Gloucestershire XC League 5/11/22

11 November 2022

After a highly successful 2021-2022 cross country season where Harriers took home 4 individual Gloucestershire League titles and 5 team titles, it was with much excitement that the League restarted last weekend. The league began at Cirencester Park for the second year in a row with typical cross country weather with it! 

The senior women made a strong start to the year coming in 2nd team thanks to a 4th place finish, and first U20, for Kiya Dee, 5th for Ella Burfitt, 1st senior lady, and an impressive cross country debut for Tallulah Robin-Redmond that saw her finish as 10th female and 6th U20. The B team finished in 10th (3rd B team) and the C team was 15th (2nd C team), while the Masters team came in 4th. The next Harrier to finish was Nicole Firth in 15th (3rd SL), Kate Alhadeff was 13th SL, Ellie Balfe took 6th F40 and Adele Potts was 19th SL. Jo Wilkie placed 9th F40, while Clare Hawling won the F60 category. Angela Pippard was 8th F45 and Christina See returned to racing with 9th F60. In the same race the U17 girls team of Isobel Watt, Milly Foster and Isobel Burfitt made a challenging step up in distance taking on much older opposition. The team came in a convincing 1st place with Watt finishing 1st U17 with just one shoe on! Foster took 4th U17 and Burfitt was 7th. The over 65 men and U17 men also competed in the same race. Micheal Ede ran well to finish 2nd M65 and Bexley Turbard was 9th U17 man.

(Photo: Jo Wilkie pushing on in the senior women’s race)

Over in the senior men's race new recruits Max Thompson and Max Kelly led the team home in 37th and 38th (23rd and 24th SM) respectively. Heath Bampton had a brilliant run to take 1st M55 in 42nd overall, Joel Frost finished in 50th overall (29th SM), Andy Gore took 2nd M50 in 62nd and George Sheppard rounded off the A team in 64th (36th SM). The team finished in 5th place, a good start to the season. The B team consisting of Elliot Prince (66th), Tom Evetts (78th), Dan Minors (80th, 5th M50), Martin Foster (94th, 10th M45), Matt Evans (99th) and Darren Dempsey (108th, 16th M40) came in 11th and 4th B team. David Whitfield made the top ten in the M50 category in 114th overall, Rhys Pippard was 127th, Steve Bradley took 13th M50 and James Wilkinson was 171st and 29th M40. There were also two Masters teams with the A team taking 5th and B team taking 12th (3rd B team).

(Photo: Joel Frost forming part of the senior men’s A team)

The age group races produced some inspired Harrier performances with wins for Dom Martin in the U15 boys and Patrick Paul in the U13 boys. Martin took the win by just 6 seconds from his teammate, Sam Wilson. The duo battled hard throughout last cross country season and appeared to pick up where they left off. The pair formed two thirds of the winning A team with Tom Wightman completing the team in 6th. Lucas West, Harry Knight and Edward Atkins formed the B team that finished 4th finishing as 15th, 16th and 17th U15 boys respectively. The U15 girls competed in the same race and the Harrier team was led home by Maddie Thomson as 2nd female and 10th overall. Strong runs by Jessica Sheppard in 4th and Bluebell Heath-Smith in 6th saw the U15 girls also take 1st in the team competition. The girls B team matched the boys with another 4th place finish thanks to Amelie Paul in 8th, Harriet Smith in 9th and Georgia Howell in 21st. 

(Photo: All smiles on the U15 girls start line)

Paul’s win in the U13 boys race was arguably the best race of the day from a Harriers perspective with the U13 boys filling the first 5 places! Paul was followed home by Teddy Spurr, Jack Pennell, Caleb Green and Oliver Wilson in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. This meant they took the team win with the lowest amount of points possible and had such strength in depth that the B team also made the podium in 3rd (1st B) and they managed to field a C team that finished 9th (1st C). The B team included Noah Chatterton in 42nd overall, while the C team consisted of Lucas Baker in 63rd overall, Ken Umemura-Smith in 70th and Tobias Danaher in 76th.

(Photo: Harriers take positions 1-5 in the U13 boys race)

In the same race Olivia Avery just pipped her twin sister to the line taking 2nd U13 girl in 8th overall. Evie Avery was just 1 second back in 3rd female and 9th overall. Martha Marsden ran well to take 5th U13 girl and secure the A team 1st place. Eleanor Thomson was the first finisher of the 4th placed B team (1st B team) in 9th place with Orla Dowie in 15th and Rosie Atkins in 16th. Isla Harvey, Freya Braiden and Heidi Woolley finished in 22nd, 25th and 26th respectively meaning the C team finished in 7th (1st C team). Molly Pettingell and Abby Lythgoe made a good start to their seasons finishing in 30th and 36th. 

(Photo: Sisters working together - Olivia and Evie Avery in the U13 girls race)

The youngest race of the day, the U11s, saw Sam Unsworth finish in 11th U11 boy with the next Harrier across the line being 2nd placed U11 girl Ivy Wightman in 15th overall. Hattie Bennet ran a great race to finish as 3rd U11 girl making the top 20 overall. Not much separated Lucas Oliveira, Archie Lait and Kimberley Hodgkinson as they finished in 23rd, 24th and 25th. George Phillimore crossed the line in 34th with Leo McCaffrey-Endsor in 36th. Elena Williams finished as 9th female and Evan Lawler was 43rd overall. There were also good runs from:

Joseph Sheppee 48th

George Balfe 49th

Freddie Hole 54th

Niamh Pettinegell 22nd

Finn Lees 60th

Zachary Cherry 69th

Camille Ralph 30th

Henry Balfe 78th

Avery Church 35th 

Grace Young 36th