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
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