Summer 2016

Well, thwe first run never happened, apparently as an Under 17 you can run 5000m races, but you can’t run 5000m races if they include anyone older than yourself. The 1500 doesn’t have this rule but was already full from an AFD perspective, so no run for Robbie.

So last night April 20th presented Robbie with his first track event of the season, a 3000m open at Watford Harriers home stadium and a late night was to follow, we got home about 11:45pm.

The race itself though went very well, three heats were created with runner in heat 1 aiming for times sub 8:40, heat 2 between 8:40 and 9:40 and heat 3 for runners expecting to be slower than 9:40. A few AFD team mates were there on the day, some running 800 and some running the 3k along with familiar age group runners such as Sam Crick. From the start Robbie was keen to keep with the leading runners, although 8:40 would be too fast for him, the pace wasn’t quite that hot anyway, and the first 200 (Robbie’s target 35 seconds) was hit in 36 seconds from there the 1 second out approach seemed to manifest itself in most laps the next 400 being run in 72 seconds (Robbie’s target 71 second laps) followed by 72,71,71 and just as things were getting on track a couple of laps saw Robbie forced a little wide on the bends and came in at 73 and 73 which still put Robbie on target for his PB (just) but would not put him sub 9 mins nor would it get the English Schools Qualifying time of 8:59:00. Robbie stepped up the pace as the bell rang running the last lap in 68 seconds with all the little bits added on the total time came in at 8:59:02 so a good 6 second PB but 200th of a second of the English Schools Qualifying standard. All said though a great, if cold night, extended by some naming problems on the score cards, but we are sure they will get sorted soon enough.

Watford Open - April 20th 3000m

Watford Open – April 20th 3000m

English Schools – National Cross Country Championships – Part 2

Cross Country can be a fickle affair, so many elements need to align on the day for things to work out. With a pretty much guaranteed top 15, and a good chance at top 8 and England selection, Robbie warmed up with confidence practically steaming out of his ears. Unfortunately that confidence was smashed away very quickly. The fairly flat course, with long straights, lent for a quick and aggressive running style, by the first corner Robbie is well back in about 35th place. His only thought as the pack starts to break up is “I need to be nearer the front”, and with that in mind he kicks only to find there was simply nothing in the legs to kick with, no strength, no power, no energy. The confidence smashed, the race already lost and all he can do is hang in and hope for the best. A final placing of  41st was testament to desire, but a highlighter that everything needs to be aligned. A very disappointing result, and a very disappointed runner as Robbie’s hopes of representing England Schools in Cross Country are ended for good.

Well done to the eight boys that did get those England vests, especially Lachlan Wellington (Hampshire), Josh Cowperthawaite (Cleveland) and Zac Mahamed (Hampshire) all three being bottom year runners, a stunning performance. ESAA XC Champion 2016 is Matt Willis with an amazing run, finishing the course in 17:58.

As for Robbie, the day was not completely lost, his 41st place helped Hampshire to a team gold and trophy position winning the Team Intermediate Boys event by a mere 5 points, so had Robbie given up, Hampshire wouldn’t have won. A celebration then for shear determination in the face of adversity.

Well done Hampshire.

Team Hampshire - Inter Boys Champions 2016

Team Hampshire – Inter Boys Champions 2016

English Schools – National Cross Country Championships

Robbie is heading off to catch the Hampshire Team coach tomorrow, taking the journey to Nottingham to run in the ESAA National Championships. Hampshire have a great Inter Boys team this year, and we are all looking forward to the event. Anna and I will be heading up to Nottingham ourselves tomorrow, spending the night in the Crowne Plaza (the old Royal Hotel) and taking the chance to wander the streets of Nottingham remembering our misspent years of drinking and partying on those very streets. The pubs have changed, but some old haunts are still there and you can guarantee we will visit Yates Wine Lodge, even if the visit is only brief. Saturday will see a vast number of young men and women, boys and girls, descend on Wollaton Park for the actual races, wishing everyone racing the best of look and particularly hoping Robbie can pull one out of the bag and make the top 8. Good luck everyone, hope you run well, do the best you can and enjoy the experience

