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;
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.

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

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
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
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

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
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.

Hampshire Championships

Tomorrow (Saturday 9th) will see Robbie running in the Hampshire Championships, with no training for 4 weeks due to an IT band problem it will be interesting to see how he gets on. Still hoping to finish in the top 8 and get selected to represent Hampshire in the National Inter-County Championships on the 12th March.

Good Luck to Robbie and to everyone racing in their county championships this weekend.