All posts by Steve Parsons

WINTER SEASON STARTS IN STYLE AT MIDLAND ROAD RELAYS

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NSAC had a record 10 teams competing at the annual Midland Road Relay event held in Sutton Park Birmingham last weekend. In what is the annual curtain raiser to the forthcoming cross country season, the clubs athletes gave a very good account of themselves with many athletes having their first ever competition race.

The U13 boys opened proceedings, and Will Maine finished the first leg in 19th position. Louie Brunsden picked up 3 places in the 2nd leg before newcomer Ollie Campbell ran a storming final leg to bring the team home in 11th place overall in a time of 14:46, which was 16th fastest of the 104 runners….not bad for a first attempt!

The U15 Boys fielded two teams with 4 athletes competing for the first time. Ollie Lock led the teams to finish as leading scorer in a time of 13:21 as he finished the first leg in 8th place and was 9th quickest of the 127 runners. Alfie Hocking and Ben Hamblin recorded excellent times of 14:59 and 14:31 respectively to bring the A team home in 11th position. Max Davies 16:14, Louis Carr 16:44 and Cameron Baker-Perry 17:03 completed the B team scores and enjoyed their first taste of competitive racing.

The club put out three teams of U17 Men, a sure sign of the strength in depth of this age group. The A team of Sam Gentry, Callum Smith and Jaylan Bacon ran very well as a team, finishing 8th overall, with Sam completing 1st leg of the 3.8k course in 12:44, Callum 13:13 and Jaylan 13:12.

Kes Pitchers 14:21, Jacob Faulkner 15:16, Jamie Carroll 15:22, Will Cheek 15:27 and Jonah Murray 15:44 completed the teams scores

The U15 girls fielded three teams with Steph Brooks leading the scores in a 1st leg time of 16m dead with Holly Avery showing great recent improvement next quickest in 16:56. Ellie Redman was in good form prior to this race but she encountered a knee problem during her leg and bravely battled to finish in time of 17:25.

Ella Johnston 17:48, Ruth Day 17:58, Sophia Murray 18:08m, Ruby Murray 19:12, Connie Ballentine 19:15 (another victim of knee problems), and Alysha Forsbrook 19:19 completed the U15 scores.

Megan McCrum led the U17 Women with a time of 15:50 with Lucy Maine 16:51 and Maisie Squire in 18:55 bringing the team home.

The teams will now go forward to Nation Road Relays on 7th October before the Cross Country season kicks off just a week later in Cardiff for the opening Gwent League fixture.

GOWER TRAINING CAMP 2017

The clubs Endurance Squad recently returned from a training camp at Port Eynon on the Gower coast. This  was a first for the club and proved to be a  fantastic success, with every aspect of our weekend away far exceeding expectations.

Huge thanks to the coaches and helpers whose efforts ensured everything ran smoothly without any hitches. However a special mention must go to Luke and Ellie Murray who fed all 35 of us with amazing fare, and Luke in particular must have been exhausted after the weekend. When he wasn’t coaching the athletes he was either in the kitchen or putting extra miles in along the coast paths in preparation for the Manchester Marathon.

The athletes were a credit to themselves, you as parents and the name of our club. Everyone took part in all 5 training sessions and although they must have been shattered when they arrived home their commitment was second to none.  They all had down time for rest and play and their behavior in and outside of the accommodation was exemplary.