English National XC Championships

Busy weekend for all, slow but steady trip up to Loughborough on the Friday night, an excellent choice in team hotel led to a few bevvies being consumed by the spectators whilst watching Rugby in the bar. A good nights sleep, a full English breakfast and a quick trip across the M1 to a very well organised Castle Donnington site. The U17 men’s course comprising of two 3k laps, some long and steep hills, a very long and wide starting straight, which triggered a few concerns about disproportionate distances to the first bend, and to add to the interest a few hundred meters of course running over turnips, which generated a delightful (not) smell. Robbie’s personal target for the day was to finish top 50, with a top target of top 40, personally I thought this was a little conservative, and still believe that he should have been targeting minimum top 40 with a top end aim of top 30. On the day the AFD team started way right in the pen layout, and immediately started voicing concerns, the right hand side pens seamed to have a longer distance to the first bend, and also started with a slight uphill requirement, where as most of the other pens were dead flat straight to bend 1, this may explain why some of the fastest runners in the field hit the first bend right back in the 50/60 positions, with Jack and Robbie coming round first for AFD in the early 60’s. A steady race ensued with Jack pushing through the numbers quickly to sit just of the leading 20 runners waiting for a chance to pick them off. Robbie on Mick’s advice took a steadier approach to ticking off the numbers, picking off runners on the uphill elements through out the race it looked like he may well break in to the top 30, right up until he started to cramp up, with about 1500m to go Robbie developed a severe stitch which lost him a good 7 ot 8 places as his breathing became harder and his speed dropped. Not willing to give up Robbie through everything he had left in to the finishing straight, managing to pick a few places back and fight off Dominic Willmore of Poole Runners, James Heneghan of Winchester and Oscar Subuh-Symonds of Dorking in a last 10m pitch battle. Robbie taking the line in 21:09, the other three in 21:10 so a very close finish. AFD’s third runner across the line was Ollie Percival who had a great run finishing in 48th place but only 5 seconds behind Robbie, a very close race with a lot of runners lends to large numbers with small gaps.

Robbie in the Mad Downhill Dash at Donnington Park

Robbie in the Mad Downhill Dash at Donnington Park

Well done to AFD on the day, especially the Individual and Team medalist;

Under 13 Boys – Team Gold
Under 15 Boys – Team Bronze
Under 17 Women – Team Gold
– Niamh Brown – Ind. Gold
– Lucy Pygott – Ind. Bronze
Junior Men – Team Gold
– Ellis Cross – Ind. Gold
– Gus Cockle – Ind. Silver
Junior Women – Team Silver
Senior Men
– Johnny Hay – Ind. Gold
Senior Women – Team Gold
– Lilly Partridge – Ind. Gold

Dibden Inclosure – Hampshire League 5 of 5

The Hampshire League is a particularly strong age group league, run by Hampshire Athletics Association it attracts clubs and runners from Dorset, Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Isle of Wight and even the Channel Islands. The spread of clubs and runners provides all participants with an exceptional level of competition. This was Robbie’s 5th season racing in the Hampshire League where he has collected, through the help of some great team mates, a team medal in every season. 2011/12 saw AFD U13 Boys take Gold, 12/13 Silver a season dominated by Reading’s Matt Rawlings, 13/14 saw the Under 15 boys take Silver with Jack Boswell and Jake Cvetkovic providing most of the AFD winning points but being out-manned by a Reading trio of Chey Kemp, Matt Rawlings and Peter Cook, 14/15 and AFD claim another team Gold, but still no top 3 individual finish for Robbie 14/15 was supposed to be Robbie’s year, but bottom age group runners Zak Mahamed and Lachlan Wellington burst on to the scene and Robbie was plagued with injuries throughout the year.

So after 4 seasons, Robbie’s best race finish being 3rd and best league finish being 5th a bottom year U17’s season was expected to provide another team medal, and the season started really well with a 5th place in his first race (behind AFD’s Jake Cvetkovic in 1st and Jack Boswell in 3rd), but that first race was to be Jake’s last and with his loss a fierce battle for Team Gold would be contested between AFD and Reading with AFD’s Ollie Percival taking on the mantle of 3rd AFD runner and racking up some great races to keep AFD in with a chance. After two races AFD and Reading are equal on 3 points each, after 3 races AFD edge in to 1st place with 4 versus Reading’s 5 and going in to the last race AFD are 2 points clear meaning that Reading need to not only beat us, but beat us in the team rankings by 2 places, victory in the team event is all but assured.

