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Champions Exeter losing grip on their team title - 6/12/13
THE senior men’s team event in the Brooks Westward Cross Country League is really hotting up after reaching the halfway stage.
Cornwall AC won the opening two matches at Redruth and Newquay but north Devon outfit Bideford hit back at Exeter last weekend to win, although only by 15 points.
That means Cornwall AC’s lead at the top has been cut to 28 points with three fixtures to go at Westward Ho! Bovey Tracy and Plymouth. Reigning champions Exeter Harriers are back in fifth 372 points off the top spot which means, barring a miracle, they will be relinquishing their crown in 2014.
Individually in-form Tony Brewer of Mile High Running Club leads the way at the halfway stage on 895 points with Bideford’s Mark Jenkin second (886) and his clubmate Shaun Antell third (885).
In the women’s event the City of Plymouth and defending champions Cornwall AC continued their fierce battle with the Devon club claiming victory at Exeter to stretch their overall lead to 34 points.
Teenager Emily Ackford is the surprise overall leader with 291 points from her 15-year-old City of Plymouth clubmate Victoria Weir second (280) and Torrington’s Hannah Blair third (279).
Senior men: 1 Cornwall AC 4,350; 2 Bideford AC 4,322; 3 Exmouth Harriers 4,184. Senior women:1 City of Plymouth AC833; 2 Cornwall AC 799; 3 Newquay & Par AC 764.
Emily is beginning to make her mark - 6/12/13
IN her first season as an under 17 athlete Emily Ackford is certainly making a big impression.
The City of Plymouth AC runner, who doesn’t turn 16 until next March, is currently leading the Brooks Westward League having finished second, sixth and fourth in the opening three fixtures.
Those impressive runs come after a successful summer in which Ackford, who is coached by Simon Anderson, improved her personal bests in both the 1500m and 3000m, finishing eighth in the latter at the English Schools’ Championships.
While still bottom of the U17 age group it will be interesting to see how she fares at the major championships which start with the South West early in the new year.
2014 Somerset Series dates are revealed - 6/12/13
THE races for the 2014 Somerset Series, which in its 19th year will be sponsored by M5 Glass, have been confirmed with some notable changes to the previous schedule.
There is no Easter Bunny 10k for 2014 but new to the series is the Ninesprings 9k. The Tin Tin Ten and Ash Excellent Eight changes will also alter the series order while the organisers have also agreed to include both the Stagger & Stumble from Minehead. Of course an athlete can only run in one of the races but they will carry equal weight.
There are a total of 16 races with eight to count for the series standings. For further details see the website at: www.somersetseries.co.uk.
Somerset Series diary:
1. Chard Flyer Wednesday 1st January 11.00am www.chardrunningclub.btck.co.uk
2. Hestercombe Humdinger Sunday 2nd February 10.30am www.thehestercombehumdinger.co.uk
3. Babcary 7.5m Road Race Sunday 23rd February 11.00am www.wellscityharriers.org.uk
4. Butleigh Multi-terrain Sunday 16th March 11.30am www.wellscityharriers.org.uk
5. Glastonbury Road race Sunday 4th May 11.00am www.GlastonburyRoadRun.info
6. Crewkerne 10k Race Sunday 1st June 10.00am www.crewkernerc.btck.co.uk
7. Tin Tin Ten 10k Wednesday 4th June 7.00pm www.chardrunningclub.btck.co.uk
8. NineSprings 9k Sunday 8th June 11am www.yeoviltownrrc.com
9. Quantock Beast race Sunday 6th July 11:00am www.quantockharriers.co.uk/beast.html
10. Haselbury Trail 10k Wednesday 6th August 7.15pm www.Haselburytrail.btck.co.uk
11. Battle of Sedgemoor Sunday 24th August 11.00am www.langportrunners.co.uk
12. Ash Excellent Eight Sunday 31st August 11.00am www.ashexcellenteight.com
13. Frome Mells Scenic MT Sunday 28th September 11.00am www.fromerunningclub.org.uk
14. Burnham Half Sunday 5th October 11.00am www.burnham-on-sea-harriers.com
15. Minehead Exmoor Stagger & Stumble Sunday 19th October 11.00am www.mineheadrunningclub.co.uk
16. Brent Knoll Sunday 30th November 11.30am www.burnham-on-sea-harriers.com
South West Indoor entries open - 6/12/13
ENTRIES are now being taken for the South West Indoor Championships in Cardiff next January.