I asked the athletes to send me their favourite memory/aspect of the weekend, so here are a few:

“I absolutely loved the weekend and my favourite memory was the sand dunes, because running down them was so fast and fun. Also running on top of mountains on Saturday because it made me feel free” (Harrison)

“My favourite moment was when I was running as fast as I could down the massive sand dune. My legs took control and I was going so fast it felt like I was flying. It was incredible and good fun! I hope to be able to do it again!” (Emile)

“I had an amazing time and thank you very much for organising it. I would love to do it again next year! My favourite aspect was the sand dunes, it was so fun but also challenging and it was brilliant that we all worked together as a team never leaving a man behind and always encouraging each other to persevere. Thanks again I really had a wonderful time!” (Ellie)

 My favourite part of the training camp was the run up the huge hill on Saturday in a field with sheep, the view from the top of the hill was beautiful and the run was challenging, but I felt great when I got to the top”. (Steph)

Some great memories for all of us and I know they are all itching to do it all again next year!       (see gallery in ‘News’ tab above for photos)

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Victory in Bridgewater Half for James

North Somerset AC’s James Rodgers won the Bridgewater Half Marathon for the first time on Sunday after his recent return from injury. He was over the moon with his performance, particularly after only a few weeks back at training. A winning time of 01:11:55 saw him finish 2 minutes clear of the 2nd placed athlete. James remarked “The undulating course was a good test and the event itself we’ll supported considering it rained pretty much all the race, but I just loved being back out there despite the conditions”. 

James is now hoping he can take this form into the 10K road races that he favors in an effort and reduce his PB. 

LONDON TO PARIS CHARITY BIKE RIDE FOR HEAD COACH – JULY 19TH – 24TH 2017

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With exactly one month to go I am increasing my fundraising efforts in an attempt to raise the £1,500 that I pledged to charity. I would therefore be extremely grateful to accept any support you can offer, whether corporate or personal.

The Charity and donation page if you would like to sponsor me is:

https://www.action.org.uk/sponsor/chrismillard2017

I will also have sponsor forms with me at all coaching sessions, if you would prefer to donate this way. So please just ask me, and I will be happy to hand one over!

I am riding with a team of 36 from London to Paris, covering a distance of over 500km/300 miles with 4 days to complete the task. We have targeted a minimum amount to be raised of £50,000 for our selected charities, and we are currently standing at £43,000.

For those who do not know me…I was/am (depending on injury!) an International Sprinter, both as a senior athlete for Wales, and as a Master (35+) for Great Britain. I have won plenty of medals etc at this level, and in 2004 I decided to set up our own Athletic Club (North Somerset Athletic Club) that now boasts a membership of around 400. A year later I created North Somerset Athletics Academy (210 athletes) and have been Head Coach of both ever since.

My training, since 1993, has been based on improving my explosive ability (weights, sprints, plyos etc), so this bike ride has been a massive personal challenge due to it being ‘the exact opposite’ of the training I’ve been used to the last 24 years! I purchased a road bike for the first time since I was 14, and after my initial struggle I have managed to ‘be-friend’ it and hit some decent mileage in the last few weeks (over 100 miles a couple of weekends ago). Trying to squeeze training into a manic work schedule has been among the most difficult areas for me (6am starts some days), with the summer being ‘key athletic season’. The ride remains a massive challenge, and will test my mental and physical ability. Day One of the ride will be on my birthday… What a way to spend your big day!

So please sponsor me if you can! If you have already, then many thanks for your support, it’s very much appreciated…

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!

Chris Millard

Sam Selected for South West Team

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U15 Sam Gentry has been rewarded for his successes this winter with selection to compete for the South West region at the London Mini Marathon later this month. All the top junior endurance athletes throughout the UK will be competing against each other in this high profile annual prelude race to the London Marathon.

Sam has had a remarkable winter season in the Country, culminating in a fantastic 22nd place in the English Schools Cross Country Championships Inter Boys race a couple weeks ago. Competing as a bottom age athlete at this event, he’ll have another crack in the same age group next year and who knows where he’ll finish!

A week prior to wrapping up the Individual U15 Boys title in the Gwent Cross Country League, Sam also appeared (along with many others representing the club) at England’s premier Club National Championship event in Nottingham. Finishing just 2 seconds shy of the 3rd placed athlete and a podium finish, his superb 5th place was a sure sign that Sam is a top athlete to be reckoned with in the Country discipline.

