SYAL Cross Country , Newport Adams Grammar School , 18th September
Despite travelling to the winter Cross County season opener with a much depleted squad, the SAC athletes nevertheless produced some fine performances across the whole fixture.
William Davies made a sensational debut for the U11’s never being away from the lead group and running out eventual winner as he kicked away from his rivals. Fergus Stevens continued on from last year in fine form in 5th place & Archie Hale another athlete demonstrating a ferocious kick to steal 3 places in the run for 8th meant all our athletes were well inside the top 10, a great result.
Only Freddie Turner made the start line in club colours for U13 race, as the majority of last seasons team moved up to u15 level. A fast paced race split the field early on, and Freddie managed to tag onto a good sized group to keep involved, ending up with a 16th place finish.
Two of those athletes to move up an age group took to the start line in the U15’s event. With both Ross Kirby and Stuart Turner having come of good track seasons, they both equitted themselves well over 4000m. This was another faced pace race, with Ross and Stuart positioning in the second group and making their moves in the latter stages of lap one. Ross split this group and ran clear to finish 9th, with Stuart competing strongly to earn a good 13th place.
Ryan Cullen was the sole club athlete to run in the U17s over 5000m, again moving up an age group. A strong 5th place was good reward for Ryans effort.
Sasha Gardner’s 9th place in the U15 was another impressive performance for her first outing in club colours. Sasha ran an even paced race throughout to maintain her position earned in a good opening lap.
The final race of the day saw Katharine Smith run to a great 2nd place cheered on by her team-mates who had stayed on to support their team mate. The U13 category was strongly competitive last year, and this season looks no different. Establishing herself in a strong lead group Katharine ensured that she kept tabs on the leader while keeping the chasing athletes at bay.
A show of depth in the squad was demonstrated at this fixture, and with a number of very strong athletes available for the remaining fixtures theres hope that the club can build on the great work achieved by this weeks performances.