Monday 19th November, 2018
WSAA Inter Schools Cross Country (inc Welsh Colleges Championships) - Penlan Arena, Brecon - Saturday 17th November
Although a little cold, superb weather conditions and excellent under foot conditions greeted the young schools’ athletes taking on the challenge of a new course at Penlan Arena, the traditional home of Welsh Schools cross country, writes Steve Jones.
Battle commenced as the Under 13 Girls took to the course at 1:15, This proved to be the biggest field of the day with 92 starting the race. It was Maddie Griffiths (Welshpool High) who broke away to take a comfortable 14 second win from Sophie Knoyle (Plasmawr) and Mai Davies (Ysgol Gyfun Gwyr). Great packing from Kate Dunglison (8th), Tara Nathan (11th), Bethan Hardman (18th.) and Hollie Lewis in 24th. saw Cowbridge take the team medals and retain the team title from 2017.
Another big field (82 finished) took to the start line in the Under 13 Boys (School Years 7 & 8). This race was the closest of the day with only 4 seconds separating the 3 medallists. It was Leo Stark (Basseleg) who eventually triumphed from Harri Morgan (David Hughes) and Callum Morgan (Welshpool High). The team medals went to Bro Myrddin, they were led home by Zach Elvey who finished a fine 11th., he was well supported with all scorers in the first 20 home.
It was disappointing to see only 45 finish the Under 15 Girls race, but this did not detract from the quality of a highly competitive race, it was Moli Lyons (Bro Morgannwg) taking victory from Alanah Hill (Radyr) and Gwenno Goode (also Bro Morgannwg) in third. With Manon Pearce (7th.) and Libby McKinney in 40th. the team title also went to Bro Morgannwg.
Y Gwyndy’s Jacob Reynolds took his impressive track form from the summer onto the country as he dominated the Under 15 Boys race. After a conservative start he took the lead and then gradually increased the gap to take a comfortable victory. Dafydd Jones (Bro Myrddin) came through well to take the silver from fellow Bro Myrddin athlete Liam Edwards, with Frank Morgan in 4th. and Ioan Cressey-Rodgers in 16th. it was no surprise that Bro Myrddin took their second team title of the day.
There was another dominant performance as Aimee Callow (Glantaf) took the Senior Girls race, leading from the start as she opened up and held a small advantage through to the finish. Holly Roberts (Coleg Cambria) took both the individual silver and the Welsh Colleges title, Louisa Hassel (Christ College) was a surprise winner of the bronze. Aimee picked up her second gold of the day as Glantaf also took the team medals.
There were a number of changes of lead in the Senior Boys race as a group of around 10 got away, following a number of changes of lead the win eventually went to Ben Thomas (Ysgol Y Strade), successfully defending the title he had also won both in 2016 and 2017. Last year’s Under 15 winner Rhys James (Dwr Y Felin) took the silver with a welcome return to cross country seeing Ben Reynolds (Y Gwyndy) take the bronze from Joe Reardon (Rhydywaun) who put in his usual gutsy performance in 4th. Shaun Pinch (Coleg Y Cymoedd) just edged out Callum Campion (Coleg Sir Gar) to win the Colleges title. Cardiff High took the team gold in the final race of the day, led home by Dylan Nazareth in 5th.
Full results are attached to this report, these are PROVISIONAL at present, team managers are asked to forward any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday November 23rd.
The thanks of WSAA go to all of the officials who made the event such a success as well as those PE teachers and Welsh Athletics staff who supported on the day. Special thanks to all those who helped take down the course at the end of the day, this allowed us to have everything wrapped up by 4:30. A great day of top quality cross country competition.