We all wish him well for London, and look forward with relish to watching Sam repeat his winter feats on the track this summer!

Top 10 for James at Cardiff 10K

James Rodgers finished as top local runner at the Cardiff 10K on Sunday with a superb 6th place. James fell short of his PB by just 6 seconds in a  time of 31mins 22secs.

Training is going well for road specialist James and he’ll no doubt be looking forward to the Bristol 10K early next month. The club should have a fair few men running the race this year and it’ll be interesting to see how we fare in the team event.

 

Newport Mud Provides Strong Test

Conditions were challenging at the penultimate fixture of the Gwent Cross Country League in Newport last Sunday with many athletes find the going tough.

Not so for Sam Gentry though, as once again he was the star of the show, but he didn’t have things all his own way with his main rival in close pursuit throughout. However Sam had the measure of the Westbury athlete in a sprint finish for the second race in a row and pulled away with ease to take the honours once again. The final race in two weeks’ time should be a cracker with Sam requiring another race victory to take the Gwent title.

Sam’s older brother Joe could make it a family double at the final fixture after finishing 1st U20 past the post in Newport. He now trails the current leader by two points and will hoping for a repeat performance at Pembrey Park.

Callum Smith had a great run to finish 4th U17 and has strengthened his silver medal position going into the final fixture. Conditions were not well suited for big Jaylan Bacon in the same race, but he battled well through the soft ground for his 14th place.

With Alan Baker, James Rodgers and Cameron Coetzee all unavailable the senior men were always likely to lose their top place in Division 3. However, the teams lead cross country runner Josh Davis chose the right time to have his best race of the season with a fine 5th place finish. With numbers depleted talented U20 David Warnes stepped in to help the senior men with vital points for a fantastic 49th place from the 317 field.

Thanks to valuable contributions from Jonathan Flower 157th, Steve Hollier 205th and Andy Devereux 260th the senior men remain on target for a top two finish and a 2nd successive promotion.

Megan Mcrum has improved her position in every fixture this season and her 12th place moved her into the top ten athletes in her U15 category. Ruth Day continued her return to fitness with a fine 21st place with Ellie Maule and Maisie Squire completing the team scores in 40th and 41st respectively.

Stephanie Brookes continues to improve and she led the U13 girls team with her highest place finish of the season in 19th place. Ella Johnson in 32nd, Connie Ballantine 34th, Holly Avery 39th and Alysha Forsbrook 42nd all supported the team well.

Louie Brunsdon led the U13 boys in 27th with Cameron Baker-Perry 31st and Will Maine 33rd completing the team scores.

The novice races displayed plenty of promise from the clubs younger athletes with Kiera Devereux once again leading the girls team in in 15th from the 69 strong field. Poppy Adams continues to improve with another good run in 21st whilst the Amelia James and Emma O’Connor both ran well to finish 32nd and 38th respectively.

Louis Raymond ran strongly to lead his team with a fine 24th place pipping team mate Sam Hollaway in 25th place by just a second. The team worked really well together in this race with Bodie Raymond 30th and Elliot Jeston 31st locked together just 5 seconds behind Louis and Sam in a big field of 107 runners.

As the cross country season enters it’s climax the National Cross Country Championships at Nottingham is next up with a coach full of young athletes making the trip next weekend.

13 CLUB ATHLETES MAKE AVON XC TEAM

Congratulations to 13 of our athletes who have gained selection to Avon Schools Cross Country teams that will be travelling the Cornwall for the South West Schools XC Championships this weekend.

Sam Gentry continued his fine form with an outstanding victory in the Inter boys race  at the Avon Schools Champs, and will be confident of making an impact at Truro, despite being a lower age group athlete.  Team mates Callum Smith was 3rd with Jack Wilkinson, Will Fuller and Jaylan Bacon all finishing in the top 10 places to also qualify.