This is Robbie’s second visit to Dibden Inclosure, the course containing some long straights, some very wet and muddy areas, some gravel like paths and a nice hard hill all lending a little something to a real cross country course, a course that saw many a runner splash down in to the mud and indeed saw Robbie take his 2nd ever race fall, his first being at Dibden Inclosure too. Despite the fall, the hard conditions this turned out to be Robbie’s best ever Hampshire League Individual finish, though to be honest the field of runners was obviously missing some of the medal contenders on the day. Robbie’s hard run race saw him cross the line in 2nd place approximately 31 seconds behind AFD team mate Jack Boswell giving Robbie his 1st ever 2nd place finish, and ultimately his first ever league top 3 finish, actually finishing the season in 2nd place and winning his first HL individual silver medal, along with his AFD team Gold medal.

AFD won the team Gold, the Individual medal winners are listed below.
1 – Jack Boswell – AFD – 5 points
2 – Robbie Coupland – AFD – 17 points
3 – James Beeks – Basingstoke – 24 points

The Leading Pack - Top of Hill 1

The Leading Pack – Top of Hill 1

It was another great season for AFD winning medals in many of the age groups including; (Note: In the lower age grousp a bronze medal is presented to 3,4,5 and 6th placed Individual runners)
U13 Girls – Team Gold, Individual Silver for Charlie Parsons and a 4th place Bronze for Alice Garner
U15 Girls – No team medal but Individual 3rd place Bronze for Abi White
U17 Women – Team Silver, no individual medals.
Senior Women – Team Gold, Individual Gold for Lucy Pygott and Individual Bronze for Katie Bingle
Although the Senior women and Junior Women is a combined age group, HAA still post the Junior Women individual places seperately so…
Junior Women – Team Gold, Individual Gold for Lucy Pygott, Individual Silver for Tilly Horton and Individual Bronze for Stacey Burrows

The Boys/Mens results aren’t in yet so the below is a bit of guess work on my part but…
U13 Boys – Team Gold, Individual Gold for Ryan Martin, Individual Silver for Sam Bodoano
U15 Boys – Team Gold, Individual Gold for Max Heyden, Individual 4th place Bronze for Marcus Shantry
U17 Men – Team Gold, Individual Gold for Jack Boswell, Individual Silver for Robbie Coupland
Senior Men – Division 1 – 2nd Place, Individual Silver for Matt Arnold
Junior Men – No team results posted, Individual Gold for Matt Arnold

South of England Schools Inter-County XC Championships

Despite the entire UK being smashed by rain storms, a little spot in East Sussex missed the rain and stayed dry throughout the day, despite the dry skies the footing was very muddy in places making for tough going on all the runners. It was a great day out for the Hampshire Schools teams, and a great day for AFD runners with representatives in three of the County teams, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire. Individual club membership is a little difficult to decipher due to numerous misspelt names in the results, leading to the club alignment on Pof10 being missing for a number of runners. So apologies to any AFD runners I don’t mention below.

On the day Hampshire came away with 3 Individual Gold medals, 3 Individual Silver medals, 2 Team Golds and 2 Team Silvers.

Hampshire Schools

Junior Girls 2nd Place – Equal points with Sussex, but Sussex taking the Gold based on the last man(girl) in rule, Sussex last scoring runner placed 27th, Hampshire’s placed 28th. Very Close.
Hampshire Scorers
5 – Saffron Moore
7 – Nicole Ainsworth
11 – Isabel Richardson
17 – Phoebe Moriarty-Palios
18 – Ellie Farrow
28 – Charlotte Parsons
AFD representation from Abi White (Surrey), Charlotte Parsons (Hants), Alice Garner (Hants) and Ellie Monday (Surrey)

Junior Boys 4th Place – The Junior Boys race was dominated by Surrey with 5 runners in the top 6, congratulations to AFD’s Luke Van Oudtshoorn (Surrey) for his 2nd place finish.
Hampshire Scorers
9 – Toby Hale
22 – Henry Mcluckie
24 – Oli Bulpett
26 – Ben Pattison
34 – Theo Doran
37 – Samual Charig
AFD representation from Luke Van Oudtshoorn (Surrey), Theo Doran (Hants), Oliver Harris (Hants)

