20 / Senior Championships)

Combined eventer Frankie Allen had another good day as she climbed onto the podium to collect a bronze medal for the 60m in the South West Championships. Her time of 8.40 seconds was her second fastest ever, and to be on a podium with Internationals Emily Wright and Bethan Wakefield must bring a smile to the face. This now takes the South West medals won in 2015 to a nice round 9 golds, 9 silvers and 9 bronzes!

Chris Millard started his comeback with another gold medal, in the Welsh Masters Championships, a win by more than 5 seconds over his nearest rival over 200m a statement of intent for the coming months.

Full results here.

Gentry Boys Strike Gold at Tri-Counties Championships

The cross country season reached its half way point on Sunday 14th December when athletes from the counties of Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire came together at Bath University to contest the Tri Counties Championships. North Somerset AC were well represented with 25 athletes competing from U11 to U20 age groups amassing a record 13 individual medals (4 Gold, 6 Silver and 3 Bronze) as well as 3 team Gold medals.

First to face the starter were the U11 Girls and at the end of a fast run race Grace Ashurst was 2nd home (Silver medal) for Somerset and 12th overall. Close behind, Alice Bridger-Morales was 3rd home (Bronze medal) for Avon and 14th overall. Stephanie Brooks, with a battling run, was the 10th Avon athlete to finish and 35th overall.

Louie Brunsdon was the sole North Somerset AC athlete in the U11 Boys race and ran in determined fashion to finish as the 9th Somerset athlete and 23rd overall.

Next up were the U13 Girls, and representing Somerset, Lucy Maine ran a fine race to finish 2nd athlete home (Silver medal) and 4th overall. Running a tremendous race and just a few seconds behind Maine, the fast improving Nelly Bridger-Morales finished 2nd Avon athlete (Silver medal) and 5th overall. Completing the North Somerset AC team Ruby and Madeleine Soper finished in the same time as 9th and 10th Avon athletes respectively and 27th and 28th overall.

Hopes were high for the three U13 Boys and they did not disappoint, with all three finishing in the first 7 overall. A dominant Sam Gentry led from gun to tape and finished as 1st Avon athleteDouble Gold (GOLD medal) and overall race winner. Max Powell, home from Dubai to compete at this one, finished a close up 3rd Avon athlete (Bronze medal) and 3rd overall, and in only his second race for the club Jack Wilkinson had a fantastic run to finish 5th Avon athlete and 7th overall. These performances were further rewarded when it was announced that the boy’s had secured the Avon Club Team GOLD medal.

The U15 Girls age group is particularly strong in the South West and many of the top ranked girls from the region competed in this race. Always in the leading group and taking to the front at half way, Alice Davies continued her recent run of fine form to finish 1st Somerset athlete (GOLD medal) and overall race winner. Finishing strongly and clearly back to full fitness, Olivia Burton came in as 3rd placed Avon athlete (Bronze medal) and 7th overall. Fine packing saw Lauren Ashurst finish as 7th placed Somerset athlete and 12th overall, Sara Flower as 6th placed Avon athlete and 14th overall with Lizzie Plews placed 7th Avon athlete and 15th overall.

Jaylan Bacon was the club’s sole representative in the U15 Boys race and in his first year in this age group finished a creditable 6th placed Somerset athlete and 12th overall.

The club was well represented in the U17 Women’s race, fielding three athletes, Cecilie Andersen, Alys Withers and Angharad Flower, the first time all three have raced together this season. At the end of a tough 4.7k, British Orienteering Age Group Champion Cecilie Andersen was the 1st placed Avon athlete (GOLD medal) and 5th overall, with Alys Withers close behind as the 2nd placed Avon athlete (Silver medal) and 6th overall. A season’s best performance to date from Angharad Flower, finishing just outside the medal positions as 4th Avon athlete and 9th overall, will have encouraged her for the 2nd half of the season. Further good news arrived when it was confirmed that the girl’s performances had been rewarded with the Avon Club Team GOLD medal.

The club displayed great strength in the U17 Men’s race fielding three very capable athletes. Up with the leaders throughout, the fast improving Joe Gentry finished as 1st placed Avon athlete (GOLD medal) and 3rd overall. Back to form David Warnes was close behind as 2nd placed Avon athlete (Silver medal) and 6th overall, with Mike Proffitt returning after a month long virus absence, battling his way round to finish 6th placed Avon athlete and 18th overall. The exhaustion from navigating the 5.7k course was alleviated by the news that the boys had secured the club’s third Avon Club Team Gold medal.

In the U20 Men’s event GB Triathlete Zack Holdaway ran solidly to secure the silver medal as 2nd Avon finisher and 27th overall while former club athlete Cameron Coetzee ran a well-judged race to finish as 1st placed Avon athlete and 3rd overall.