Daisy Manners-Lolley, Millie Rosenior and Abi Taylor all qualified for the Minor Girls team with top 10 positions in the Bristol qualifiers, whilst Megan McCrum finished 5th in the Inter Girls race qualifying as the sole club athlete in this age group.

David Warnes and Joe Gentry take their places after 3rd and 4th place finishes respectively in the senior boys race, whilst senior girl Alys Withers ran very well to qualify in 9th place.

Ollie Lock was the sole junior boy to make the top 10 after running solidly to also qualify in 5th place.

Good luck to you all on Saturday!

Victory At Last As Ellie Shines In Belfast

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Ellie  Wallace had arguably the best win of her young career as she stormed to victory at last weekends British Athletics Cross Challenge fixture in Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Wallace won the high profile junior women’s race finishing six seconds clear of Birtley junior international Sophie Burnett with Stockport’s Katy Whiteoak a further 10 seconds adrift in third. Both athletes representing the North of England squad.

This victory followed her convincing race win in the Tri-Counties Championships at Bath University just before Christmas, and represents a terrific result for the Steve Hollier coached North Somerset based athlete.

Coach Julian Emery said ‘Ellie has worked extremely hard over the last 12 months and it came as no surprise that she finally secured her first victory at this level after  near misses in previous years’.  ‘We have worked tirelessly with Ellie in training, and she’s been looking very strong for the last few months now’ continued Emery.

With the finale of the cross country season now approaching, Ellie will surely look forward with relish to the big races coming her way.

GB Selection For Ada’ora

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ADA’ORA TO REPRESENT GREAT BRITAIN AGAIN
After her silver medal performance at the English Champs, Ada’ora Chigbo has been selected to represent Great Britain at Under-20 level in an International Event in Prague, Czech Republic. She has competed in Samoa, Colombia and Gerogia at High Jump, but this is the first time at Combined Events. We will be supporting her throughout the event, and once we have event info will distribute to all. Ada’ora has been with North Somerset since the age of nine, and has represented us fantastically for around 9 years now.

Standard High At SW XC Champs

For those that traveled to the South West XC Championships at Exeter racecourse last weekend the competition was tough! The switch from the events traditional home of Bicton College resulted in a big increase in the entries, and at the same time raising the standard to a level not seen for a few years.

As a result successes were few and far between with only Sam Gentry and Josh Davis managing to stay with the front-runners in their respective races. Sam was not quite at his best and had to settle for 5th place in the U15 boys race where Jack Wilkinson finished a minute behind Sam in 23rd. Ollie Lock, Jacob Faulkner and Will Cheek completed the teams scores in 42nd, 46th & 51st place respectively.  The team finished 4th in the club competition, but Sam and Jack were among the first 4 Avon athletes that claimed the County Team Bronze medal.

Josh’s 11th place is a sure sign of his return to full fitness as he finished 3rd of the 6 scoring Avon athletes that formed the County Gold medal winning team. In the same senior mens race, 1st year U20’s David Warnes and Joe Gentry both ran solidly over the longer distance to finish 42nd and 55th from the 129 finishers.

Callum Smith ran strongly in the U17 boys race and should be very pleased with his 12th place finish as a bottom age athlete in a very strong field of 44 runners.

The U11 girls were well represented with Keira Devereux leading the group in 16th place, very closely followed by Poppy Adams, young Rosa Ford and Emma O’connor who were all well packed together in 17th, 18th & 22nd respectively. Elliot Jeston was the sole U11 boy and as a bottom age group athlete at this level he should be well pleased with his 36th place from the 50 finishers.

Louie Brunsdon and Guy Owen enjoyed the experience of running together at this level for the first time as lower age athletes. They finished 50th and 51st respectively from the field of 66 athletes with Guy forming part of the Gold medal winning Somerset Team.

