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Hannah sparkles in the Spanish sunshine on England debut

WESTBURY Harriers’ Hannah Hobbs enjoyed a fantastic international debut racing in southern Spain on Sunday.

Competing for England in a cross country meeting in Seville  Hannah finished second overall and first woman under 20 in a keenly contested race held in glorious sunshine.

Hannah, pictured far left, with her England team-mates and double Olympic champion Seb Coe.

Victory went to her England team-mate Grace Brock with Ella McNiven third and in fourth Chloe Sharp to give the England junior team a clean sweep.

Hannah’s debut was made even more memorable with the presence of British middle distance legend and now chief of the International Athletics Federation, Seb Coe.

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Now in-form Catie is a Rough’n’Tumble record-breaker!

IN-FORM Bristol & West AC runner Catie O’Donoghue raced to record-breaking victory in the 12th Rough ‘n’ Tumble 10.5 miles multi terrain race at Milton Lilbourne, near Pewsey, on Sunday.

O’Donoghue enjoyed a big gap on her nearest rival – just over six minutes – but only just sneaked inside the previous record set by international runner Ruth Barnes just two years ago.

Catie taking charge of the women’s race in the Rough’n’Tumble race on Sunday

With Barnes having won the South West Cross Country title the week before, in which O’Donoghue finished a very creditable tenth, she will take massive encouragement from shaving off 25 seconds from the previous record.

“I’m dead happy with that!” said O’Donoghue.

“I wasn’t sure what the record was before so to beat it was really exciting. I just went for it and ran my little socks off!

“It is just such a fun race, one of the best in Wiltshire and to get 600 entries is incredible.”




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Habgood-Coote claims Gloucester half marathon win

BRISTOL & West AC runner Joshua Habgood-Coote raced to victory in the Gloucester half marathon on Sunday.

Habgood-Coote clocked a time of 1hr 18mins 44secs to finish just 10 seconds clear of Gareth Crossley with Natasha Cockram third overall and first woman in 1:19.03.

Fourth overall and second woman was former international marathon and ultra distance runner Holly Rush (pictured) in 1:21.31.

Third in the women’s race was Bristol & West’s Imogen Peck in 1:26.59 with clubmates Andrew Drake and Anthony Hall clocking 1:31.59 and 1:32.17 respectively.

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Help needed to stage Avon Schools’ Crosss Country Championships

WESTBURY Harrier coach and official Neil Miller is looking for help at Blaise Castle on Saturday.

The Harriers are assisting Avon Schools’ officials with the staging of the county cross country championships with Miller and Dave Palmer marking out the course early Saturday morning.

“We will meet at the club house at 8am, the event starts at 10:30am and we also need people to marshal the course – stand, point and smile!” said Neil.

This event is one of the most important on the calendar for local young athletes and traditionally has helped unearth new talent who hopefully then further their potential in the club system.

Teams will also be selected to represent Avon in the South West Schools’ Championships at Newton Abbot, on Saturday February 3rd.

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Charlotte smashes PB in Glasgow

CHARLOTTE Taylor-Green opened the new year in style with a personal best on the boards last weekend.

Competing at the British Milers’ Club Grand Prix in Glasgow Charlotte knocked off almost 10 seconds off her previous best with a time of 9mins 20.02secs to finish third behind Melissa Courtney and Katie Snowdon.

On the evidence of how the race was run then Charlotte looks likely to run even quicker this winter as she finished the race very strongly and was closing on Snowdon towards the finish.

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Hannah’s delight as she wins her first England Under 20s vest

HANNAH Hobbs is this week celebrating her selection to represent England at an international cross country fixture in Spain.

The 18-year-old Westbury Harrier from Thornbury (pictured left) received the news at the weekend and immediately celebrated by winning the under 20 women’s title at the South West Cross Country Championships on Sunday.

“I have run for English Schools’ before in the Schools’ International Cross Country but this is my first England national under 20s vest so I am delighted,” said Hobbs.

“I am travelling out to Seville on January 19th and then racing on the 21st. I am really looking forward to it.”

Hobbs certainly had a spring in her stride as she took on defending champion Ruth Barnes, who won the Bath half marathon last year.

The pair moved quickly clear of the field and it was only in the closing stages of the two-lap event around a testing course at Aldon Hill, Yeovil that Barnes used her superior strength, stamina and experience to edge up the penultimate climb.

 “But I felt really good on the flat and I am pleased with my run,” added Hobbs.

