The Chiltern League at Tear Drop Lakes always adds an extra bit of spice to the junior races with the addition of the Cross Challenge athletes. The standard of the racing is cranked up a notch or two and it’s great for our athletes to be able to compete against the best. It also highlights that at the younger age groups success is sometimes based on differences in physical development. The differences are most stark at the starting line where you might see a six foot athlete with a full beard next to a 5 foot athlete! This can seem unfair, but generally those that go onto succeed are the ones who work hard and stick at it.
The races started with the U11s, in which we had William Penney and Elliot Brookes. With the boys finishing 43rd and 30th.
Following on and moving through the age groups were the U13s. With Eleanor Young (38th), Ella Caldow (47th), Pearl Morris (48th).
We had a full team for the U13 boys, which was great to see. The team finished 8th overall with the boys finishing; Reuben Penney (25th), Ed Faulkner (26th), Joel Crook (39th), Archie Burton (41st) and Samuel Evans (49th).
We had a good turnout in the U15 girls race with two athletes making their cross country debuts for the club, Arabella Davis and Rose Uhart. The team finished 5th overall with the girls placing as follows; Evie Burton (10th), Ivy Uhart (23rd), Arabella Davis (33rd), Ellie Faulkner (37th), Mae Burton (51st), Iris Cooper (56th), Lyla Griffin (50th), Rose Uhart (58th)
The U15 boys team was down in numbers due to illness and we had only 2 runners, Ibrahim Achchi (8th) and Daniel Cogan (46th). The boys gave it everything and the team still managed to finish 7th.
The U17/U20 women’s team came 5th. Ellen Cooper (13th) brought the team home followed by Liv Brown (17th), Sophie Thomas (26th), Tilly Firth (31st) and Emma Caddell (37th).
The U17 men’s team finished 4th. With Rollo Parry (5th) continuing his great run of form and followed closely by Rai Lenoire (12th) and Finn Heron (32nd). This was our highest placed junior team on the day. Well done all.
by Mike Taylor
Match Two at Teardrop Lakes is always a great event. The event incorporates the Cross Challenge making for an exciting race and a chance to line up with some of the country’s top cross country runners. The WPH women went into the race with some work to do following our 4th place finish at Oxford.
The inclusion of the Cross Challenge meant that, unlike at Oxford, Pippa Woolven had some company at the front this time! She held her own though and had another strong run to finish 2nd in Division 1 – narrowly beaten by a runner from Bedford. Next in for the team was Ana Montgomery who, in her debut Chiltern League as a senior, had a storming run to finish in a fantastic 5th place. Third home for Wycombe, and our third runner in the top 10, with another best performance was Laura Street in 7th. Jenny Roberts narrowly missed the top 10 in 11th place as she continues to return to form. Melanie Phair was fifth home for WPH with a strong run finishing in a solid 15th place. Our sixth scorer, with another debut performance, Rosie Jones completed the team with a great run to finish in 48th place. Not bad at all in a competitive field! And Rosie’s 77 points meant that the team won the match comfortably with a 49 point lead, and highlights what a difference having a full team really makes!
The win moves the Senior Women up into 2nd place in the league overall with Dacorum & Tring now in 1st but only 26 points clear. With three matches left it is all to play for and we have a real shot at retaining the title for a third season. Bring on the 4th December!
by Jenny Roberts
Round two of the Chiltern League took place at Tear Drop Lake in Milton Keynes. As is now traditional, this second round of the league incorporates the UK Cross Challenge, bringing many fantastic athletes to the race from out of the area. Like in other years, the standard of racing at Tear Drop was very high, however a strong Wycombe Phoenix team consisting of 18 Senior Men took to the start line to compete.
Rob Wright was first home for the club for the second race in a row. Rob flew through the field to finish in a fantastic time of 32:43 – that’s 5:39 min/mile over the mud and hills! Rob finished 61st overall and 16th in Division 1. Second home for the club was the ever-reliable David Clark. David finished just seconds behind Rob, coming over the line in 65th position and 18th in Division 1.
The ever-impressive Liam Busby was 3rd home in 85th position in the mob match and 28th position in Division 1. Liam looks to be going from strength to strength so I’m sure he will have his sights on breaking the top 20. Dean Childs showed another strong performance, finishing 4th scorer for the club in 119th position in the mob match and 42nd in Division 1. Sean Wilson was 5th scorer for the team in 125th overall and 47th in Division 1. Next home was Kieran Gilfedder in 145th in the mob match and 60th in Division 1. Kieran’s run showed a strong performance and improvement on his last XC race in Oxford, this is testament to his hard work and determination. XC is a team sport and relies on athletes bunching together to ensure a high team finish. Olly Kidd did just that, finish one place behind Kieran in Division 1 in 61st position and 147th overall.
It was great to see Matt Brown take part in his first XC event for Wycombe, Matt finished in 174th position overall and 78th in Division 1. We hope Matt enjoyed the experience and look forward to seeing him at the next XC event. Next home as 9th Scorer for the club was Rohit Patel. Rohit finished in 180th overall and 82nd in Division one. Completing the 10 scorers was Tim Hogbin in 185th overall and 82nd in Division 1. What is impressive about the performance at the weekend is how well the team bunched together with just over 4mins between the first scorer and 10th scorer across the line.
Frank “The Vulture” Fulcher was back in the blue of Wycombe putting in another great XC performance finishing in 240th overall and 117th in Division 1. Joe Branch continues his comeback finishing in 263rd and 128th in Division one, closely followed by Clark “Statman” Schofield who finished in 270th position in the mob match and 133rd in Division one. Next, we have another debut run, this time from Simon Heart who finished in 324th in the mob match and 165th in Division 1. Mike Taylor was setting the example for his athletes by completing the undulating course in 405th in the mob match and 211th in Division 1. Paul Burton was 16th home for the club in 421st position, 216th in Division 1, with Simon Evans finishing in 470th in the mob match and 238th in Division 1 and Jeremy Mitchell completing the team in 535th overall finishing 267th in Division 1.
Another strong team performance leaves the senior men still in the hunt for medals overall at the end of the season. The team now looks ahead to the next match on the 4th December in Luton with the aim of keeping this strong start going.
Performance of the day goes to Rob Wright both for his fantastic performance but also for the way he encourages and supports other teammates. Well done Rob!
by Sean Wilson