Events for the U/13, U/15 and U/17 age groups will be held on Sunday 5 January with the senior and under 20 events split between Sunday January 12th and Sunday February 2nd.
The closing dates for entries are December 19th for the young athletes and January 2nd and January 16th for the two senior/U20 events.
Entries can be made online and further details are available at welshathletics.org.
Champion Birnie leads from th front - 6/12/13
FINN Birnie continued his excellent start to the season with a superb victory in the final of the English Schools’ Cup in Southend.
The 13-year-old Truro School pupil from Sticker not only showed his talent but also his championship temperament as he took control of the junior boys’ race on the second lap to lift his first national title by seven seconds.
“I was expecting to do quite well after Liverpool (Birnie finished fourth in the British Athletics Cross Challenge in Liverpool the previous week) but I was shocked to win,” said Birnie.
“I didn’t think I would win overall and I am so happy.”
The Truro School squad of Birnie, Harris Mier, Elliot Mier, Ben Norton, Fred Bareham and Alex McCartney finished fifth.
Champion Merson at the double - 1/12/13
IT proved to be a double triumph for Tom Merson in the Brooks Westward Cross Country League race held at the Exeter Arena today.
Merson not only won the race, but only after a great tussle with Plymouth-based Jonny Gilby but also lifted the Devon title as the county championships were incorporated into the fixture.
Gilby finished just seven seconds down with Andrew Chambers continuing his return to form 44 seconds back in third.
It wasn’t so clear cut in the women’s race with overall victory going to Exeter University student Steph McCall.But a she is a member of South London Harriers the county title went to runner-up Ami Yetton of Plymouth Harriers.
City of Plymouth teenager Emily Ackford had a great run to finish fourth overall and easily top athlete under 17.
Brooks Westward Cross Country League, Exeter Arena - Senior women: 1 Steph McCall (Ex Uni) 17:07; 2 Ami Yetton (Ply H) 17:23; 3 Victoria Budd (Ex Uni) 17:37; 4 Emly Ackford (CoPly, U17) 17:46; 5 Jo Meek (Tavi) 17:50.
Devon Champs: 1 Yetton; 2 Meek.
Senior men: 1 Tom Merson (B&W) 27:13; 2 Jonny Gilby (Derby) 27:20; 3 Andrew Chambers 28:04; 4 Tony Brewer (Mile H) 28:26; 5 Mark Jenkin (Bide) 28:29.
Devon: 1 Merson; 2 Gilby; 3 Chambers
Tickner named in GB team for Europans - 28/11/13
WEST international Frank Tickner has been name in the Great Britain senior men’s team for the European Cross Country Championship in Belgrade on Sunday December 8th.
Initially Tickner feared he would miss out after only finishing 12th at the trials in Liverpool last weekend but the current strong crop of under 23 runners who will contest their on race in Serbia meant that Tickner was the fourth senior to cross the line so easily made the squad.
No other west runner made the team although Gloucester AC’s 17-year-old Alex George was name second non-travelling reserve for the under 20 men’s squad.
Tom Farrell (Dave Smith) – Border/Oklahoma State Uni; Keith Gerrard (Art Acevedo) – Newham & Essex Beagles; Adam Hickey (Eamonn Martin) – Southend; Charlie Hulson (Paul Roden) – Sale Harriers Manchester; Frank Tickner (Clive Thomas) – Wells City Harriers; Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau) – Aldershot, Farnham & District.
