Wycombe Phoenix

SEAA Cross Country Champs 2018 – Stanmer Park, Brighton

SEAA SC Every third year, the Southern Cross Country Champs moves away from Parliament Hill to Stanmer Park in Brighton. An easier course? Not a chance. This is even hillier!

Our seniors have been doing well in the Chiltern league. What could they do against the best of the South of England? After a 5th place finish in the Championship last year, hopes were high for the u20
men. We had a problem though. Seb Garry reported on Tuesday that he was struggling with his hip. He wanted to give it a go but it became clear on his warm up that he couldn’t run. No team on this occasion but we’re very appreciative to Seb for his efforts to try and make it happen. The other boys were still intent though on doing their best and brilliant runs came from Jeremy Taylor, David Clark and Peter Finn. Cam
bridge University student, Jeremy, liked the sound of the competition opportunities we could provide and had a blinder with an 18th place finish. David Clark has been training incredibly hard the last few months, 60-70miles a week. The results haven’t quite been coming though…until now. 33rd was a great improvement on his 45th last year. Peter Finn’s progression this year has been great to see. A conservative start saw him lying last after 200m! Thereafter he picked his way through the field to finish in a very pleasing 47th. Even with Seb, we wouldn’t have quite medalled but some very encouraging performances nevertheless.

Last year our Senior Women’s team was Lucy Rogers. This year, she had 5 more Phoenix women for company. With more waiting in the wings, the future is looking very promising. On an increSEAA SC SWasingly muddy course, Lucy was as good as ever leading the team home in 42nd.  There is very little between Jenny Roberts, Nicki Johnson and Laura Street. At the last Chiltern League, Laura came out on top. On this occasion, Jenny was next home in 82nd, closely followed by Nicki in 85th and Laura in 99th. Jess Gray and Beth Brown completed our team in 119th and 152nd. 11th place overall is a great achievement and a lot to look forward to.

The Senior Men have the pleasure of 15km in the Southern. When you add in some incredibly tough climbs, a course that has already had 9 races over it, and increasingly heavy rain, then you’re in for a long day! Our men’s team has come on a lot but it was obvious on Saturday that we need a few more runners. With the u20s running separately in the Championship, x6 to score is not easy. With Sean Wilson struck down with the flu and a work weary James Mcilroy unable to finish, we were down to 5 men. Great runs from them all though. Joe Branch was gutted to miss all the big races with a calf injury last year. This yeaSEAA SC -JBr though, he hasn’t missed a race. Joe is super quick but could he handle 15km? He certainly could, moving through the field for a 79th place finish. Another year of training will surely see him challenging the top 25. Frank Fulcher and Tim Hogbin have been two of the stalwarts of the cross country team this season. 237th and 300th were good finishes. As well as helping Richard coaching our u17s, Chris Filer is proving himself to be pretty useful over the country. A great battle with Tim saw them swapping positions throughout the race, with Chris eventually coming out on top by 3 places. Andy Walling, a sub 3.50 1500m man in his prime, completed the team in 339th. For a man on very limited training, it was a very solid run.

 

In the Junior age groupSEAA SC - JSs we were hit by a variety of illnesses, injuries, exams and other ailments! This meant we only managed to field one complete team – the U17 men. Hopefully we’ll have a much bigger turnout at the Nationals, as we head towards spring!

 

The U15 boys team was reduced to just one runner – Jacob Sanderson, who has been steadily improving this season and looked comfortable over the hilly terrain and finished in the top half. In the u15 girls we had Megan Harris and Maddy Wood. Both girls gave it everything as usual, Megan finishing 90th and Maddy 156th. In the U17 women we were represented bravely by Bettina Hanlon, who despite being unwell during the week battled round the tough course to finish 100th. Finally, onto the U17 men, for which we had the luxury of more than a full team. After a strong start Myles Caddell had to withdraw due to illness, Tom Crockett quickly filled the gap, followed by Fin Dyer, Hal Burtenshaw and Marcus Waterhouse, in the end the team finished 14th.

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