Aldershot District Schools Championships

Another odd day, at least as far as weather is concerned, from glorious sunshine, to black clouds, gale force winds, and even hail on the day adding to the fun. Robbie, running for Calthorpe Park chose to race in the 3000m and from very early on it was fairly obvious that he was going to walk away with the gold. By the 5th lap he had lapped 4 of the 8 competitors, and coming in to the finishing straight on his last lap was chasing down 4th and 3rd place, with 2nd place only half a lap away. A convincing win, but not unexpected in the GCSE exam timetable reduced field, Robbie finishing in 9:35 with second place crossing the line almost a minute later.

As a note: The 1500m race was won in 5:00, Robbie ran the first 1500m of his 3000m in about 4:30. Something that was noted by the selectors, who contacted Robbie and asked him if he would be willing to run the 1500m at the County Championships, because of his win at 3000m he had a confirmed place, but as a district we were struggling for 1500m runners. Robbie subsequently chose to run the 1500m at the Hampshire School Championships.

200m in to the 3000m, already forming a gap.

200m in to the 3000m, already forming a gap.

Aldershot District Inter School League – 1 – Basingstoke

First of the school summer track and field events saw Robbie up against fellow AFD runner Jack Boswell in the 1500m, despite both boys stating that they were going to take it easy, the race set off at a fair pace, hitting 300m in approx 49 seconds with Jack in front and Robbie just off his shoulder. The race continued to build as expected with Jack slowly pulling away from Robbie, and ultimately finishing approx. 15 seconds in front of Robbie, who in turn was probably 15 seconds in front of 3rd place.

Jack winning in 4:15 with Robbie coming in at about 4:29.


Robbie chasing Jack in to the line for the first time (300m point)

Robbie chasing Jack in to the line for the first time (300m point)

Hampshire Schools Inter-Boys Cross Country Championships

Despite 2 weeks of easy going and 4 sessions of Physio, Robbie’s ongoing Hamstring issue reared it’s ugly head once again at the County Schools Championships. With Robbie running in the bottom year it was always going to be a hard race for him, and the start saw two Southampton Runners set a fairly swift pace, the Aldershot boys, led by Jack Boswell, Jake Cvetkovic and Robbie, formed a group and sat back, letting the race ride out at their own pace, as the second lap kicked in Jack and Jake upped the pace, but Robbie’s hamstring simply would not let him push on, doggedly sticking in there and slowly watching other runners catch and over take him, slipping back from 5th, down to 8th, then 9th as Sean Pocknee, another Aldershot runner pushed past with 500m to go. 9th place is enough to make down selection for the Southern Inter County Schools, from which the 8 man team for the Nationals will be selected, that said though, it looks like Robbie will be out of action for a number of weeks, probably missing the Southerns, and ultimately missing that opportunity to race in the National Schools at the end of the season.

All in all a disappointing if brave performance, leading to a disappointing result and probably the end of his Cross Country season for this year. That said, Aldershot District Schools stormed the leader board with runners, with their first 4 runners placing 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th leading to a walk over win at the team level.

Jack, Jake and Robbie in Aldershot Tangerine, chasing Sam Costley and Luke Powell from Southampton.

Jack, Jake and Robbie in Aldershot Tangerine, chasing Southampton.

Unfortunately the times and official results haven’t been published yet, but I will update when I get them.

Aldershot and District Schools – XC Championships 2014

After a lot of rain, today’s sunny climate was a welcome change for any spectators, but the inches of mud on the floor were hard to wade through, and doubly hard to run through. A lot of familiar names on the start line today in somewhat unfamiliar colours, the first bend saw four AFD runners round first, Jake Cvetokovic running today for Courtmoor School, Jack Boswell for Frogmore, Robbie Coupland for Calthorpe and Sean Pocknee for Yateley. The finish line saw a very similar line up with only one minor change where Sean got pipped for fourth and ultimately finished in 5th place. Still with Aldershot Schools selecting the top 16 runners to compete in the Hampshire County Schools event, there will be a strong AFD presence in that camp.

