Gloucestershire Cross Country League - 07/01/24

10 January 2024

The 2024 racing calendar kicked off over the weekend with a large group of Harriers making the short trip to the Cotswold Farm Park for the 3rd round of the Gloucestershire Cross Country League.

In the first race of the day the U11 boys team secured 2nd place and 1st B team led by Luca Oliveria in 11th and closely followed by Benjamin Lewis in 12th, Henry Simpson completed the A team in 15th. The B team consisted of George Marriott in 17th, Freddie Hole in 20th and Rufus Hack in 32nd. Harriers also produced the only C and D teams in the race, showing huge strength in depth. These consisted of Jacob Mustow (33rd), Sebastian Piff (34th), Manu Addis (36th), Toby Fraine (40th), Sam Spicer (41st) and Jacob Webb (45th).

The U11 girls competed in the same race and achieved the Harriers first individual and team win of the day with the B team also making the podium in 3rd place. A superb run by Harriet Bennett saw her cross the line 1st with Jess Bailey running well to make it a Harriers 1-2. Elena Williams completed the A team with 8th place. Next Harrier across the line was Avery Church in 10th followed by Charlotte Harvey in 19th, Freya Swinton in 22nd and Harriet Lucas in 26th. 


There was more success in the U13 age category with an individual win through Alistair Spurr. Spurrs performance led the boys team to 2nd place, with strong runs from Monty Wilkins in 9th and Noah Seabright in 10th ensuring the a low team score. Strong runs from Max Harrison (11th), Sebastian Heath (17th), Theo Green (20th) , Noah Dix (22nd), Finn Nory Proctor (26th) and Tobias Danaher (38th) earned the club 1st B and C team as well. 

 The U13 girls produced an impressive start to the year securing 1st and 2nd team with all runners finishing in the top 15. Eleanor Thomson led the Harriers contingent home in 2nd place, with the leader just seconds ahead. Megan Cowley ran well to finish in 4th and Ivy Wightman took 6th. Martha Marsden, Kimberley Hodgkinson, Isla Harvey and Bella Watts finished in 7th, 8th, 9th and 15th respectively.  


They U15 boys were dominating the league prior to the new year and were keen to keep the momentum going in 2024. They demonstrated there talent once again filling the top 4 places with Patrick Paul taking victory from Tom Wightman in 2nd, Teddy Spurr in 3rd and Rhys Haines in 4th. This performance gave them the team win with just 6 points. Led by Haines in 4th the B team finished in 3rd place with support from Harry Knight in 12th and Elijah Marsden in 13th. The C team of James Worthington (16th), Lucas West (17th) and George Iddon (24th) finished 5th and first C team. 

One of the most impressive performances of the day came from Maddie Thomson who not only finished 1st U15 girl but also finished 5th overall in the U15 race, meaning the Harriers produced a 1-2-3-4-5 in this age category. Thomson’s performance means she is already the overall League champion with one race left to go due to 3 consecutive race victories. Strong runs by Rosie Reynolds in 6th and Freya Braiden in 11th confirmed team victory for the U15 girls as well.  


In the Senior mens’s race Jacob Pickering returned from America to finish in 3rd place, just 10 seconds behind the two athletes ahead of him. Pickering led the A team home in 3rd place. Next Harrier in was Jame Bell who ran brilliantly to finish in 8th overall and 2nd U20. Robert Finch, Harrison Miles and Finlay Willicott crossed the line in 28th, 29th and 37th respectively. Heath Bampton finished as 1st M55 and completed the scoring A team in 39th overall. The B team finished as 3rd B team on the day led by Martin Foster in 53rd overall and 6th M45. Matt Evans finished in 59th with U20 Joseph Smith finishing 62nd and 7th U20. Rhys Pippard (68th), Callam Parkins (86th), Steve Bradley (97th) and Ross Swain (108th) completed the team. 

In the combined U17 boys and girls, Senior Women and M65+ race it was Sam Wilson who led everyone home. The U17 Harrier looked easy crossing the line a massive 49 seconds before 2nd place. Fellow Harriers Ben Yates and James Agombar finished in 7th and 8th meaning the U17 boys took 1st place as a team. 

Rachel See led the Harrier women home in 8th. Jane Fairbairn won 1st L50 in 14th (and then raced again the following day winning the Fladbury 5!) and Ellie Balfe completed the A team as 5th L40 in 19th. Next in was Marie Brush as 3rd L45 (20th Overall) followed by Adele Potts (31st), Jo Wilkie (32nd), Orla Haigh (34th), Mell Schofield (54th) and Clare Hawling (56th) who finished as 2nd L60. The Harriers were the only team to produce a D team thanks to Angela Pippard finishing in 70th, Joan Shaw in 84th and Christina See in 124th. The strong performances by all the women earned the Harriers 3rd place in the open category and 2nd Masters team. Michael Ede ran well in the Masters men category finishing as 3rd M65.

Our 4 U17 girls all ran incredibly well with Isobel Watt going hard from the gun and being rewarding with the race win. Harriet Smith followed her home in 2nd with Amelie Paul in 3rd and Milly Foster in 5th. The superb runs ensured another Harrier team win.