Ruby Owen, Stephanie Brooks and Ella Johnston finished 49th, 54th & 56th respectively from a 70 strong field, whilst in the same race ex club athletes Grace Ashurst and Alice Bridger-Morales both ran well finishing 14th and 17th respectively with only 4 seconds between them.

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Josh Davis                                             Steph Brooks & Ella Johnston

Medals A Plenty For North Somerset Athletes At Tri-XC Champs 

There were plenty of County medallist’s from North Somerset at the combined Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire County Cross Country Championships held at Bath University last weekend

Sam Gentry and Matt Howard took the U15 boys race by the scruff of the neck and ran away from the field with Sam taking the tape in his now customary sprint finish. The one two gave them each a county gold medal – Avon for Sam and Somerset for Matt. Jack Wilkinson also had a cracking run with a fine 4th place and with it an Avon silver medal.

In a very strong field of 37 runners Kes Pitchers 21st, Jacob Faulkner 23rd and Will Cheek in 24th place were separated by just 11 seconds to complete their teams score.

Bottom age group Ruth Day continues to improve with every race and her 10th place finish in the U15 girl’s race was just 6 seconds off a county medal.

Keira Devereux had another strong run in the U11 race and her 4th place finish was enough to secure an Avon silver medal whilst Poppy Adams continues to improve and will be pleased with her 13th place. In the boys race Herbie Cooksley in only his 2nd race secured a Somerset bronze medal with his 13th place finish, whilst Elliot Jeston finished just behind Herbie in 17th place.

Alice Bridger-Morales had a fine run to finish 4th in a very strong field of U13 girls and took the Avon bronze medal. Ruby Owen and Connie Ballentine battled hard for their respective 17th and 21st respectively whilst both were suffering the effects of heavy colds.

Louie Brunsdon and Guy Owen were both bottom age athletes in the U13 boys race and they worked well together to 27th and 28th in a field of 46, whilst Ben Hartigan in his first ever race should feel very pleased with his run in finishing 31st.

U20 David Warnes looks to be nearing his best again with a fine run to 3rd place overall in a very strong combined U17/U20 race, which was also good enough to give him the Avon county gold medal. Ultra-competitive U17 Callum Smith was a little disappointed with his run whilst not feeling 100% and his finish of 17th from a field of 28th was a below where he would normally have expected.

U20 Ellie Wallace looked a class apart in the combined U17/20 women’s race. She led the field from the off as she stormed to victory and Avon gold, with Alys Withers taking silver in 15th place overall. Alice Davies took Somerset gold in the U17 category with her 4th place overall followed by Olivia Burton in 7th and an Avon silver.

Jo Gallagher had another fine run to finish 8th place in a strong field of just 31 senior ladies, whilst Josh Davis led the senior mens race at one stage only to be undone in the final 1k, but his superb 3rd place finish from a field of 85 secured the Avon silver medal.

James Rodgers ran another high profile 10k at Telford on Sunday where he finished just 3 seconds off his PB in a time of 31.19. With training going well his coach Steve Hollier said he is confident that James can breach the elusive 31minute barrier in the new-year.

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Club Athletes Out In Force At Blaise Castle

Fifty six North Somerset AC athletes turned out for fixture number three of the Gwent Cross Country League at Blaise Castle on Saturday, where Ideal conditions made for excellent racing. This local fixture usually tempts many young athletes to try cross country for the first time and this was no exception, with some talented youngsters from the club having their first run.

The U15 girls were led once again by the consistent Megan McCrum, and despite suffering a heavy cold she finished a solid 18th from a very strong field of runners. Relative newcomer and bottom age Ruth Day continues to improve with every race and she’ll be pleased with her performance in finishing 24th. Next home was Lucy Maine in 40th followed very closely by Maisie Squire 41st and bottom age Ellie Maule 43rd running very well in her first cross country for two seasons.