1st – Jake Cvetkovic
2nd – Jack Boswell
3rd – Robbie Coupland

1st – Robert Mays
2nd – Courtmoor
3rd – Salesian College

Sorry no times ūüôĀ

Chasing Jack and Jake up the hill...

Chasing Jack and Jake up the hill…

Calthorpe Park Sports Day

Calthorpe run a number of heat events during normal PE lessons to select runners for the finals on Sports Day, the exception to this is the 1500m race, which is run as 2 heats, with the times taken and positions sorted based on time, not on a final. So before Sports Day, Robbie had already won the 1500m, and was down to race in the 800m final/ The Year 9 (Robbie) and Year 10 boys¬†races were merged in to one, obviously with the boys scoring within their own age group only. Robbie went out from the start to try and beat the School Sports Day Record for year 9 currently standing at 2’15”, and his time at the half way point looked very good, Robbie had a convincing lead and was looking very strong running the race from out in front, with Billy Kilcoyne (Y10) in second place but some distance back.

Robbie finished in a new record time of 2’13.89″ breaking the old record, that had stood since 1972.

Heading down the finishing straight for the first time.

Southern Schools Inter-County Championships

On a gloriously sunny day the Couplands, minus the daughter, headed down to Crawley to compete for / cheer on the Hampshire Schools team. Robbie was selected to run in the 1500m, and we were expecting to cheer him on, in what should be the toughest race of the year to date. As we have seen so often this year Robbie set the pace for the race, completing the first 300m in 48 seconds, continuing with lap times (400m) of 70 seconds. With about 700m to go Harry Boyd from Surrey took on the mantle and pushed forward, taking ¬†Zac Mahamed with him and dropping Robbie in to 3rd place with Jesse Magorrian¬†from Kent sitting on Robbie’s shoulder. The burst lasted for only a short period but it was enough to see Harry pulling away from Zac in second creating a gap of approximately 15m. Robbie kicked to try and close up on Harry, and Jesse went with him the pair pulling past Zac and putting Robbie back in to second place. The battle for first place was well and truly won, and with 300m to go Jesse surged past Robbie to take second, it looked a little bleak, would Robbie be pushed out of the medal places? As it happens, NO! Robbie kept Jesse well within his sights and at the 200m to go point kicked hard, closing the small gap between them and urging Jesse onwards. The final placings had Harry (Surrey) in 1st with 4’14” Jesse (Kent) 2nd with a PB time of 4’17” and Robbie (Hampshire) a very close 3rd with another PB of 4’18.5″. A great run by all the boys and a great day for Hampshire. Well done to all athletes who competed in very hot conditions and who showed the South that Hampshire has some bite.

Southern Schools Inter Counties

Robbie pushing the Pace with Harry Boyd keeping close.

Hampshire Schools County Championships

The Hampshire¬†Schools County¬†Championships doubles as the Hampshire Schools selection event for the Southern Schools Inter Counties and the National Schools Championship, which is the fourth biggest athletics event in the world, or so I’m told. With all that said, it was always going to be the most important event of the summer calendar, for now at least.

Although Robbie has already achieved the English Schools National qualifying time, it means nothing unless the county select him to race, he needs to win this Inter-District Championship, and in reality he needs to win it with a good time and a convincing performance. I am more than pleased to say he did both, running for Aldershot District (Orange Vest) he once again lead the pack from the start, by the half way point only Zac Mohamed was still with Robbie, and he took the opportunity to try to push past, Robbie however was having none of it, re-took the lead and pressed on. With 400m to go Robbie was pulling away, with 200m to go he kicked round the bend and by the finish line was a good 50m in front of all opposition.

A great run, leading to an excellent time of 4’18.9 a PB for Robbie improving on his English Schools qualifying time, and once more with all the work under his own belt. Great result another gold and another county champion title, this time for Hampshire Schools.

