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.
Josh Davis Steph Brooks & Ella Johnston