The U11 boys race saw Louis Raymond have his best run to date, and by quite a distance at that. Without his twin brother Bodie for company, who was suffering a virus, his 16th place finish in a field of well over 100 showed the true potential that he and no doubt Bodie possess.  Whilst debutants Herbie Cooksley and Zeki Harston (both bottom age athletes) will be encouraged for sure at finishing in the lofty positions of 36th and 38th respectively from such a large field. Sam Holloway was next through the gate in 50th with bottom age Jacob Forsbrook in 63rd, whilst year 3 Peter Briffet (probably the youngest athlete in the field) finished strongly in 94th.

Keira Devereux showed her true potential the previous week by becoming Avon Primary Schools Champion with a run of maturity beyond her years. In another huge Gwent league filed of novice runners, competition was fierce at the front and Keira once again showed her class with her highest Gwent finish to date in 14th place. Newcomers Rosa Ford (Y5) and Blythe Jones will surely want to compete again after such promising debuts, as will Poppy Adams and Anna Farnell who were equally impressive as they finished 24th, 27th, 28th and 30th respectively. Emma O’Connor will also be pleased with her 41st place as will other debutants Abigail Briffitt and young Amelie Dorrington in 41st and 62nd place respectively.

U20 Joe Gentry was looking to build on his excellent race win at Brecon last month, and things were looking good as he sat just behind the front two approaching the later stages of the race. However, tragedy struck when Joe went over on his ankle in the wooded section of the course and all he could do was ensure that he finished and keep himself in the hunt for end of season honors. David Warnes role of assisting Joe to top of the leader board became one of helping himself following Joe’s demise, and a very strong finish took him to 7th place overall.

In the same race the club had a record number of U17 boys running with Callum Smith leading the team once again for a 14th place finish overall. Luca Murray finished in 23rd whilst newcomer Will Fuller had a terrific debut run in a show of great team running with David Hazen as they finished 29th and 30th respectively. Jaylan Bacon was another to feel the effects of the stony ground at the wooded section and was a little disappointed with his 33rd place.

The U13 boys were next up and the team had a record number of 11 athletes running. Multi-talented Harrison Garland hadn’t run a cross country since an injury last year and with little training under his belt he still managed a fantastic 13th place finish. Debutant William Scott looks to be a real find and his lofty position of 24th is a sure sign of good things to come from him in future races. Will Maine, Louie Brunsdon, another debutant Reuben Dean, Emile Swanson and Guy Owen all pushed each other along in a tight group to finish 29th, 32nd, 33rd, 35th and 38th respectively. Whilst Ollie Andrews 44th, debutant Alex Moore 47th, Cameron Baker-Perry 53rd, and Lewis Lazenby 61st completed the team scores.

Connie Ballantine made a timely return to form, leading the U13 girls’ team to their strongest performance of the season. An 11th place finish will no doubt encourage Connie, as it will team mate Ruby Owen with her 16th place finish. They ran very well together with ex club athlete Alice Bridger-Morales who also performed strongly at the front end of the field. Bottom age Daisy Manners-Lolley showed exceptional promise in only her 2nd event, finishing 24th with Stephanie Brooks finishing close behind in 31st place. Another debutant and bottom age athlete Abigail Taylor was a bag of nerves before her race, but she needn’t have worried, performing admirably to record 35th from a field of over 70. Ella Johnston finished 41st in her first event of the season whilst Alysha Forsbrook and debutant Hannah Mougeot both ran well to finish 49th and 53rd respectively.

The U15 boys race produced the most exciting finish of the day with our own Sam Gentry once again in the thick of it. Beaten into 2nd place by a controversial short head at Brecon, revenge was sweet for Sam on this occasion, as he took any decision away from the judge by clearly out sprinting his rival from Westbury in a dramatic finale. Sam’s team mates ran well to record their highest respective finishes of the campaign so far with Kes Pitchers crossing the line in 26th and Will Cheek having a tremendous run just three places further back in 29th. Alex Collins continues to improve and his 39th will give him more confidence going into the next event.

