Although there are a few gaps in our overall League performance we are continuing to make progress. We had entries in each of the 8 junior races, and five of our teams achieved an overall position: the U11 Girls were 6th, Under 11 Boys 8th, Under 13 Boys 3rd, U17 Women 3rd, and U17 Men a splendid 2nd.
Also on the positive side, those who did compete were far more consistent, with 23 of them running 3 times, and 14 of them running all four races.
The first race at all the League meetings is the U11 Boys, and we were lucky to have three runners who performed very consistently: Matthew Peace, Alistair Trusselle and William Askew battled strongly throughout and all made good progress during the series. If they can continue in this vein they will certainly find things easier in the future.
In the U11 Girls the performance by Rebecca Flaherty was truly remarkable. Last year she finished 21st overall: this year she won 3 of the 4 races, and looked more confident each time she ran – an inspirational achievement!
Grace Ross also improved as her confidence increased, finishing with a fine 14th place in the last race. She will be in the same age-group next year, and I am sure she is capable of making a real impression. Lilly Smith will be in the same situation and, although she was short of confidence this year, she certainly has the ability to make a big improvement.
In the Under 13 Girls Grace Dawson unfortunately had no team-mates, but she ran well throughout – next year the longer distances will suit her even better.
Our strongest team in depth was certainly our U13 Boys, and we were very optimistic about their chances: we were not disappointed.
Alex Flaherty once again ran splendidly throughout, always getting the team off to a good start, ably backed by his team-mates. Apart from Alex, we had four different counters, with Oliver Peace, Jake Wallace, Ben Rees and Samuel Mantle all scoring for the team on two occasions – a good basis for future success, particularly when we take into account that we also have Dylan Thornton, Harry Miller and Joseph Childs waiting in the wings.
It was such a pity that we could not find a third runner to back up our two U15 Girls, Emily Field and Ruby Firth, who both performed so well. Emily, in her first season with us, was outstanding and showed great fighting qualities: her success was well-deserved. Ruby, too, battled away as she always does, and set such a good example for others to follow.
The lure of other sports meant that we rarely had any U15 Boys running, and, although newcomer Dylan Ball has shown promise, Joseph Carnelley ploughed a lonely furrow on two occasions: he must be looking forward to next year when he will have some back-up.
For the first time for some years, we had teams in both U17 races, and the fact that we had reliable reserves meant that we were able to achieve two very good results.
Vicki Merrick led the way for the Girls, with great support from Eliza Findlay, Izzy Harris and Katie Smith. All of them performed resolutely throughout the whole series,
although I think I should make special mention of Izzy, who has made a real impact in her first season. All of them, with the exception of Vicki, will be in the same age-group next year – we hope that they will be joined by Lucy Miller, who has been sorely missed.
In the U17 Men Matthew Merrick must have been delighted to have some club-mates for company, and their success, particularly as a team, was very pleasing.
Matthew himself was very consistent and was always up with the leaders, whilst Reuben Mantle went from strength to strength to finish in 3rd place overall. Great support came from two newcomers to the League: James Askew and Josh Spencer. James has made real progress since last year, and Josh, who has only been with us for a few months, has shown real perseverance and determination -we are delighted that the efforts of both of them were translated into 2nd place medals.
All in all a very good term’s work: well done everyone!
We now look forward to seeing you all continuing in the same vein, at both Club and School level, in the New Year.
Overall positions (* indicates those finishing in all 4 races)
Under 11 Girls
1st Rebecca Flaherty*
20th Grace Ross*
45th Lilly Smith
Under 11 Boys
33rd Matthew Peace*
35th Alistair Trusselle*
37th William Askew
Under 13 Girls
12th Grace Dawson
Under 13 Boys
2nd Alex Flaherty*
22nd Ben Rees*
24th Jake Wallace
28th Samuel Mantle*
35th Dylan Thornton
39th Harry Miller
Under 15 Girls
6th Emily Field*
12th Ruby Firth*
Under 17 Women
9th Vicki Merrick*
12th Eliza Findlay
16th Izzy Harris*
18th Katie Smith*
Under 17 Men
3rd Reuben Mantle*
5th Matthew Merrick
11th James Askew
16th Josh Spencer*
U11 Girls 6th=
U11 Boys 8th
U13 Boys 3rd
U17 Women 3rd
U17 Men 2nd