Hampshire Cross Country League – Round 5 Popham

8 February – at Popham Airfield, Basingstoke (Match 5)

The final round of the Hampshire League Cross Country series was at Popham Airfield near Basingstoke. Five Clubs were represented by IOW athletes – IWAC, Ryde Harriers, WTri, Portsmouth and Southampton. With final league positions to be decided for runners completing at least 4 of the 5 rounds there was some fast running on the open course – with ground conditions very good and the sun shining the U13 girls race was the first away. For the Isle of Wight Athletic Club (IWAC) Freya Taylor had a brilliant run – 12th in thIWAC-Team-Popham-2020[1]e race giving a league place of 24th. Abigail Fancourt came in 53rd, running in an older age group as there was no U11 event. U13 Boys were next, and IWAC had two runners again, with Archie Pearson maximising his winter training crossing the line 2nd (6th overall for the league) – Finn McMahon also had a good race for 25th.

For U15 Girls Robyn Fossa was up with her Southampton teammates throughout and a great sprint on the long finishing straight saw her win the race and get 2nd overall for the league. For IWAC Maisey Kent backed up recent top 10 results with a super 8th place, Naomi Holdsworth and Lily Barclay running strongly for 23rd and 24th and Charlotte Fancourt finishing well in 43rd. For Isle of Wight Triathlon (WTri) Lottie van der Helstrate came in 37th. Maisey, Naomi and Lily also completed the league competition with 11th, 19th and 25th respectively. IWAC had an JacobPatey[1]interesting race in the U15 boys event  – with brothers Jacob and Noah Patey very close in the league going into the race. Noah finished in 31st with Jacob 41st – just enough to give Noah 24th in the league to Jacobs 26th. Jackson Hill was 52nd for IWAC in the same race – with WTri having Gethin Hepworth (48th), Edward Johnson (50th) and Benjamin van der Helstrate (51st. Gethin and Benjamin were also 32nd and 36th in the league.

The U17 Girls race had a fast start and three runners including a top international clipped off the front with two Island girls close behind. MabelLewis-4th-U17G-Popham-1[1]Mabel Lewis (IWAC) held on to finish 4th and Charlotte Despard (Portsmouth) dug in for a super 8th place in her first XC race in some time. Milly Bacon was 12th giving her 13th overall in the league and IWAC teammate Mabel was 8th in the League. The U17 boys race was also 5km and Campbell Laird  ran out hard with just two other runners keeping pace. The strong winds took their toll on front-running and Campbell finished 5th (a very well deserved 3rd in the league) with Dylan Holdsworth (also IWAC) coming 16th for a good 17th overall league place.

For the senior races Ryde Harriers had all but one of the Island competitors, and in the Women’s race the order across the line was: Samantha Fancourt (36th vet), Katie Lewis (IWAC & 38th vet), Claire Campbell  (45th vet) and  Natalie Rose 113th overall. Three men took part in the final race of the day over close to 10km – all Ryde Harriers with Trevor McAllistair crossing the line in 127th, Nigel Eldridge next (65th vet) and  Ken Beak (93rd vet).

IWAC and Ryde Harriers would like to thank the coaches, team managers and Wightlink for help with travel.ArchiePearson-_2nd_U13B-Popham[1]