Rachel Foyle was again the clubs sole senior lady and she was happy with her 106th place from a 300 plus field, as was ex junior club athlete Ellie Wallace with her 7th place finish in her first lady’s race. Alys Withers ran well in the combined U17/U20’s race securing a very good 15th place overall.

The senior mens team were hoping to top their division after this one, and despite losing current lead runner James Rodgers before the race they recorded their highest score of the season. Josh Davis’s 10th place finish is a sure sign that his fitness is returning after a lack of early season training, whilst Alan Baker made a welcome return to the team with a strong run to finish 78th. After several years of relative inactivity Club Coach Julian Emery has the race bug again. A leading athlete on the cross country circuit in his prime, the GB V40 athlete finished 6th V45 and 85th overall on a tough track at Blaise despite twisting his ankle during the last lap of the course. Cameron Coetzee also made the top 100 (98th) with a strong run and Russ Forsbrook completed the teams score with a solid run in 125th place.

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Senior Mens Team

Spectacular Scenery & Spectacular Racing

November 12, 2016

Brecon may be the furthest place to host a Gwent Cross Country league fixture but it is probably the most picturesque. However, for the 40 North Somerset AC athletes who made the journey to Brecon last weekend it was the racing not the scenery that was spectacular!

The races started with the U11 boys and the team had 4 debutants. Sam Holloway looking very strong in his first cross country was first boy home in 40th. The next three runners were very close with Elliot Jeston 62nd, Kian Newman 65th and Noah Newman 70th. The team was completed by Jacob Forsbrook who finished in 79th beating his position from last month.

Kiera Devereux had a very strong run to cross the line in 26th place in a large field of U11 girls. Poppy Adams consolidated her great start to cross country finishing 50th, with another debutant Emma O’Connor having a super run right behind her in 51st

Louie Brunsdon’s recent improvement has been spectacular and he put in a fantastic effort to lead home the U13 boys in 19th place, a massive improvement from his 62nd place last month. Will Maine, Guy Owen and Emile Swanson claimed 30th, 32nd and 33rd less than 20 seconds later. Cameron Barker-Perry put in a strong run to finish 43rd and debutant runners Ollie Andrews and Lewis Lazenby had very promising starts to running cross country with 46th and 51st place respectively.

By now the course was becoming increasingly muddy but this didn’t stop Ruby Owen leading the U13 girls home with a confident run finishing 13th overall. Stephanie Brooks, Connie Ballentine and Holly Avery followed in 31st, 34th and 59th respectively.

Sam Gentry battled with his fierce rival from Westbury Harriers up at the front from start to finish of the U15 boys race and they crossed the line together in joint first with the decision going to his rival by a head. Ollie Lock finished 15th, 22 places higher than last month, with Kes Pitchers, Jacob Faulkner, Will Cheek and Alex Collins all improving on their positions from Bridgend in finishing 32nd, 36th, 46th and 55th places respectively.

Megan McCrum continued her good form and also improved on the last race by leading the U15 girls home in 18th place. Ruth Day was the second North Somerset girl finishing in 41st followed by strong efforts from Maisie Squire and Isobel Grey in 52nd and 56th.

The combined U17/U20 race had some very strong runners which produced a fast race. Joe Gentry had a terrific run and was 2nd overall and 1st in the U20 category to give the club its sole victory. Callum Smith had another super run and led the U17 team challenge to finish in 5th place overall with strong finishes from Luca Murray (14th) and David Hazon (34th).

Celine Swanson ran her first Gwent League race in the senior ladies having and enjoyable but tough run and finishing 172nd in a field of nearly 300 runners.

James Rodgers followed up his fantastic PB of 31m.16secs at the Leeds Dash 10k just the previous Sunday by leading the senior men home with a 20th place finish. Josh Davis was not too far behind in 38th whilst David Warnes had a great run in his first ever senior mens race crossing the line a very respectable 69th place. Steve Hollier was the sole V65 and finished in 202nd with Andy Devereux (V40) completing the teams scores in 287th.