Also on the international front Bristol & West AC’s Hugh Sadler (pictured right) makes his debut for the Great Britain under 20 men’s squad at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country tomorrow. He is joined in the squad by Stroud’s Tom Mortimer.

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Why Westbury’s under 15s squad are the golden girls!

WESTBURY Harriers coach Jason Michael has paid tribute to the club’s current crop of under 15 girls’ runners.

Michael was speaking after the South West Cross Country Championships in Yeovil on Sunday when the Westbury squad of  Dalis Jones (third), Rosie Hamilton-James (4th), the fast improving Kate Howard (6th) and Rhiannon Paton (26th) won team gold in the club competition.

Dalis, Rosie and Kate also helped Avon win the team title along with Bristol & West runner Alice Bridger-Morales.

The talented quartet from Westbury proved to be the only junior team from Avon to win a title. Indeed, along with Westbury’s U13 girls winning team bronze medals the Harriers were the only club in Avon to finish among the medals in the young athletes races.

“This is one of the best teams I’ve seen at Westbury,” said Michael.

“They have quality and strength in depth. Going into the race, when I saw all the girls were fit and healthy, I was confident they would win.

“What I didn’t expect, was three in the top six. Dalis (pictured in action right) has been running consistent all season, but Rosie and Kate have been improving with each race.”

The Westbury girls also won the Avon team title last month at Bath and have a healthy lead in the Gwent League so are on course to be crowned the unofficial champions of the South West and South Wales!

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Bristol & West retain men’s club trophy but Devon claim the county crown


BRISTOL & West maintained their stranglehold on the club trophy at the South West Cross Country Championships  as they beat Wells City Harriers by 30 pts.

Owain Jones once again led the charge but twelve months after winning the title he never got amongst the front runners as the Devon pair of Phil Norman, who was third last year and 2017 Bristol half marathon champion, dominated from the gun.

Nonetheless, Jones steadily move through the field to finish fifth but with only Harry Allen (13th) and Andrew Watt (14th) making the top 20 team boss Keith Brackstone knew the club had a battle on its hands.

Kurt Taylor was next across the line in 24th and then the team was completed by a weary Maciej Bialognski as he paid for an over-ambitious start.

But the Avon squad couldn’t match that in the inter-county contest as a strong Devon showing – their first three men finished in the top seven with six in 21 – gave them victory by just 11 points with Somerset a distant third.

The Westbury Harriers’ squad placed sixth led home by Scott Campbell in 37th  (pictured right) and supported by Alex Hamblin (6th), Brendan Moroney (68th), Ben Whitaker (73rd) and Richard Noble (90th).

Westbury photo courtesy of Mike Mewse

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Junior Hannah sparkles as she pushes champion Barnes all the way

IN the best race of the day Westbury Harriers’ junior Hannah Hobbs pushed reigning champion Ruth Barnes all in the way as the pair dominated the senior women’s event at the South West Cross Country Championships.

Twelve months ago Hobbs was winning the under 17 women’s title as Barnes, who will shortly make her England senior debut over a half marathon in Barcelona, was racing to victory around the Exeter racecourse circuit.

Two-times champion Ruth Barnes flanked by Hannah Hobbs (far left) and Charlie Parnell.

Today she showed maturity beyond her 18 years – she only recently celebrated her birthday – as she tracked Barnes over the first lap and a half of a testing, true cross country circuit which culminated in two stiff climbs before levelling out to the finish straight.

That is where Barnes, who is more than twice Hobbs’ age used her strength to full effect as she finally shook off her young rival to open a gap that she maintained to the finish.

“I know that I said beforehand I wanted a hard race but that felt so tough!”  admitted Barnes afterwards.

“The course played to my strengths but really I am not that keen on hills.”

Hobbs’ superior leg speed kept her in touch on the flat and downhills and she can take enormous satisfaction with a terrific result.

“I am pleased with second and I just didn’t have the strength to stay with Ruth up the final climbs,” said Hobbs.

Hobbs finished just 15 seconds adrift of Barnes with Devon champion Charlie Arnell a distant third. In the junior stakes Hobbs was over a minute clear of her nearest rival.

The victorious Avon senior women’s squad

While Hobbs didn’t count towards the senior team scores the Avon squad of Natalie Griffiths (third), Rebecca Pierce (6th), Fiona Marks (8th), Catie O’Donoghue (10th), Katie Hughes (14th) and Imogen Peck (15th)  were crowned inter-county champions.

