CLUB MAKE SOLID START TO XC SEASON 

43 athletes competed for the club at the 1st Gwent Cross Country fixture of the season last weekend. The Bridgend meet always produces huge fields of runners and this event proved no different with some very high calibre races taking place.

The U11 boys kicked off proceedings with twins Bodie and Louis Raymond finished 37th and 38th respectively, just 50 seconds behind the race winner. Bottom age athlete Jacob Forsbrook finished 71st with Toby Smith completing the scores in 80th place, just 10 seconds behind Jacob from a field of 113 runners.

Kiera Devereux had a terrific run to finish in 16th place from another large field of 97 U11 runners, whilst debutant Poppy Adams looked a very promising athlete in finishing 49th.

The U13 boys were led home with a fine run from Emile Swanson in 30th place and bottom age athletes Guy Owen and William Maine close behind in 35th and 38th respectively. Adam Smith, Cameron Baker-Perry and Louie Brunsdon completed the team scores in finishing 48th, 56th and 62nd respectively from a field of 85.

U13 girls lead runners Ruby Owen and Connie Ballantine started the season well and ran their race true to form finishing 20th and 21st respectively. Steph Brooks looked strong in 43rd place whilst debutant Daisy Manners-Lolley had an excellent race to cross the line in 50th. Jasmine Mcardle 62nd, Brooke Stirrup 77th and Alysha Forsbrook 78th completed the team scores from another large field of 93 runners.

The highly fancied U15 boy’s team had to contend this one without Matt Howard, but the team performed well in a very strong field. Sam Gentry continued his great early season form having led the team to victory in the recent Midland Road Relay Championships. His 3rd place finish ranked as one of the days highlights, but Jack Wilkinson also had a fine run finishing 13th whilst Ollie Lock 37th, Kes Pitchers 40th, Jacob Faulkner 41st and Alex Collins 65th completed the team scores.

Megan Mcrum led the U15 girls challenge with a fine run in 21st place and is starting to show the potential we all know she has. Ruth Day looked very comfortable in 35th whilst Lucy Maine also ran well to finish 47th. Maisie Squire 52nd had a solid run, with debutant Beth Eastwood-Dewing 59th and Issy Gall 60th completing the team scores.

Callum Smith led an injury hit U17 team and the bottom age athlete ran a terrific race for a 7th place finish. David Hazen in his first ever cross country ran comfortably to finish 30th but Adam Major had to pull up half way through the race with a knee injury.

Joe Gentry was the clubs sole U20 man following David Warnes late withdrawal and he ran superbly to a 3rd place finish. Likewise Alys Withers had a solid run to finish 5th in the U20 Ladies race.

Rachel Foyle was the sole senior lady and had a very good run to finish 86th in a field of 305 with Steve Hollier finishing as top V65 man in the same race.

James Rodgers led the senior men home and will be very pleased with his 12th place in a very high caliber race at the front. Josh Davis, with very little training under his belt will be more than pleased with his 19th place, just over half a minute behind James. Alan Baker had a good run in 116th place whilst Bradley Upcott-Fowler 287th and Andy Devereux in 393rd completed the team scoring in a very large field of 468 runners.

Cameron Coetzee was unable to make the Gwent fixture so made the trip to the Gloucester League fixture on the Saturday where he had a terrific run to finish 9th from a field of 240 in the senior men’s race. U13’s Guy Owen and Ruby also made the trip and they too ran very well to finish 13th and 5th in their respective races.