 

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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.

Matt Howard at British Triathlon Champs

Junior endurance athlete Matt Howard was left disappointed with his 8th place finish at the British Triathlon Championships held at Edinburgh last weekend.

A top 10 finish against the best 40 athletes in Britain would be a fantastic result for most, but not so for this highly competitive North Somerset AC youngster.

A strong swim saw him out of the water in 3rd place, which he held onto throughout the bike ride. With his sights set firmly on a podium finish he then suffered a serious stitch for the duration of his run and watched painfully as one by one his main competitors passed him by.

However, the South West region took the team title which provided some compensation for Matt, and the GB selectors will also have noted Matt’s efforts for sure.

matt-howard-at-british-triathlon-champs-sept-2016

Pain etched in Matt’s face during run!

James Robbed of Half Marathon Victory

James Rodgers was left feeling deflated after being led off course during the later stages of last weekends Severn Bridge Half Marathon.

He led the race with his closest rival from the ‘Micky Morris Racing Team’ when the lead cyclist made a blunder and took them off course with just a few miles remaining. The third placed athlete was baffled at taking the tape then watching James and his rival cross the finish line together shortly after.

After his initial disappointment James remarked “It would of been a great last few miles, as I felt really strong and had enjoyed the course and event up until then.  Although I’m feeling gutted right now, this does gives me confidence that I’m in good shape with the Bristol Half fast approaching”.

James added “The final result was to give the three of us 1st place, as myself and the guy from MMRT agreed to finish together when realising we’d been taken off course”.

The three athletes also made a decision to share the prize winnings and were all given the same time of 1:14:42 by the rather embarrassed race organisers!

James Rodgers leading Severn Bridge Half Marathon

James Leading the 2000+ runners over the Severn Crossing

 

 

Gentry Having Track Season To Remember

Sam Gentry’s season on the track just gets better and better. The North Somerset AC youngster appears to be well over a year that saw injury put paid to any consistency with his running.  A rich vein of recent form has seen him breaking two club records as well as recording PB after PB.

His latest success was smashing his 800m PB by nearly three seconds at the Exeter BMC meet on Tuesday night where he won the ‘C Race’ in a time of 2.04.83. This followed a first appearance at the prestigious English Schools Championships held at Gateshead International Arena, where as a bottom age group athlete he qualified for the final of the 1500m by finishing 4th in the heats. A place among the leading dozen athletes in the country is no mean fete and the future certainly bodes well for Sam.

Not to be outdone, older brother Joe is also having a super season on the track and he too achieved a new PB in the 800m ‘A Race’ with a time of 2.01.48. Eleven year old Will Maine having his first BMC outing ran superbly to record 2.32.99 to set himself a decent benchmark for future events and it was good to see his sister Lucy running a very respectable and seasons best  time of 2.38.54 over the same distance.

Mike Proffitt and Jack Wilkinson from the club were also competing at the same event, but this time over the 1500m distance with both running well in recording times of 4.30.13 and 4.39.80 respectively.

Ellie Wallace was pleased to get back to somewhere near her best when recording a seasons best in winning the 1500m ‘A’ race. She finished a full 7 seconds ahead of the highly regarded Cornish Athlete Yoyo Barnsley when recording 4.38.25.

Other local athletes Nelly and Alice Bridger Morales continue to impress and both will be very happy with new PB’s set in the 1500m at the same Exeter event. Nelly breached the 5 minute barrier for the first time to record 4.59.74, whilst younger sister Alice finished the same race in a time of 5.14. It was also good to see Lauren Ashurst making continued progress following a torrid run of injuries and a time of 5.05.12 is a sure sign that she is now well on the road to recovery.

Sam Gentry at Gateshead

Sam & Matt at Gateshead

Sam Gentry at English Schools In Gateshead