Additionally Bristol & West AC won the club team title thanks to the quartet of Griffiths, Marks, O’Donoghue and Peck.


South West Cross Country Championships, Aldon Hill, Yeovil

Senior men: 1 Phil Norman (NDAC) 29:53; 2 Ronnie Richmond (Bide) 30:36; 3 Tom Austin (Poole AC) 30:40; 4 Mark Jenkin (Bide) 30:55; 5 Owain Jones (B&W) 30:58; 6 Luke Prior (AFD, U20) 31:02.

M40: 1 Phil Burden (Taunton) 31:48; 2 Luke Murray (Clev) 32:59; 3 John Porter (Ply H) 33:58

M50: 1 Mike Dooley (TB) 34:09; 2 Guy Woods (SWVets) 34:32; 3 Paul Whear (CAC) 34:44

Teams – clubs: 1 Bristol & West AC 85; 2 Wells City Harriers 115; 3 Team Bath AC 196.

Counties: 1 Devon 59; 2 Avon 66; 3 Somerset 136.

U20 men: 1 Luke Prior (AFD) 31:02 ; 2 Jake Smith (Exeter) 31:09; 3 Will Crudgington (TB) 31:30.

Teams – Clubs: None.

Counties: 1 Somerset 17; 2 Devon 30; 3 Dorset 52.

U17 men: 1 Finn Birnie (N&P)18:36 ; 2 Elliot Moran (Exe) 19:24; 3 Sam Goodchild (CAC) 19:28.

Teams – Clubs: 1 Cornwall AC 34; 2 Newquay & Par AC 68; 3 Tavistock 70.

Counties: 1 Cornwall 15; 2 Avon 36; 3 Devon 45.

U15 boys:  1 Oliver Smart (Tavistock) 14:17; 2 Rees Stewart (N&P) 14:28; 3 Flynn Jennings (Bide) 14:33

Teams – Clubs: 1 Wells 80; 2 Tavistock 97; 3 Exeter 137.

Counties: 1 Devon 21; 2 Cornwall 39; 3 Somerset 40.

U13 boys: 1 William Rabjohns (Poole) 12:20 ; 2 Lukas Bailey (CoS) 12:32; 3 Charlie Hague (Ex) 12:36.

Teams – Clubs:  1 Exeter Harriers 46; 2 Cornwall AC 67; 3 Wells City Harriers 102.

Counties: 1 Devon 25; 2 Somerset 38; 3 Cornwall 61.


Senior women: 1 Ruth Barnes (AVR) 20:53; 2 Charlie Arnell (Torbay) 21:52; 3 Natalie Griffiths (B&W) 22:02; 4 Emma Stepto (CAC, W45) 22:05; 5 Amy Bond (Poole) 22:22; 6 Rebecca Pierce (TB) 22:23.

W35: 1 Barnes; 2 Katie Hughes (WH) 22:58; 3 Kim Hill (Taun) 23:15.

W45: 1 Emma Stepto (CAC); 2 Emma Fisher (Wells) 22:31; 3 Julie Dixon (Bide) 22:42.

W55: 1 Tracy Allan (B&W) 25:48; 2 Diane Hier (AVR) 26:06 ; 3 Marilyn Blair (Torr) 26:26.

Teams – clubs: 1 Bristol & West AC; 36; 2 Avon Valley Runners 105; 3 Chippenham Harriers 113.

Counties: 1 Avon 56; 2 Devon 79; 3 Wiltshire 131.

U20 women: 1 Hannah Hobbs (WH) 21:08; 2 Katie Hughes (CAC) 22:17; 3 Serena O’Connor (Poole Runners) 22:41.

U17 women: 1 Grace Copeland (Wimborne) 15:54; 2 Elise Thorner (Wells) 16:28; 3 Caitlin Apps (Exe) 16:29.

Teams – Clubs: 1 Wimborne 84; 2 Newquay & Par AC 108.

Counties: 1 Devon 23; 2 Dorset 38; 3 Cornwall 64.

U15 girls: 1 Beatrice Wood (Sals) 13:53; 2 Emilie Castagna (Poole) 15:02; 3 Dalis Jones (WH) 15:13

Teams – Clubs: 1 Westbury Harriers 39; 2 Exeter 60; 3 Cornwall 98.

Counties: 1 Avon 29; 2 Wiltshire 32; 3 Devon 55.

U13 girls: 1 Maisy Luke (CAC) 12:57; 2 Abgail Jose (CAC) 14:22; 3 Hannah Blundy (Wells) 14:28.

