Club Athletes Compete with Nations Best

Nine of North Somerset AC’s leading junior endurance athletes made the journey to Milton Keynes last weekend to compete against many of the UK’s top cross country runners in the opening race of this season’s British Cross Challenge five race series.

U13 Ollie Lock couldn’t have picked a better stage to give arguably his finest performance to date. He showed tremendous staying power to finish in a lofty 9th place, a performance that will surely boost his hopes of regional championships success in December.

Alice Bridger-Morales continues to improve with every race and another determined run from the U13 youngster saw her creep into the top 20, which was no mean feat for a bottom age athlete in this kind of company.

Callum Smith represented the U15 boys and after his early season successes in the Gloucester League, he was looking forward to testing himself against the country’s best. Smith is never short on determination and gave it absolutely everything to finish a very respectable 17th place in highly distinguished company.

Olivia Burton is another of the clubs athletes whose season has started so well, and with two wins out of two in the Gloucester League she was in confident mood before this race. Her field included many of the country’s top U15 girls, but Burton held her own and stayed with the main group throughout to finish a superb 9th place.

Rosie Whitehead and Nelly Bridger-Morales were both bottom age athletes in the U15 girl’s race where gaining experience was order of the day. However, competitive as ever they both had tremendous runs to finish just 4 seconds apart in 17th and 20th respectively, and if they continue in this vein they’ll be athletes to be reckoned with in the same age group next season.

Alys Withers had another high quality field to contend with in the U17 category, but she is forever the competitor and ran solidly to finish just outside the top 20 in a very respectable 23rd from the British Cross Challenge contenders.

Joe Gentry and Mike Profitt ran solidly together in the combined U17/U20 race and helped each other throughout to finish 47th and 50th respectively in yet another very high class field.

The club has a busy December approaching with three races in the space of three weeks before the athletes take a well earned break for Christmas!