Wycombe Phoenix

Chiltern League Oxford (Match 1 – October 2017)

Senior MenOn an unusually warm autumn day, a grand total of 66 of the club’s athletes made the journey to Oxford to compete in the first Chiltern League race of the season, resulting in the club finishing 4th overall, one of the best starts the club has made for a number of years. At the same race last year, we managed a total of 51 athletes with a number of incomplete teams. In contrast this year, we had complete teams across all age groups.  Promotion to Division 1 at the end of last season means the club will be under pressure this year to put out strong teams across all ages.

Matt Whiting and Richard Claessens have both done sterling work in recruiting and retaining some excellent new senior members. As a result we were able field full teams in both the senior men’s and senior women’s races. Seniors making their debuts for the club included; Frank Fulcher, Shaun Chillingworth, Alex Cook, Bethany Brown, Nicki Johnson, Jenny Roberts and Helen Alexander.

However, it was one of our longer serving members – Ben Sendall – who produced CL1 BSone of the best performances of the day in the senior men’s race, finishing 4th out of 400 runners across both divisions to bring the team home in 5th. Joe Branch came an excellent 18th, despite taking a tumble in the steep downhill section of the woods, resulting in some nasty cuts and bruises.

The senior women’s team went one better coming 4th, with Lucy Rogers and Alex Cook finishing in the top 10 in Division 1.

The junior section of the club also turned up in numbers. In the U17 men’s race, the team finished 3rd with Finn Bell 3rd and Myles Caddell 7th – also in the top 10. The course was described by the boys as challenging.

 

It was a similar story in the CL1 JWU17/U20 women’s race, with Cerys Vico in her first race as an under 17 finishing 4th overall across both divisions, followed by Tash Taylor in 5th. The team finished 2nd in division 1, the club’s highest placing on the day.

In the U15 boys race there was an exciting sprint to the finish between Harvey Bell and Aaron Phillips, both boys recorded the same time, but Aaron just getting the higher placing. The team finished 5th overall in what is a tough age group.

Izzy Wijsman was our highest finisher in the U15 girls, finishing 10th in division 1, to continue her strong start to the season. The team finished 6th.

Both the U13 boys and girls teams finished 5th. With Olivia Brown and Tilly Firth finishing 10th and 11th respectively. And Rollo Parry 11th for the boys.

The U11s raced with great enthusiasm and it was encouraging to see an improved turnout on last year. Well done to our younger athletes and we hope to see even more giving cross country a go next time.

The next race is at Tear Drop Lakes, Milton Keynes, on the 11th November. Hopefully, with a good turnout and similar top quality performances, we can challenge for an even higher position in the league.

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