Well done to all those who competed at the first Chiltern League of the 2018/19 season. It was very very warm and certainly not typical cross country weather.
Last year saw our Senior Women’s team beginning to take shape. We did very well at certain times but didn’t quite have the numbers throughout the year to really do well in the League and we ended up 4th.
This year though, we got off to a terrific start. Still buzzing from their medal in the Southern Road Relay Champs, our women were convincing winners. Pippa Woolven is steadily getting back to her best. She had some good competition over the 5.8km course but pulled away strongly in the second half for a clear win. Zoe Doyle, Alex Cook and Jenny Roberts followed in 5th, 8th and 14th. Brilliant runs by all of them again. A couple of years ago that would have been the team completed. The League rightly though increased the numbers of scorers to 6 which rewards a good club. We were up to the task!
Beth Brown and Laura Street have had difficult summers with injury. They were both eager though to race and brought us home for a great win. Not far behind, it was good to see Helen Alexander back racing again. She’ll no doubt score some vital points later in the season.
The senior men had a great season last year to take 3rd. We’ve had a couple of new recruits but we’ve also got a few injuries so we were a bit unsure how we would fare on Saturday.
David Clark led us home for the first time and celebrated his 21st Birthday with his best ever cross country performance with a brilliant 12th place. David is the perfect example to any younger athlete about perseverance. He didn’t set the world alight when he was younger! However, he has continued to train hard (70 miles plus most weeks) and the result speaks for itself.
Joe Branch wasn’t at his best but still scored solid points. Our strength though was packing our next 5 scorers (Kieran Gilfedder, Chris Filer, Ben Sutherland, Frank Fulcher and Gareth Morris) in the top 100. Ben was our joker in the pack. Our quickest runner in the team at his best, hasn’t done much running of any sort for quite a while! Certainly, nothing of any quality. Nevertheless, he answered the call to arms and surprised himself with a 67th place finish overall. Who knows what he might do with a bit of training! Peter Finn, Andy Walling and our new man Dan Barker completed our team. And making his debut for the seniors was Scott Wixon Nelson.
3rd place was a good start to the season.
In the U17 and U15 age groups we were down in numbers compared to last year, but those who raced did themselves proud. Special mention goes to those making their Chiltern League debut’s today; Ellen Cooper (U15), Rebecca Rees-Davies (U15) and Emily Whelan (U17) all of whom performed beyond expectations.
We also had some top 10 performances (finishing in the top 10 in the CL is a significant achievement); Jacob Sanderson 4th in the U15 boys (he was 28th in the same race last year!), Myles Caddell 7th in the U17 men. And it was great to see Kirsten Stilwell making a welcome return to racing, finishing 2nd in the U17 women’s race.
The U13 and U11 age groups are thriving and we had a good turnout, with many of our athletes making their debut’s. So welcome to the Chiltern League to the following newcomers (apologies if any names are missing);
U13 – Girls
U13 – Boys
U11 – Girls
U13 – Boys