The Harriers fielded well over 60- athletes at these prestigious road relay championships held on the traditional traffic-free circuit at the Rushmoor Parade ground, Aldershot, at the weekend (Sept 22nd/23rd). Whilst the only team to come away with a medal was the men’s V40 team, it’s fair to say that for the Club members competing, whether for the first time or the tenth time, the weekend was a great event to be part of.
First up in the Saturday morning were the u13 girls with the two teams of three consisting of five new to the event and one that had competed last year. Harriet Fox, being the most experienced, anchored the A team home to finish in 37th place out of the total of 60 complete teams, plus 12 incomplete teams. Elise Thorner ran the first leg in 9.29, with Connie Little in 10.03, and Harriet in 9.42. For the B team , finishing close behind in 45th place Victoria Prior ran 9.47 on first leg, with Jessica Cooksey 9.42 and Louise Rusca 10.45. That’s a good set of results over the 2.3km circuit. Four of this squad of 6 will be young enough to compete in this age group next year, with the other two stepping up.
Then came the u13 boys – three teams of four entered for the 2.99km circuit – but with one missing member due to a broken collarbone suffered by Bradley Seager on the Friday. With a little bit of last minute juggling of team members, the A team finished in 20th place; Luke Baker 11.36;Josh Thorne 11.41; Joe Heath 12.01; and Alex Williams 11.05. Both Alex and Josh improved by 30 seconds or more compared to last year. For The B team, finishing in 32nd place out of the 56 complete or incomplete teams, Dylan Dukes ran a very sound first leg in 11.49 with Will Pate 13.04; Luke McP 13.00; and Chris Ellis 11.54. the C team also ran well for 38th place with newcomers Archie Heath 13.36; James Forrester 13.32; and Ben Little 13.19. six of the 12 will be young enough to compete in this same age group next year.
In the u15 girls race over the 2.99km circuit, the A team finished in 22nd place out of 72 complete teams, with a further 13 incomplete teams. Charlotte Baker improved by almost 30 seconds on last year with her time of 11.25; with Lucy B. 11.57; and Annabel Arnold 12.34 the B team in 67th place saw great efforts by Amy Darcy. 12.43; Darcie Cook 13.49; and Megan Rusca 14.48; with latter two running here for the first time.
Then came the u15 boys team to finish the highest of all the junior teams with their excellent 8th place. Led off by Luke Prior with 9.56; then Oliver Dickinson with 10.43; Sam Sommerville with 9.51; and James Bridge with 11.17. All at least equalled their times of last year, with Luke’s improvement of 36 seconds being the best. For the B team, finishing in 37th place, James Williams ran 11.07, with Johnny Ellis 11.39; Louis Tichenor 12.23 and Jonathan Greenwood 12.14. For Louis and Johnny, both took almost a minute off last year’s times.
For the u17 women the team of three competed over the same 2.99km circuit, and finished 13th out of 27 complete teams, plus 12 incomplete teams. Liily Hawkins ran 11.37; then Rebecca Carver 11.57; and Emily Smith 11.14. Rebecca was the big improver over last year being almost 30 seconds quicker.
For the u17 men their 11th place was likewise well earnt with some good running by the team of four over the longer 3.85km course. Phillip Bridge ran 12.56, with Oliver Fox 12.16; then Charlie Martin 13.35; and Matthew Dickinson 12.10. Matthews time was 14th fastest of the day in this race. Charlie made a great effort despite being under the weather.
In the final race of the day, the Senior Women’s team was deprived of some team members due to injuries and so it was left to Sam Baker to run 17.15, with Lucy Heath a nippy 16.00 and Alice Knight home in 17.31.Well done all!
Report from the Sunday races & photos from Saturday races to follow