North Somerset AC athletes perform on the big stage
North Somerset AC athletes made the return journey to Sutton Park, Birmingham on Sunday 5 October to compete against the best from the North and South of England in the National Road Relay Championships. With over 1,000 athletes competing and 40+ in each age group this competition represented a considerable step up from the Midland Road Relay Championships in which the North Somerset AC had acquitted themselves so well.
First up were the Under 13 Girls led out by Lucy Maine. In one of the standout performances of the day Lucy ran an incredible 42 seconds faster than previously and handed over in 20thplace. Rosie Whitehead took over and despite running in the traditionally ‘slower’ 2nd leg and with a stitch, still managed to improve her previous time by 8 seconds and moved the team up to 16th place. Newcomer Maisie Squire, running in this type of competition for the first time, produced a performance filled with promise to finish in 20th position in a field of 49 teams. Lucy’s efforts were rewarded with the 35th fastest time from a field of 158 athletes
Next up were the Under 13 Boys and once again Sam Gentry produced a sparkling first leg handing over in a close up 7th place. Alex Collins took over and running 23 seconds faster than he had at the Midland Championships, moved the team up to 5th position. Not to be outdone, and bottom of the age group Ollie Lock ran 36 seconds faster than he had at the Midland Championships and brought the team home in 6th place in a field of 46 teams. This was a tremendous performance by all three boys with Sam and Alex recording the 12th and 24thfastest times respectively in this age group from a field of 155 athletes.
The action continued unabated as 66 Under 15 Girls teams lined up in the largest field of the day. North Somerset AC entered two teams in this age group with Alice Davies leading off the A team. 14 mins 22 seconds later Alice brought the A team home in 10th Sara Flower took over from Alice and showing great determination handed over to Hattie Emery in 17th place. By now the field was spread out and despite giving chase and closing the gap Hattie remained in a very creditable 17th place.
The B team was led out by Lauren Ashurst who produced probably the finest performance of her career to date, running 40 seconds faster that at the Midland Championships to hand over in 17th place. Lizzie Plews took over and maintained the pace to come home in 30th place. Unfortunately, due to injuries to other athletes we were unable to field a full B team.
Alice and Lauren produced the 21st and 35th fastest times respectively in this age group from a field of 220 athletes.
The Under 15 Boys team were next to go in what is usually the most competitive age group. Matt Hogg ran the first leg 6 seconds faster than previously and handed over in 33rd place. Callum Smith took over and running 31 seconds faster than previously moved the team up to 31st position. On the anchor leg Jaylan Bacon improved his previous time by 9 seconds but such was the strength of this age group the team remained in 31st position from a field of 55 teams.
The last team to go were the Under 17 Boys led out by Joe Gentry who produced a solid first leg to hand over in 37th place. David Warnes ran strongly and moved the team up 6 places to 31st. Mike Proffitt increased the pace, taking 23 seconds off his Midland Championship time to cross the line in 25th place in a field of 49 teams. Both Joe and David were hampered by injuries picked up playing football so overall this was a good performance to end the day.
So no medals, but 12 of the athletes that ran in the Midland Championships two weeks ago improved their times and all gained valuable experience that they can take into the cross country season.
Team and Individual Finishing positions
U13 Girls – 20th out of 49 teams – 158 athletes competed in this age group
Lucy Maine 35th
Rosie Whitehead 53rd
Maisie Squire =102nd
U13 Boys – 6th out of 46 teams – 155 athletes competed in this age group
Sam Gentry 12th
Alex Collins 24th
Ollie Lock =59th
U15 Girls – 17th out of 66 teams – 220 athletes competed in this age group
Alice Davies 21st
Sara Flower 78th
Hattie Emery 62nd
Lauren Ashurst 35th
Lizzie Plews =128th
U15 Boys – 31st out of 55 teams – 182 athletes competed in this age group
Matt Hogg 71st
Callum Smith 123rd
Jaylan Bacon 114th
U17 Boys – 25th out of 49 teams – 171 athletes competed in this age group
Joe Gentry 72nd
David Warnes 96th
Mike Proffitt 95th