Great weather conditions in Southampton for the Hampshire Schools 2016 XC, this was Robbie’s 3rd visit to the Southampton course, and we were hoping for a better result than previous visits which both ended up with a disappointing result on the day. The Inter Boys race, is a year off-set from the standard U17 club races, meaning that Robbie was running as top year, not bottom year, with much of the competition expected to come from the bottom year, in the form of Zac Mahamed and Lachlan Wellington (who didn’t attend on the day) and Jacob O’Hara. On the day, the course was reduced in length from 5k to 3.8k which ultimately suited the younger year more than the older year adding even more weight to that bottom year pressure. The race was on from the start with Keir Sullivan (Eastleigh and Winchester) pushing the pace, closely followed by Robbie, in his distinctive orange and black Aldershot Schools vest, leading the chasing pack of Zac Mahamed (Southampton), Jacob Moore (Eastleigh and Winchester) ,Jacob O’Hara (South East Hants), Connor Dauven (Aldershot), Sean Pocknee (Aldershot) and Sam Coles (New Forest). By the time the boys had finished the climb to the top of the big loop and started on their first descent the field was spreading out, with Zac pulling away at the front, chased by Robbie with something of a gap building back to Jacob O’Hara in 3rd place. The uphill elements saw Robbie closing the gap between himself and Zac, but the long downhills suited Zac more and aided in re-building those gaps so there was an element of yo-yoing going on as far as the gap was concerned, but it didn’t ever effect their positions, though it would have been interesting to see the effect another km and a bit would have had on the younger runners.
Results (Top 10)
1 – Zac Mahamed – Southampton – 13:08
2 – Robbie Coupland – Aldershot – 13:13
3 – Keir Sullivan – Eastleigh and Winchester – 13:31
4 – Jacob O’Hara – South East Hampshire – 13:49
5 – Sean Pocknee – Aldershot – 13:58
6 – George Budden – Southampton – 14:12
7 – Sam Bramwell – Aldershot – 14:14
8 – Billy Smith – Aldershot – 14:15
9 – Jack Wergen – Southampton – 14:26
10 – Matt Prest – Eastleigh and Winchester – 14:29
In this event the first 6 runners over the line count toward the team event, in addition to the results above Aldershot’s first 6 included James Hier (12 – 14:33) and Connor Dauven (15 – 14:37) making a team points total of 49, beating 2nd place Eastleigh and Winchester by a staggering 42 points and making Aldershot District the County Champions once more.
On the day the team performances from Aldershot were quite fantastic;
Junior Girls – 2nd Place
Inter Girls – 1st Place
Senior Gilrs – 2nd Place
Junior Boys – 1st Place
Inter Boys – 1st Place
Senior Boys – N/A
Well done to everyone that ran on the day, a great competition, a wonderful experience and some great stories to take away.