English Schools National Cross Country

The final race of the 2013/14 cross country season is the Schools National event, this year held at the famous Donnington Park near Castle Donnington, Derbyshire.

This is a big event for all involved, teams are selected by county schools athletics associations, each county taking a maximum of 8 runners. Robbie once again being selected to represent Hampshire Schools. The team bus set off for Derbyshire on Friday, the whole team, all age groups heading up to stay in a hotel overnight before the races on Saturday.

We arrived as spectators to a level of confusion as the organisers started to announce changes to the course, extending the Junior boys race from 3.5k to 4.3k. Of course the athletes had already completed their course walks so concern was quite evident, but in the end the changes weren’t massive and the events got under way.

Age Groups: Juniors Years 8 and 9, Intermediate Years 10 and 11, Senior Years 12 and 13 (6th Form)
12:30 Intermediate Girls (Hampshire 13th, Surrey 1st)
13:00 Junior Boys (Hampshire 1st, Surrey 11th)
13:30 Junior Girls (Hampshire 6th, Surrey 3rd)
14:00 Intermediate Boys (Hampshire 1st, Surrey 6th)
14:35 Senior Girls (Hampshire 5th, Surrey 2nd)
15:05 Senior Boys (Hampshire 4th, Surrey 2nd)

Boys aggregate (Hampshire 1st, Surrey 4th)
Girls aggregate (Hampshire 4th, Surrey 1st)

Robbie had a great race, running the first loop in 2nd place before slowly dropping back to 15th place where he sat as they entered the finishing straight a huge effort and burst saw him push past two boys, and drag a number along behind him for the ride, pipped on the line by Will Crisp to knock him back in to 14th position. Still an excellent result, and despite not making the cut for England, it is definitely in sight, with the knowledge that he has beat most of the selected runners at least once over the season. he can finish the year with pride and a lot to look forward to in the future. Now it’s time for track, bring on the 1500m and the 3k. More PB’s to follow.

Robbie holding on to 2nd Place at the end of first loop.

Sunshine and Blue Skies, definitely time to say goodbye to XC.

English Schools XC 2014 -Junior Boys Team Champions

Aldershot District Schools AA – District Selection Race

Today ADSAA held their annual selection race, the top 16 boys / girls in each section will be nominated to represent Aldershot in the Hampshire County Selection race.

The age categories are Junior (Years 8 & 9) and Intermediate (Years 10 & 11) meaning that Robbie is running as the upper age group in the Junior section. Although the event was a schools event, not a club event, there were obviously a lot of familiar AFD faces in the line ups, with AFD runners coming 1st and 2nd in the Junior girls, 1st and 2nd in the Junior boys, 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th in the Intermediate boys and I think 1st and 2nd in the Intermediate girls.

Robbie secured selection in to the District team finishing the race in first place, followed in to the finishing line by AFD team mate Billy Smith, with James Hier from AFD grabbing the last selection place in 16th position. Robbie’s Calthorpe School team mate Kye Buckley finished a very respectable 7th place securing selection in to the District team.

Robbie’s Race
Position: 1st
Time: 11:32
Distance: 3k

Salesian College showing an abundance of runners.

Robbie pulling away at the front.


Aldershot District Inter School XC (Match 3)

A bit of change today, no year 11’s, no private schools but we did have some additional state schools join the fun, including Connaught and Cove.

First race was the year 7 & 8 girls, shortly followed by the year 7 & 8 boys with the final race of the day being a co-ed race featuring all year 9 & 10 pupils.

Robbie re-enters the main field with a very impressive lead.

With the year 11’s missing Robbie was left to run out on his own and finish first at his home venue, 2nd place was also grabbed by Calthorpe who also came second in the Y7&8 Girls race and 1st and 3rd in the Y7&8 boys race. So a good day for the school.

Robbie finished the 2.56km course in 1st place with a time of 8:50.0.