Intermediate Girls 1st Place – An outstanding performance from Josie Czura provided the first Hampshire Individual Gold of the day, closely followed by the first Individual Silver picked up by AFD’s Lucy Pygott both aiding Hampshire to their first Team Gold of the day.
Hampshire Scorers
1 – Jose Czura 2 – Lucy Pygott 6 – Maddie Deadman 8 – Stacey Burrows 12 – Maisie Grice 13 – Poppy Clements AFD representation from Lucy Pygott (Hants), Stacey Burrows (Hants), Maisie Grice (Hants), Eugenie Cockle (Surrey), Lizzie Squibbs (Hants), Amy Ratcliffe (Surrey), Katriona Brown (Surrey), Katie Standen (Hants)

Intermediate Boys 2nd Place – Like the Junior Girls, the Inter Boys were held off Gold based on the last man in rule, finishing on equal points with Berkshire, but with our last man coming in in 17th, and Berkshire’s coming in in 13th topped the Gold Berkshire’s way. So despite a very impressive run from Lachlan Wellington to win Hampshire’s 2nd Individual Gold, and Zac Mahamed picking up Hampshire’s 2nd Silver and Robbie coming in in 5th place, it still wasn’t quite enough to secure that elusive Team Gold.
Hampshire Scorers
1 – Lachlan Wellington
2 – Zac Mahamed
5 – Robbie Coupland
10 – Jacob O’Hara
12 – Sean Pocknee
17 – Keir Sullivan
AFD representation from Robbie Coupland (Hants), Sean Pocknee (Hants), Ollie Percival (Surrey), Joseph Jakubait (Surrey), Billy Smith (Hants), Will Brockman (Berks), James Hier (Hants)

Senior Girls 2nd Place, another win for Team Berkshire, but neither 1st place Berks nor 2nd place Hants won any individual medals in this race, the top three coming from Kent, Sussex and Essex in that order with a particularly impressive win by Sabrina Sinha crossing the line some 24 seconds before 2nd place Martha Coyle.
Hampshire Scorers
5 – Hannah Froud
8 – Charlotte Dannatt
11 – Anna Sharp
12 – Holly Collier
19 – Lucy Wildash
20 – Evie Grice
AFD representation from Evie Grice (Hants), Lianne Lafreniere (Surrey), Rebekah Pantony (Hants), Tula Hart (Surrey)

Senior Boys 1st Place – Like the Intermediate Girls, the Senior Boys brought home Individual Gold and Silver medals as well as picking up the 2nd Team Gold of the day, an impressive run from Jack Boswell saw him crossing the line some 23 seconds in front of Hampshire and AFD team mate Nathan Gibson who crossed the line some 7 seconds before Essex took the bronze.
Hampshire Scorers
1 – Jack Boswell
2 – Nathan Gibson
5 – Sam Costley
11 – Bonnor Sullivan
15 – Connor Lopez
17 – James Beeks
AFD representation from Jack Boswell (Hants), Nathan Gibson (Hants), Bryn Smith (Hants)

Robbie had a strong race and is starting to look like his old self again, fitness is definitely coming back, not quite 100% yet, but certainly getting there. Heavy conditions left many runners feeling the pain and looking almost done in on the long finishing straight, an early burst from Surrey runner Oscar Subuh-Symons saw him close the gap on Robbie, but that old Robbie shone at this point, as he too kicked and not only held Oscar off but stretched the gap to 8 seconds before crossing the line, at the same time closing the 16 second gap between himself and Sam Rodda (Berks) to only 8 seconds. An excellent finish, a sign of things to come, hopefully a few more weeks training will provide the foundation for a top 8 finish and England selection at the National Schools in Nottingham.

