The Hampshire cross-country season continues despite the recent deluges and after fielding a large number of athletes at last weekend’s county championships representation was down for Saturday’s latest fixture in the Hampshire league.
This latest event gave spectators and runners the best conditions so far with warm winter sunshine and very little in the way of mud or standing water contrasting hugely with the previous week’s swamp-like affair. Held at Kings Park, the course held plenty of interest with gentle undulations, short steeper sections, wooded areas and open ground mixed up.
In the junior races there was a continuation of the fine form from many IOW AC athletes. Eden Crumplin managed another top twenty finish in the under 15 girls, crossing the line in 18th whilst in the under 13 girls Elsie Lewis and Ellie Bacon drove each other on well finishing closely together in 29th and 33rd respectively.
For the junior boys the under 13s had a complete team of four with Ben Holdsworth leading them home in 18th followed by James Haggerty in 26th, Lawrance Lynch 36th and Tom Timmons 43rd.
The under 15 boys also lined up with four and it was once again Micheal Ilot as their first home powering in to take 11th followed by Sam Hutchinson 29th, Jacob Lewis 38th and Sam Metcalf 46th. Austin Law was the only Island participant in the under 17s race finishing well in a strong field to take 27th.
Senior, vets and under 20 women were all racing together on the same course again with Sarah Kavavagh once again the first Islander home 39th.
Back racing with the under 20s after her first senior appearance at last week’s championships, Grace Crumplin ran very well finishing just behind Sarah in overall but was 10th under 20. Mary Norman was next home in 55th overall (26th vet) followed by Annabelle Marsh who, like Grace, runs in the under 20s for Havant and she finished 13th in her category and 67th overall.
The men’s race saw another great performance from the supremely relaxed Billy Hancock to take 15th in the under 20s category and 48th overall.
Next Islander was Steve Haggerty who continues to move up the rankings, he finished 11th vet and 64th overall. Ryde Harriers regulars Tom Blackwell, Les Cupis and Paul Charlton-Smith had contrasting races with Tom enjoying the course and finishing well for 93rd. Les had to dig deep for 105th and 35th vet whilst Paul crossed the line with a smile in 167th.
The final league fixture is on 8th February in Salisbury.