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Popham XC

Hampshire Cross Country League
Match 2 – Popham

In a change to the schedule, a wind swept stormy Popham became the venue for the second match in the Hampshire Cross Country League. With torrential overnight rain which continued most of the day the course, which had been modified to incorporate a stretch of woodland, would test the athletes resolve.

First up were the under 13 boys, lead home in 12:18 by Dylan George in 26th, improving 4 places on Farley Mount, whilst Paddy Turner who was tracking Dylan for most of the race only to be out classed in the latter part of the race was delighted with his position as he has just recovered from a broken arm, 34th in 12:27.

Next came the under 15 girls lead home in 30th place by a determined Sarah Brett in 17:01 with Ella Heathcote-Hobbins also close behind in 41st in 17:18 in her first cross country outing for the club in this age group. Both girls are resolute to improve on their performance at the next match.

The under 15 boys were next out, lead home by in form Jared Rolfe in 13th in 14:43, this was the second time he finished high up the field and is now hoping to get a call to run for his county. Hanging up his studs for spikes was Will England who had a good solid first run to finish 48th in 16:14 whilst completing the team in 60th was Freddie Heathcote-Hobbins in 17:57 pleased to finish ahead of a close school rival.

The sole competitor for the women’s team was Caroline Bennett who had a great race finishing 121st (48th vet) in 35:02, admitted she found the race very tiring however she achieved a very respectable time considering the courses deterioration.

The senior men’s team had a great turnout, lead home by the high flying Chris Dewey, proving he can run fast on road and water in 68th place and 13th vet with an impressive 39:59 over a 10km course. Close on his heels was Archie McKellar, finishing 89th overall and 18th under 20 in 41:14. Next in was Rob Cliffe, donning his spikes to help out the ailing vets team he had a storming race finishing 137th and 41st vet in 43:40. Cross country legend Mark Neil was next in to complete the vets team, with a fast finish over the last mile he overhauled many rivals crossing the line in 185th and 77th vet in 47:34. Finally, and very close on Marks heels, was James Coney more used to sprinting so had to battle with the conditions finishing proudly in 189th in 47:51. This great turnout keeps the vets team 2nd in division 2, whilst the senior mens team sit 5th in their division.

A big thanks to team manager Helen Dobson for braving the elements to cheer her team on and Nick Woodford for the great photographs, VIEW HERE