The Muddy Way

The Muddy Way

South of England Cross Country Championships 2016

With quite a deluge on Friday night, it was no surprise that Parliament Hill was once again very muddy under foot, creating a technically difficult and physically demanding course for all runners. AFD had another great showing on the day providing the winning team for 5 of the 10 races, coming 2nd in another and just missing out on a bronze in the U17 Men’s race. Well done to everyone who competed, especially all those Individual runners who medalled on the day. AFD Individual Medal Winners

U17 Women
Niamh Brown – Gold – 19:59
Lucy Pygott – Silver – 20:08

U17 Men
Jack Boswell – Bronze – 20:29

U20 Men
Jack Rowe – Bronze – 26:35

Senior Women
Georgie Bruinvels – Bronze – 30:58

Senior Men
Johnny Hay – Gold – 49:08

Robbie had a strong run in the U17’s a slightly disappointing 24th place finish, but still beating off some of his biggest rivals so not a bad result on the day. Given that the SEAA XC Championships is another deciding factor in team selection for the inter-counties it was important to place higher up the Hampshire scale than he did in the County Championships, so his 4th place Hampshire finish was a great result. There were a lot of other great performances on the day, both from AFD runners and from some great runners from other clubs, but a long day, and lots and lots of runners (1026 in the senior mens race alone) just adds up to too many to report on, so this one is a brief one. Well done everyone who ran, it is truly a great experience.

Battle For The Hill - U17 Men

Battle For The Hill – U17 Men

Hampshire Schools XC Championships 2016

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.

Hampshire Schools - Top Loop (Early Days)

Hampshire Schools – Top Loop (Early Days)

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;
Girls
Junior Girls – 2nd Place
Inter Girls – 1st Place
Senior Gilrs – 2nd Place
Boys
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.

Reading – Hampshire League 4 of 5

The sun was shining over cold and frosty fields as we headed to Prospect Park in Reading for the 4th Hampshire League race of the season, but by the time we arrived the frost was well and truly melting, lending to a very slippy and in places sticky course.

Another great day for Aldershot, clocking up numerous individual positions and pushing the team league positions further up the tables, or simply cementing their current top spots.

Up the Hill - 1st Time

Up the Hill – 1st Time

Results
Under 13 Boys
Individual (Top 3 AFD Runners)

1 – Sam Bodoana – 10:39
6 – Edwad Henderson – 10:57
8 – Alfie Spear – 11:03
Team (Provisional)
HL4 = 1st
Overall = 1st

Under 15 Boys (Top 3 AFD Runners)
Congratulations to Lachlan Wellington from Portsmouth on a stunning run, winning by 26 seconds (12:44). Now if my maths is correct, in the team event AFD and Reading drew 1st place, but as AFD’s final runner was higher than Reading’s I believe we get 1st, which means Reading get 2nd and Portsmouth get 3rd. A great result for AFD as it means that AFD slip to the top of the aggregate league table.
2 – Max Heyden – 13:10
6 – Marcus Shantry – 13:45
7 – Eoin Canning – 13:57
Team (Provisional)
HL4 = 1st
Overall = 1st

Under 17 Men
Individual (Top 10)

A great race for the Under 17’s with a leading group of 5/6 hanging together for the first 3k, the double up on the primary hill taking it’s toll on a number of runners and seeing AFD’s jack Boswell hit the flat in front, a good and strong run from Reading’s Micheal Lennon had him chasing Jack out on to the field, closely followed by Reading’s Chey Kemp, Basingstoke’s James Beeks and AFD’s Robbie Coupland. Other strong performances from James Heneghan (Winchester), Ollie Percival (AFD), Luke Powell (Southampton), Connor Lopez (New Forest Runners) and Dominic Willmore (Poole Runners) completed the top ten. A strong finish from James Beeks and a trunk full of determination from Robbie Coupland saw an excellent battle for 3rd place, with James using his strong and long legs to pull out a 3 second gap over the last 250m, but without Robbie’s determination to hang in, it could have been much more. As mentioned very muddy underfoot, with a couple of hard hills make the Prospect Park course a hard course to run so congratulations to everybody who completed their races on the day, irrelevant of position. Well Done.
1 – Jack Boswell – AFD – 17:26
2 – Micheal Lennon – Reading – 17:54
3 – James Beeks – Basingstoke – 18:00
4 – Robbie Coupland – AFD – 18:03
5 – Chey Kemp – Reading – 18:16
6 – James Heneghan – Winchester – 18:17
7 – Ollie Percival – AFD – 18:26
8 – Luke Powell – Southampton – 18:31
9 – Connor Lopes – New Forest Runners – 18:37
10 – Dominic Willmore – Poole Runners – 18:38
Team (Provisional)
HL4 = 1st
Overall = 1st

