There are races, and prizes, for Senior Men, Senior Women as well as Veteran 40, 55 & 60 age groups. This league is designed for athletes of “more mosest abilities” and has qualifying conditions to support that – Since January 2003 runners must not have run a race of over 5 miles distance at faster than 6 minute mile pace for mena dn 6 min 30secs for women. This is an ideal format to break the “drudgery” of constant road training (and a change to legitimately get dirty!).
This is one of the toughest leagues that we compete in – all age groups covered from under 13 Girls to Senior Men. If we can turn out full teams for each of the fixtures our Senior Men should continue their rise up to Division 1 whilst the Senior Women can progress to Division 2. Our Young Athletes have led the way in recent seasons.
If encouragement is needed the courses tend to be flat and dry.
It was an impressive opening fixture for Team Southampton Athletic Club at the weekend with some good team performances throughout the age groups in the first Hampshire League fixture of the cross country season at Farley Mount on Saturday.
There were second team places for the senior men, under 15 boys and under 15 girls as well as 3rd places for the under 17 men and senior women, and 6th places for the under 13 boys and girls teams.
Individually there were some fine performances on the day with Alex McClean winning the Men’s senior race with Colin Dixon 7th and Owen Jones 11th. Georgina Parnell and Heather Buckingham took 4th and 6th places respectively in the senior women’s race and Scott Legg was the first under 15 boy in 8th place closely followed by Renato Veraj in 12th and Chris Dennis in 14th. Sasha Mucci took a creditable 7th place in the U17 women and Harry Fisher was 11th in the U13 boys. It was a one-two in the U15 girl’s race with Rebecca Gough taking a comfortable first place and Louise Webb ahead of the rest in second. There was also a fine run from Katrina Brace in 18th place to make up the 3rd scoring team place.
This was a promising start for the newly combined club particularly in view of the fact that a number of the clubs runners were also competing elsewhere over the weekend. In particular in the Junior Great South run there were great runs in Portsmouth from Rio Brooks-Gibbs who came third in the girl’s race and Jamie Knapp who was 12th in the boy’s race.
In the first Wessex league fixture of the season on a blustery Sunday at Millfield School in Somerset, Louise Webb came in first in the U15 girls and Jamie Knapp came in 5th in the U15 boys. Emma Renouf was 11th in the U17 girls.
The next Hampshire league fixture will be on 30th October at Goodwood when the club hopes to keep up its successful start.
Team Solent’s junior middle distance squad had another good day on Sunday and Saturday. In the second Wessex Cross country match.
In the U13 boys, Chris Dennis 1st, Scott Legg 2nd, Jamie Knapp 4th and Stewart Jepson 12th. Not to be out done in the U13 girls Elizabeth Freemantle finished 3rd. In the U17 men Alex Wall-Clarke came in 3rd again. Emma Renouf pulled off her best run of the season to finish 8th.
The squad coached by Peter Haynes are currently meeting at Tauntons College on Tuesday and Thursday evening. Any boy or girl aged 10-18 who would like to join them can contact Peter on 023 8047 3261
A total of 28 teams of eight competed in this Men’s, Women’s and mixed teams. We entered on Men’s and one mixed team.
Our Men’s team got off to a steady start, rose as high as 5th at one point before falling away to finish 10th (out of 15).
The mixed team met with far more success. Laura Brenton set a record for the fastest run by a Woman on the 5th leg from Wherwell to Stockbridge. Sadly overall we were pipped by Winchester who broke the course record by eight minutes. Next year……
Thanks to Phil Stephens and Peter Dean for transporting runners and ensuring nobody got lost. Also to Christine Smears and Neil Wells for timekeeping.
Yet again the Road Runners 10 series of summer races proved to be highly popular and rewarding. Particularly pleasing this year were the performances of our women who managed to finish a team in every fixture. This culminated in a team victory in the final race, a first for either the men or women.
It was good to see Matt Smith back competing this year. Matt followed up a highly impressive debut in the London Marathon with some vital performances for the Southern Men’s track team (perhaps more of you will consider “doubling up”?) – he is now considering adding Triple Jumping to his CV!
No break for our road runners, having just completed the summer leagues they have moved their training base back to Tauntons College (see back page for details) and will be pressing on with their build up to the new Hants Road Race League programme. The section are always keen to see new participants, regardless of age or ability. With sessions now planned by qualified and experienced coaches there is something to offer everyone. Please contact either Jo West (023 80581617) or Jo Doney (023 80274353) for further details/encouragement.