Gloucestershire Cross Country Championships 23/24 Season

13 December 2023

The final big race weekend of 2023 took place over the weekend with the focus for the club being the Gloucestershire County Cross Country Championships. A phenomenal performance by all the athletes saw the club walk away with Team Gold in the U11, U13, U15 and U17 Girls and Boys races plus the Senior + U20 Men. On top of this the U13 Girls, U15 Boys, Senior Women and Vet Women also took Silver and the U11 and U13 Boys won bronze.

Beginning with our youngest athletes the U11s set the tone for the day with an individual win from Jess Bailey and team golds in the boys and girls races. Bailey was followed home by Niamh Pettingell in 4th, Elena Williams in 5th, Charlotte Harvey in 11th and Anna Richardson in 13th. In the U11 boys not only won gold but the strength in depth ensured they also took team bronze. Benjamin Lewis led the way with a superb 3rd place finish, Lucas Oliveria and Henry Simpson completed the A team in 5th and 9th respectively. The B team consisted of Freddie Hole in 10th, Rufus Hack in 16th and Seb Cowley in 17th. The club also had a C and D team of Tom Forrest (18th), Sebastian Piff (19th), Joshua Bajdala-Burrell (21st), Joseph Bradshaw (22nd, Manu Addis (26th) and Carson McClung (28th).

In the U13 age group the athletes earned Two team golds a silver and a bronze as well as three individual medals. Impressively the U13 girls had such domination that they took all places from 2nd to 8th with Eleanor Thomson leading the way earning herself silver and Martha Marsden making the podium too in 3rd. Megan Cowley was close behind in 4th, Ivy Wightman won 5th, Kimbelerly Hodgkinson was 6th, Rosie Atkins took 7th and Isla Harvey completed the team in 8th. 

(Photo: U13 Girls Team)

There was an individual victory in the U13 boys race through Alistair Spurr who was joined on the winning team by Noah Seabright in 9th and Monty Wilkins in 10th. The bronze medal winning B team was led by Max Harrison in 12th a with Theo Green and Sebastian Heath close behind in 14th and 15th. A strong run saw Sebastian Sheppard finish 18th, Henry Bear 21st and Sam Unsworth 25th. 

Next up were the U15 girls and an inspired run from Maddie Thomson saw her take individual gold almost half a minute clear of her nearest rival. The rest of the team also ran brilliantly with Rosie Reynolds just off the podium in 4th, Jessica Sheppard in 5th and Freya Braiden in 7th making them the clear team winners.

(Photo: Individual U15 Girls Winner Maddie Thomson and Jessica Sheppard with her team Gold)

The U15 boys took arguably the most impressive team victory of the day with a 1-4 Harriers finish securing them Gold and Silver in the team competition. Patrick Paul was the individual gold medalist, followed just 1 second later by Tom Wightman to win silver and Teddy Spurr was not far behind winning bronze. Rhys Haines led the B team with a determined run for 4th, Oliver Wilson finished in 9th, Harry Knight was 12th, Edward Atkins was 16th and James Worthington finished in 17th. 

(Photo: U15 boys 1-2-3)

Another close finish occurred in the U17 boys race with Dom Martin just getting the edge on Sam Wilson by 2 seconds to take individual gold and silver. Ben Yates ran well to finish in 5th and secure the team title. 

Not to be out done the U17 girls also took team gold and produced an individual 1-2. It was Erin Musty who led the team home achieving a well earned gold medal with Izzy Watt taking silver. There were also good performances from Harriet Smith in 4th, Milly Foster in 6th and Isobel Burfitt in 7th. 

The senior women came up against tough opposition but walked away with two team silvers, an individual gold, two individual silvers and an individual bronze. L45 Jane Fairbairn was the first Harrier across the line finishing as the clear winner in her age category and 6th overall. Next in was Petra Vymetalova running well to finish as 2nd L35, completing both the vets and masters team was Marie Bush who was 2nd L45.

The Senior men’s team rounded off a successful day with Team Gold and U20 Team Gold. Isaac Henderson led both teams home with U20 individual Gold, followed by Jamie Bell with U20 silver, Patrick Davis was the final scorer for the U20 team. The senior team consisted of Henderson, Bell and Davis as well as Max Thompson, Robert Finch ahd Harrison Miles. Heath Bampton was close behind Miles winning M55 Gold. Andy Gore took bronze in the M50 category and Michael Ede took bronze in the M65 race.