Under 13 Girls
Individual (Top 3 AFD Runners)

2 – Charlie Parsons – 11:17
6 – Alice Garner – 11:50
8 – Emily Squibbs – 11:56
Team
HL4 = 2nd
Overall = 1st

Under 15 Girls
Individual (Top 3 AFD Runners)

1 – Niamh Reid-Smith – 12:33
3 – Abi White – 12:36
23 – Ellie Monday – 13:43
Team
HL4 = 2nd
Overall = N/A

Under 17 Women
Individual (All 4 AFD Runners)

AFD only have a very small contingency in the U17 Womens race, with many off our runners choosing to step up in to the senior race. Still we had a complete team on the day, plus a spare fielding 4 runners in this race.
8 – Evie Higton – 16:27
16 – Sammy Bonny – 17:44
17 – Tula Hart – 18:15
18 – Maddie Sturgess – 18:20

Team
HL4 = 3rd
Overall = 2nd

Under Senior Women
Individual (Top 3 AFD Runners)

Great performances throughout the field, with a number of AFD U17’s women stepping up an age category and shining in the competition. Well don to all the Women who ran in this race, a busy start line of 117 runners on the day and a great win for AFD by Lucy Pygott.
1 – Lucy Pygott (U17) – 19:39
2 – Katie Bingle (U23) – 19:47
6 – Stacey Burrows (U17) – 20:32
Team
HL4 = 1st
Overall = 1st

Hampshire XC Championships 2016

A good day in most for AFD, but very wet and muddy conditions to run in. Not such a great day for Robbie though, after 4 weeks of enforced rest a great performance wasn’t expected with the only true aim trying to finish top 8 in order to qualify for selection in the Hampshire Team. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be with Robbie running well, but obviously suffering from the lack of training, finally crossing the line in 9th place, just outside those important qualifying places. Still he is first reserve, and now back training so lets hope a chance occurs.

AFD didn’t really make much of a dint at U11 with a single representative in the boys, and nobody in the girls, but step up an age group and things start to change, with Harry Hyde winning the U13 boys race and AFD winning the team event by a massive 40 points, the U13 girls received an individual bronze for Charlie Parsons and despite Portsmouth coming 1st and 2nd AFD pipped a team gold based on the fourth runner position rule. Unfortunately AFD’s very strong U15 girls team are predominantly Surrey runners and AFD failed to enter even a single runner in that particualar race, the U15 boys missed out on any individual medals but did grab the team bronze, with our highest placed runner (Billy Smith) finishing in 6th place.

And so on to the U17’s – AFD did well in the boys, but only fielded 3 runners so no team medal, that said no teams fielded any more than 3 runners and no team medals were handed out on the day, a shame I think.

Packed tight almost at the halfway point.

Packed tight almost at the halfway point.

With no team results posted I have created a team result chart based on the following concept.
(Team Actual Score) plus (Team Forfeit) = Team Result
Where Team Forfeit = 27 (there were 26 runners) multiplied by the number of missing runners.
Which Leaves the Team Table Top 3 as…
1 – AFD – 53
2 – Guernsey – 54
3 – Southampton – 62

Individual Results
1 – Jack Boswell – AFD – 20:08
2 – Sam Maher – Jersey – 20:34
3 – James Beeks – Basingstoke – 20:44
4 – Ed Mason – Guernsey – 20:47
5 – Connor Lopez – New Forest Runners – 20:55
6 – Luke Powell – Southampton – 21:00
7 – Sam Costley – Southampton – 21:02
8 – James Heneghan – Winchester – 21:05
9 – Robbie Coupland – AFD – 21:17
10 – Kier Sullivan – Winchester – 21:41

With AFD’s 3rd runner, Sean Pocknee coming in 16th.

To quickly conclude the round up from an AFD perspective, U17 women won individual silver (Lucy Pygott) and bronze (Stacey Burrows) and team gold, U20 men won Individual bronze (Bryn Smith) – no team medals issued, U20 Women won Individual Gold (Daisy D’Santos) and Team Gold the Senior men saw Matt Arnold place highest from AFD in 5th place but no team medal, and finally the Senior Women received an Individual Gold through Louise Small but again no team medal.

Well done to everyone who competed on the day, it was a very heavy course, just walking the medium loop once wore me out.