To round off a memorable championship it was later confirmed that Lucy Maine, Sam Gentry, Max Powell, Alice Davies, Cecilie Andersen, Alys Withers, Joe Gentry and Cameron Coetzee had all gained automatic selection for the joint Avon & Somerset Team that will compete at the prestigious Inter Counties Champions held in Birmingham next March. This is a record number of club athletes to automatically qualify.

North Somerset Athletes Shine at Brecon Cross Country

Gwent_3_(31_of_34)Despite a number of last minute withdrawals a full coach made the journey to Brecon for the 3rd Gwent League meeting of the season. On a bright, cold, but thankfully dry day in the shadows of the Brecon Beacons, a total of 39 athletes made it another memorable day for North Somerset AC.

First up were the U11 Boys led by newcomer Harrison Garland, who despite leading the field for two thirds of the race, had to settle for a still very promising 7th place after taking a very heavy fall in the later stages. Backing him up were bottom age group Guy Owen who finished in a solid 24th place and Louie Brunsden, who finished 34th for his best placing to date.

The U11 Girls were lying in 2nd place in the Team competition going into this race and six girls lined up at the start determined to close the gap on league leaders and local rivals from Westbury Harriers. Up with the leading group from the start, Charlotte Sidwell brought the team home in 8th position. She was closely followed by Alice Bridger-Morales, who recorded her highest placing to date in 13th place and Connie Ballentine in 16th. Strong support was provided by Ruby Owen in 35th place with Stephanie Brooks and Matilda Ballentine who finished in their bests positions to date, 39th and 49th respectively.

The U13 Boys were lying a close up 3rd in the Team competition going into this race, and first home in 3rd place was fit again Sam Gentry who ran with the leaders throughout the race. Superb packing saw the next three athletes all finish in the top 20. Alex Collings in 16th, Ollie Lock, 17th and Jamie Carroll in 19th place with a real breakthrough performance, should ensure the team remains in the medal positions. Providing great backup in his first Gwent League race, Tom Phipps finished 32nd and not to be outdone Ryan Burton recorded his best finish to date in 50th position.

The action continued with the U13 Girls race and Rosie Whitehead, the league leader after the first two races, was in the front three throughout. After a long battle with a Swansea athlete Rosie finished a very creditable 3rd place, which should be enough to maintain her leading position. Superb support was provided by her team mates with Nelly Bridger-Morales in 19th (making it a family double with another breakthrough performance), Maisie Squire 33rd, Isobel Gall 46th, Madeleine Soper 59th, Kerrin Smith 60th, Ellie Maule 70th, Ruby Soper 71st, and Lauren Smith 76th all recording their best finishes of the season to date.

With leading U15 Boy Matt Hogg still missing through injury, five of the U15 Boys rose to the occasion with a season’s best performance from all of them. Leading the team home in 13th position, Jaylan Bacon finished the width of a vest in front of Callum Smith who recorded his first top 20 finish with a 14th place. Close behind and packing well together were Adam Major 17th, Luca Murray 24th and Jack Major 34th which should ensure the team remain in the medal positions. Sam Cocker, after starting very promisingly, sadly pulled up with a hamstring tear midway through the race.

It was a depleted U15 Girls team that lined up at the start. However, short of regulars Lauren Ashurst and Sara Flower, good strength in depth exists in this group and they were determined to remain in top spot for the team competition. Individual League leader Alice Davies led the field from the off, but right on her shoulder throughout were two Cardiff athletes who had just piped her at the British Cross Challenge in Liverpool the previous week. Despite constant pressure from the duo working together, Davies showed her strength and class to pull away in the final 200 meters and recorded an outstanding race victory. Harriet Emery and Olivia Burton competed with the leading group throughout and a fine sprint finish from the pair up the home straight took them past rival athletes to finish in 11th and 12th respectively. Ever improving Lizzie Plews ran in her usual determined fashion to complete the team scoring in 24th place, which may just be enough keep the girl’s top of the leader board.

In the combined U17/U20 race the U17 Boys team were missing Mike Proffitt to illness, but Joe Gentry and a resurgent David Warnes had their best races of the season to finish 5th and 6th respectively. With both lads being first year U17’s, these were tremendous results. Not to be outdone, Alys Withers made her seasonal debut in the Gwent League and as another first year U17 she finished an extremely creditable 4th position in the combined U17/U20 Girls race.

Finally, in increasingly muddy conditions and with the temperature falling, James Rodgers, despite being thrown from his stride when taking a tumble, finished in a fine 9th place to round off a successful and enjoyable day for North Somerset AC athletes. We await publication of the full results to confirm team positions but after 3 meetings the club is in a strong position overall going into the New Year.