2022 Gloucestershire Cross Country Championships

19 January 2022

The Gloucestershire Cross Country Championships made a welcome return last weekend, with the 2022 edition of the event being held at the Cotswold Farm Park in freezing winds and rain. Harriers won 3 golds, 7 silvers, 8 bronzes plus 7 team golds, 3 team silvers and 5 team bronzes!


The U11s kicked off the day with 10 U11Gs taking on the challenge. Eleanor Thomson led the group home with a brilliant 2nd place and Martha Marsden wasn’t far behind winning bronze. The duo were joined by Lucy Perry in 4th to win the team title convincingly. Heidi Woolley was the led runner on the B team in 5th place. Woolley, Ivy Wightman (7th) and Harriet Bennett (10th) won team silver, the team were also the 1st of the B teams. Demonstrating impressive strength in depth, the C team of Katie Whitefield (12th), Kimberley Hodgkinson (13th) and Rosie Atkins (14th) took 4th place. Isla Harvey was only 1 second behind Atkins in 15th. The U11B team ran well to take bronze with Monty Wilkins finishing 8th, Rufus Buckland coming 13th and Leo McCaffrey-Endsor coming in 14th.


Next up was the U13s; after some impressive results in the lead up to Christmas it was no surprise to see Maddie Thomson pull ahead of her rivals to take a convincing win. Thomson went home with team gold as well thanks to the efforts of Olivia and Evie Avery who finished 4th and 5th respectively. There was strong performances by Bluebell Heath-Smith (9th), Josie Steer (10th) and Jessica Sheppard (11th) to take 3rd team. Rosie Reynolds and Freya Braiden ran well to finish 14th and 17th. Not to be out done the U13Bs also achieved team gold. The first Harrier in was Jack Pennell earning himself a fantastic bronze, Elijah Marsden was close behind in 4th and Tom Wightman took 5th. The B team of Edward Atkins, Harry Knight and Samuel Jarvis ran brilliantly to take 2nd team with individual finishes of 9th, 10th and 11th respectively. 


(Photo: Maddie Thomson with her individual and team golds)

3 teams of U15Gs took to the start line, with a fierce closely fought battle between all 9 athletes. Amelie Paul was the first Harrier across the line in 4th just 5 seconds ahead of her teammates Georgia Howell in 5th and Eleon Wightman in 6th, who were both awarded the same finishing time. The trio completed the silver medal winning A team. Evie Henderson (8th), Kate Mills (9th) and Isobel Watt (10th) were also close together, finishing within 12 seconds off one another and taking bronze as the first B team. The C team of Milly Foster (13th), Abigail Thornley (14th) and Isobel Burfitt (18th) finished in 6th place. The U15Bs took home a well deserved team gold, with Sam Wilson and Dominic Martin running brilliantly to make the podium in 2nd and 3rd and Freddie Coombe running well for 5th. 


(Photo: The start of the U15Gs race)

The next race was the combined U17G, U20W and SW race. By this point in the day the already muddy course was churned up even more and the tight bends early on, when the field was still tightly packed, led to a fall by early leader Kaitlyn Sheppard. Showing her determination, and remaining unfazed by the incident, Sheppard returned to her feet almost instantly to take an impressive overall win, taking U20 gold and leading the A team to victory. Sheppard was joined on the A team by Rachel See who took SW silver and Petra Vymetalova who took W35 bronze. The U17G showed their class against their older rivals with Kiya Dee winning U17 gold and finishing 2nd overall, Ciara Thornley earning U17 silver and Chloe Sheppard bronze. The trio took an easy U17 team gold. Freya Howell also ran a brilliant race to finish as 8th U17. Next Harrier in was Ellie Balfe as 4th L35 just ahead of Nicola Whiteman who earned a bronze in the L40 category. Whiteman edged her teammate off the podium, as Sarah Sheppard finished as 4th L40 just behind. Holly Derrick had a good performance as 5th L35, Vickie Wilkinson won L45 silver and Joan Shaw just missed the podium as 4th L55. The Harrier B team finished in 4th and the C team finished in 8th. The Vets A and B teams both made the podium with a gold and bronze finish. 


(Photo: The U17G, U20W and SW team)

The final race of the day consisted of the U20 and SM. There were 2 superb Harrier performances in the U20M race with Jamie Bell making his first county podium in 3rd and Guy James Green finishing 4th. Chris Wagstaff ran a well judged race to take a well deserved bronze in the SM race. Wagstaff led the A team to a fantastic silver. Harrison Miles finished in 8th and Rupert Denny was 13th. Dan Minors made the podium with a great silver in the M50 category and Martin Foster finished as 5th M45. SM Elliot Prince, Sam Glider, Matt Evans and Ross Swain finished 22nd, 26th, 27th and 30th in their category respectively. Vincent Thornley ran well to take 14th M50. Finally, there was an impressive silver for Michael Ede in the M65 category. The B team finished in 7th overall and 1st B team and the Vets A team was also 7th