The second meeting of the 2019 West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League brought dry and sunny conditions that were very much welcomed after the rain that graced the season opener at Hattton Country World in October.
The course at Warley Woods however, provided our athletes with challenges of its own, including some steep climbs and descents to contend with.
Charlotte and Sophie Perry were first up for Tamworth AC in the Under 17 Women’s race. Both did well for the club again, with Charlotte finishing the 4km course in 26th place with a time of 19:50. Sophie finished closely behind her sister in 31st with 20:09.
On to the Under 11 Boys and a very pleasing turnout of thirteen athletes on the start line for Tamworth in the 1.6km race. Jesse Bradley was first home for the green and whites, finishing in an impressive 5th place with a time of 6:52. Next was Thomas Beales in 34th with 7:35 followed closely by Adam Stokes in 45th with 7:44 and new club member Dominic Harper in 49th with 7:45. Noah Ballinger and Jack Dolan needed a video replay to separate them, both clocking 7:52 in 57th and 58th places respectively. Braeden Welsh-O’Neill was just a short way behind in 69th place with a time a 7:58. The remainder of the team followed in quick succession. William Newman crossed the line on 8:50, followed by Tommy Deeming on 8:52, Thomas Ladkin on 8:55, Daniel Windridge on 9:02 and Arthur Letendart on 9:04. Samuel Williams completed a strong performance for the Tamworth team, finishing with a time of 9:12.
Max Kent again valiantly carried the Tamworth flag on his own into the Under 17 Men’s race. Max put in another good run to finish the 4.8km course in 24th place with a time of 19:01.
Jessica Salt flew around the 1.6km Under 11 Girls race to take a well-deserved 7th Place with a time of 7:31. She was followed by Elizabeth Fleming in 26th place with 7:58 and Chloe Purkis in 45th with 8:17. Sofia Farmer was next with a time of 8:56 and Ella Moss crossed the line with 9:15. Robyn Lee finished off another good team performance with a time of 9:36.
The U15 Boys were next up with the pairing of Ben Edwards and James Stretton taking on the 3.2km race. In a reversal of the previous result in October, Ben was first back in 30th place with a time of 12:50. James kept the gap behind his teammate small, finishing in 35th place with a time of 13:02.
The Under 13 Girls team, missing Lottie McLaren with a calf injury, fielded a strong team of six to race the 2.5km distance. Kirsten McLaren crossed the line first for Tamworth in 24th place with a time of 11:38. She was followed closely by Phoebe O’Connor in 28th with 11:42 and Natasha Lee in 34th on 11:52. Chloe Sharman finished the race in 42nd place with a time of 12:06 with Annie Boonham 50th on 12:13. Daisy Smith finished off the best Tamworth team result of the day with a time of 12:46.
The Tamworth Under 13 Boys also showed strength in numbers with a team of eight on the start line. Toby Wooton and Luca Bradley led the way in impressive style, finishing the 2.5km race in 6th and 7th places with times of 9:54 and 9:56 respectively. Aedan Mason was next to cross the line in 47th place with a time of 11:20, followed by Oliver Goldsworthy in 70th with 11:49 and Ben Lamplugh in 76th with 11:59. Joseph Gorst came home on 12:19, then Jacob Williams on 13:05 and Ben Godber on 13:37.
The last race of the day was the Under 15 Girls with Libbie Price and Ellie Gauntlett taking on the 3.2km course. Libbie was first back in 47th place with a time of 15:17 followed by Ellie in 69th on 16:59.
After two meetings the results put Tamworth AC right in the middle of the overall standings in 10th place. The Under 13 girls have made the most impressive start to the season with the team currently sitting high in 4th place for the age group. It’s still early days, so there’s plenty of time for Tamworth to make up ground on the leaders.
Team Manager Ben Evans reflecting on his second meeting in charge said “We had a great turnout today with all forty of our young athletes, many new to cross-country, putting in great performances across the age groups. The hills on the course caught a few by surprise, but they all made it round. I’m so proud of each and every one of them!”
The next WMYACCL meeting will be at Perry Park on Sunday 9th December.