Wycombe Phoenix

Chiltern League Tear Drop Lakes (Match 2 – November 2017)

The weather forecast wasn’t good for Saturday’s Chiltern League at Tear Drop Lakes, AnaMCL2however the weather didn’t do what it was supposed to and in fact we had almost no rain and at times the sun broke through the clouds. Because the Cross Challenge was taking place at the same event, the races were stacked with some of the best runners in the country and it makes for a unique opportunity for club runners to race alongside Olympians – well maybe not quite alongside… except at the start… for a few seconds!

The club didn’t quite get the same number of athletes out as we did in round 1. This was in part due to the English Schools Cup falling on the same day. But it shows that although the club is growing we still don’t have the numbers that perhaps other clubs do and we can still struggle to put out full teams.

Our lack of depth in our senior section saw our men drop from 5th to 9th and our women drop from 4th to 7th. Not a disaster and in terms of points we are not far away from the top 3-4 positions of the 14 div 1 clubs. Lucy Rogers and Alex Cook came into LucyCL2the race with a niggle and illness but were as reliable as ever with an almost repeat performance of Oxford with an 8th and 10th place finish.

Beth Brown and Laura Street have been two great additions to the Club over the summer and followed in the top 25. But that was it! We should be stronger at Stopsley Park and could well trouble the top teams. Illness, missed training after a bad fall, troublesome calf and an untimely stitch affected our Senior Men and we ended up dropping a few places. Joe Branch couldn’t run for 12 days after a bad fall in the last match but led us home in 18th. The other standout performances from the first match were Frank Fulcher in 56th and Andy Walling in 93rd.

For the Juniors, the day kicked off with the U11s. We had 4 girls and 7 boys taking part and as ever they gave their best, for some of them it was their first Chiltern League.
IMG_2780First Wycombe finishers were Josephine Freeman and Casper Chillingworth.

In the U13s we were significantly down on numbers from the first race at Oxford with a number of athletes competing in the English Schools Cup. First Wycombe finishers were Kiera Foster 12th and Rollo Parry 11th.

The English Schools Cup also had a significant impact on the U15s, but those who were available to run performed well. Izzy Wijsman was the first Wycombe girl home in JacobCL211th. Jacob Sanderson seemed to relish the challenge of racing against the quality competition and led the Wycombe boys home, also in 11th. There was an exciting finish between Nick Mitchell, Roux Kerr and Alex Mitchell all crossing the line within 3 seconds of each other.

The U17 men were our most successful team on the day, coming 3rd. Myles Caddell was first home for Wycombe, followed by Thomas Crockett, who was making his debut for the club, we are looking forward to seeing him run again at the next race in Luton.

In the U17 women’s race Bettina Hanlon ran strongly to finish first for Wycombe, but Ana Montgomery deserves a special mention for running most of the race wearing just one spike. One shoe had come off at the bottom of the first steep hill, because of the lack of grip she then had a fall on the next hill, but soldiered on showing great physical and mental strength to get to the end of the race and finish strongly! When asked how she made it up the hills she said she ‘dug her toes into the mud’!

With a bit of luck, a few more athletes and some of Ana’s grit and determination, we should hopefully move back up the table at Luton!

U17 and Senior Photos Courtesy of Barry Cornelius.

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