Teams – Clubs:  1 48; 2 Wells 84; 3 Westbury Harriers 105.

Counties:  1 Devon 26; 2 Cornwall 38; 3 Avon 48.



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I am just going to have fun, vows Tri-Counties champion Catie

BRISTOL & West AC newcomer star Catie O’Donoghue faces her sternest test yet when she races in the South West Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships in Yeovil on Sunday (JAN 7th).

O’Donoghue ended 2017 on a high with a superb victory in the Tri-Counties Cross Country Championships at Bath University (pictured left) which was a significant breakthrough for the 26-year-old nurse.

But this weekend’s regional event represents another big step up and with a strong entry, led by Wiltshire’s reigning champion Ruth Barnes and clubmate Eleanor Davies, O’Donoghue knows this will be her toughest race to do date.

“It is going to be a really competitive race as there are going to be some really good girls there,” said O’Donoghue.

“I don’t have any particular aims but it would be nice to win the club team prize with my Bristol & West clubmates as we have a strong squad running.

“It would be nice to finish in the top ten but really I am just going there to enjoy it and have as much fun as possible.”

Other local runners to look out for include in-form Westbury Harrier Hannah Hobbs in the under 20 women’ race and sister Ellie in the under 17s.

The Hobbs sisters are in god form this winter

Reigning men’s champion Owain Jones heads the Avon squad with Weston AC’s Chris McMillan and Dan Jones of Team Bath also running.


South West Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships, Aldon Hill, Yeovil (BA22 9TA) Timetable –  11.30:  Under 11 Boys 1580m (Not Championship Race); 11.30:  Under 11 Girls   1580m (Not Championship Race); 12.00:  Senior Men  8.5k (Including Under 20 Men and Masters – M40, M50, M60); 12.45: Under 13 Girls 3.1k; 13.00: Under 13 Boys 3.1k: 13.15:  Under 15 Girls  3.6k; 13.35: Under 15 Boys 4k; 13.35:  Under 17 Women 4k; 13.55:        Under 17 Men 5.2k; 14.15: Senior Women 5.2k (Including Under 20 Women and Masters – W35, W45, W55).

Avon squad (AVR=Avon Valley Runners; B&W=Bristol & West AC; Cl=Clevedon AC; NS=North Somersset AC; TB=Team Bath AC; W=Weston AC; WH=Westbury Harrier

Senior men: Luke Murray (Cl), Ken Ham, Mike Mewse & Scott Campbell (all WH), Guy Woods (SWVets), Jonathan Goodland, Maciej Bialognski, Andy Salmon, Harry Allen, Daniel Titheradge, Owain Jones & Tom Dobra (all B&W), William Smith (SRC), Chris McMillan (W), Dan Jones (TB).

U20 men: Joe Connors (WH), Ben Whitaker (WH).

U17 men: Aidan Noble (WH), Max Davis (AVR), Sean Barry (TB), Callum Smith (NS), William Cheek (NS), Kes Pitchers (NS), Luca Murray (NS).

U15 boys: Justin Davies (TB), Johan Hobbs (WH), Fred Hawker (B&W), Ollie Lock (NS), James Harrod (WH), Rufus Thomas (B&W), Tom Connors, Ben Hamblin (NS).

U13 boys: Louis Brunsdon (NS), Will Connors, Freddie Billing (AVR), Charles Broadhurst (NS).

Senior women: Niccola Oldroyd, Imogen Peck, Lisa Newing, Natalie Grifffiths, Imogen Peck, Fiona Marks, Catie O’Donoghue, Julia Belyavin, Rosey Mushens, Lucy Bird (all B&W), Rebecca Pierce (TB), Kelly Dicks (GWR), Katie Hughes, Tamsin Chick (both WH).

U20 women: Hannah Hobbs (WH), Rosie Allen (WH), Alys Withers (NS).

U17 women: Ellie Hobbs (WH).

U15 girls: Connie Clementine (NS), Sophie Moore (AVR), Alice Bridger-Morales (B&W), Enya Maylor (TB), Rosie Hamilton-James (WH), Emily Whitaker (WH), Ella Treby (TB), Dalis Jones (WH).

U13 girls: Poppy Adams (NS), Daisy Manners-Lolley (NS), Simone Manners-Lolley (NS), Clementine Houden (B&W), Katie Whitaker (WH), Molly Thomas (B&W), Blythe Jones (NS), Grace Metcalfe (NS).