With the club event out of the way, time to compete for School glory. The U17’s field sporting a number of runners outside of Robbie’s club XC age group, as he is bottom year Senior Schools. So the top 3 U17 names from the club event are running in the age group below, meaning Robbie needs to step up to compete against the likes of Jack Boswell, James Heneghan and Sam Costley, though some familiar names are still in the field notably Sam Tyas, Lewis Reid and Keir Sullivan.
With the first 16 qualifying for the Southern Schools XC Challenge, and then the top 8 from the Southerns qualifying for English Schools XC Championship there is a need to succeed. Last year Hampshire only had 16 contestants in the Seniro Boys event, so the competition to compete was a little reduced, this year 24 line up on the start line, so no guaranteed places to be had.
Unfortunately event favorite, Jack Boswell who has been suffering with flu like symptoms all week did not finish the event, despite making a valiant effort and actually giving it a go. Well done for trying Jack, and good luck representing AFD in European Team Championships.
Robbie set a good solid pace from the start, but the long gentle down hill slopes so prevelant at Southampton simply don’t suit him and it soon became obvious that James Heneghan had the better downhill capability. It was a good race though, with Robbie closing gaps on the uphills, and james pulling away on the downhill, both pulled away from the chasing pack, with James making the most of the final downhill to lengthen his lead on Robbie.
The short course led to quick times and it was all over for the leaders in less than 14 minutes.
1: James Heneghan : Eastleigh and Winchester : 13.28
2: Robbie Coupland : Aldershot : 13:45
3: Sam Costley : Eastleigh and Winchester : 13:55
4: Sam Tyas : Eastleigh and Winchester : 13:58
5: Lewis Reid : Aldershot : 14:00
1: Eastleigh and Winchester
3: Isle of Wight