Julia Bleasdale (self-coached) – Hillingdon; Katie Brough (Andrew Carter) – Vale Royal; Lauren Deadman (Bill Foster) – Havering Mayesbrook; Lauren Howarth (Pete Riley) – Leigh Harriers; Gemma Steel (John Nuttall) – Charnwood; Stephanie Twell (Woods) – Aldershot, Farnham & District.
Under 23 Men
Luke Caldwell (Robert Russell) – Dorking & Mole Valley/New Mexico Uni; Callum Hawkins (Robert Hawkins) – Kilbarchan; Jonathan Hay (Mick Woods) – Aldershot, Farnham & District; Richard Goodman – Shaftesbury Barnet; Jack Goodwin (Simon Goodwin) – Bedford & County; Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans) – Swansea.
Under 23 Women
Jessica Andrews (Woods) – Aldershot, Farnham & District; Rhona Auckland (Joyce Hogg) – Banchory Stonehaven; Kate Avery (Tony Simmons) – Shildon/Iona College; Lily Partridge (Woods) – Aldershot, Farnham & District; Charlotte Purdue (Woods) – Aldershot, Farnham & District; Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) – Jarrow & Hebburn.
Under 20 Men
Michael Callegari (Nadeem Shaikh) – Shaftesbury Barnet; Jack Crabtree (Norman Poole) – Aldershot, Farnham & District; Jonathan Davies (Rob McKim) – Reading AC; Zak Miller (Paul Shaw) – Trafford; Matthew Shirling (Adrian Webb) – Liverpool Harriers; Alex Short (Phil O’Dell) – Chelmsford.
Under 20 Women
Bobby Clay (Peter Mullervy) – Invicta East Kent; Jessica Gibbon (Rob McKim) – Reading AC; Emelia Gorecka (Woods) – Aldershot, Farnham & District; Amy Griffiths (Woods) – Aldershot, Farnham & District; Georgia Taylor-Brown (Roden) – Sale Harriers Manchester; Lydia Turner (Thomas Millmore) – Birtley.
Get there early for tonight's Weston Prom 5 - 28/11/13
THE organisers of the Weston Prom 5 tonight have posted a warning on their club website about slight changes to the format – due to late night Christmas shopping!
Tonight’s race coincides with the Weston Town Centre Christmas Light switch on and Firework Display, during which time a short section of the promenade will be closed.
Race HQ, the Junior 1 Mile Race at 6.45 pm and the time and start position of the main 5 mile race at 7.30pm will be unchanged. The finish line for the main 5 mile race however will be moved along the promenade to the Grand Pier and the course altered to facilitate this and to remain at 5 miles.
Full details will be given to runners at race HQ and the start line but everyone is warned Weston will be busier than normal so allow more time to get too the event.
“You will also be able to enjoy the firework display and may want to take advantage of the late night Christmas shopping!!” said a spokesman for Weston AC.
Mclean hits back with record-breaking victory - 28/11/13
OBVIOUSLY upset after learning he had missed entering the trials for the European Cross Country Championships (though as a genuine contender for the under 23 team one wonders why the organisers couldn’t have shown some flexibility) Charlie MacLean worked off his frustration with a record-breaking victory in the latest Pomphrey Sports 5k road race in Bristol last night.
Maclean scorched to victory in a time of 14mins 40secs to shave three seconds off his Bristol & West clubmate Richard Peters’ previous best.
“That is a tremendous achievement given how fast Rich was running at the time,” said race organiser Chris Elson.
It was a double first for the B&W with Jessie Sanzo finishing first woman and knocking another five seconds off her PB. The Westbury par of Emma D’Alton and Sophe Voller finished second and third respectively.
In the age groups Dave Bedwell recorded a notable fast time at just short of 60 to win the M55 category while Sarah Everitt was top W45.