Hampshire Cross Country League

Match 1 – Farley Mount

Farley Mount, near Winchester, hosted the first cross country match of the season. The weather provided near perfect running conditions and the lack of mud a pleasant surprise.

First winner of the day was Helen Dobson, who received the Popplewell Trophy. Helen is the first female recipient of the trophy that was set up to acknowledge the work of coaches, parents, helpers and athletes from the affiliated clubs

As team manager, athletes don’t realise that back in the day Helen won 1500m titles for England and represented her country at cross country. She freely gives up her time for training and at racing events. The club are so very proud to have her involvement.

Andover AC started their campaign with two athletes in the under 13 boys category. With a 3km run to conquer it was Taylor Anstie who lead the Andover boys to finish 22nd with a time of 12:23. Close on his heels in 30th was cross country newcomer Dylan George with a fantastic 12:36.

Next up to face a 4km course were the Under 15 girls. First home for the blue and whites was Sarah Brett, unphased by competing in a new age category she held onto 25th place in 18:41. Close behind was Ella Heathcote-Hobbins but had to retire after the first lap, leaving Alicia Matthews to continue last years form to finish 62nd in 21:02. Rounding up the team was Amber Harvey, competing in her first cross country with a brilliant 69th place in 21:55. The U15 girl’s efforts place the team in a well deserved 11th place.

The under 15 boys saw Jared Rolfe run a strong 4km calculated race to finish in a brilliant 15th in16:04, whilst team mate Freddie Heathcote-Hobbins ran a superb 20:08 to finish 64th.

The senior women were disappointed with numbers, with only two competitors they couldn’t field a complete team for the 6km race. Undeterred Carrie Power ran true to her name with a 98th placing in 32:56, followed by a fine performance from Caroline Bennett,112th in 35:09 (40th VET 45).

The senior men also struggled with numbers and had to rely on a recuperating veteran and a competing pentathlete to bulk up their numbers for their 4 lap 10km race. Despite this they fared well, first home in 81st place was in form Chris Dewey with a sizzling 39:11 (and 16th veteran). Just turned 18, Archie Mckellar had to endure the 10km course for the first time, finishing next for Andover in 90th place with a respectable 39:59 and 17th under 20. Club legend Dougie Brisco was next in 99th place with a great 40:21 time. Dougie was wrapped up in a dual with a fellow over 60 athlete, but was pipped to the post by 4 seconds to take 2nd over 60. Steve Brett hobbled in 124th 41:42 (39th Vet) whilst warming up for his pentathlon the next day was Matt Dewey in 126th in 41:51.

The result puts the mens senior team in 4th place whilst the veterans sit 2nd both in division 2.