It was a case of ‘as you were’ at the second round of the Law Trust Cross-Country series at Crossags on Sunday 6th November, with the same two senior winners and many of the age group athletes also repeating their opening round wins.
Incessant rain over the preceding weeks ensured that the 201 competitors encountered traditional cross-country conditions of mud and standing water, but at least the weather was pleasant on the day.
Hannah Moore has enjoyed a wonderful year in various disciplines of endurance athletics, and continued in the same vein with a second impressive win in the three-lap women’s race. Her pace judgement was excellent, holding back on the opening lap on which she held fourth place as she adjusted to the testing underfoot conditions. By lap two she had taken a narrow lead from Jess Bryan and Laura Dickinson, but a really strong hill ascent on the final lap helped to stretch her margin of victory to 23 seconds.
It was good to see the ever-cheerful Jess Bryan returning to racing action after a little time out, and she ran strongly all the way to take second place. Not far behind came cross-country regular Laura Dickinson who always goes well especially in tough conditions. Becky Watterson moved up from the short course to take fourth, followed by Amber Carridge and first junior Mia Dunwell.
Mark Burman, who had never previously won a cross-country league race, took his second narrow victory of the season, but left it late. Orran Smith led almost throughout the four-lap race, stretching his lead to around 12 seconds by midway round the third lap. The gap had halved as the athletes splashed their way through the flooded lower fields on the final lap but it looked as if Smith would hang on. But on the concluding short lap round the campsite field Burman found a final kick and emerged onto the finishing straight just in front to take victory by three seconds.
Chris Killey has become an extremely consistent cross-country exponent and demonstrated his ability with an excellent third-place finish. Not far in arrears was Alex Bell who is focusing more on middle-distance these days but is still very useful over the country. Matt Callister and Paul Sykes were in close company in fifth and sixth places.
The U15 age group started alongside the seniors and raced over two laps, and newcomer Harris White made a terrific debut, winning by one minute from Harry Kinley. Holly Salter was also extremely impressive in the girls’ race, as was Abi Clayton who finished second.
The U17 and U13 age groups, along with the short course competitors, started together, completing one short lap before heading out onto the full course. At that point the U13s and short course competitors ran one lap, the U17s two laps. The quality in the U17 Men’s race was again a delight to see, with the leading runners all likely to do very well in off-island competition later in the winter.
Sam Perry took his second win of the series, looking a real class act as he smoothly negotiated the tricky conditions. But only 23 seconds adrift came Charlie Teare with probably his best run to date, and he is also maturing into an extremely fine distance runner. Gethin Owen had beaten Perry in the Ramsey road race a few days earlier, but had to settle for third place this time, and Dom Dunwell was only six seconds down in fourth.
Maddie McMullan took the U17 Women’s victory from Lottie Stennett, both working hard throughout.
Harry Stennett continues to dominate the U13 boys’ category and he was superb once again as he glided to victory. Zac Woodward was second, and then just two seconds separated the next three competitors Timothy Perry, Illiam Thomas and Max Hammal. The U13 girls were much closer, with Olivia Martin winning by four seconds from Millie Lunt, followed by Amelie Geldart and Faith Teare – the leading four separated by only 12 seconds.
Ste Quayle won the men’s short course race, with Gail Sheeley first home in the women’s race. The first three in the women’s race are all former Island Games athletes from different disciplines, with high jumper Hollie Quaye second and thrower Joanne Schade third.
As usual the U11 and under-nine races produced fast and furious action, with the elder age group completing three laps of the campsite field and the younger ones doing two. Seamus Hall and Eve Martin dominated the U11 races as they had done in the previous round, but Cam Eyres, Gabe Campbell, Poppy Clayton and Bella Quaye should also be very proud of their performances.
In the under-nines Leighton Curphey repeated his victory in the opening round over Elliott Barron, but there was a new winner in the girls’ race with Xenia Munoz-Fite running brilliantly to win from Evelyn Stubbs. All the youngsters did very well.
Here are the full results
- Grateful thanks go to the officials from Northern AC, IOM Athletics and the many volunteer marshals.
- Thanks also to the landowners at Crossags for the use of the pavilion and the fields.
- Round 3 takes place at a brand-new venue at the Horses Home on Richmond Hill on Sunday 4 December, with racing getting underway at 1pm.
8 November 2022