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Super Sam strikes Avon Schools’ gold after battle with Abdi

SAM Gentry and Abdi Hasan fought out the best race of the day in the inter boys’ age group at the 2018 Avon Schools’ Cross Country Championships staged at Blaise Castle, Bristol.

Backwell School student Gentry, who is coached by Alan Thomas at North Somerset AC, just prevailed from Cotham School’s Hasan, who may have just been a little below his best after illness.

“It was a really good race between the pair in what is a strong age group for Avon,” said Neil Miller, who  helped stage the event.

The start of the inter girls’ race with eventual winner Rosie (21) already to the fore


Rosie Hamilton-Jones of Bristol Grammar School and Marlwood School’s Dalis Jones (pictured right), who are both members of Westbury Harriers, were also convincing winners of the inter and junior girls’ age group races respectively.

Imogen Moroney of Sidcot School races rarely restricting herself to just the school events so it speaks volumes for her natural talent that she beat British junior international track runner Anna Burt to win the senior girls’ title.

Notably Hannah Hobbs was missing from the senior girls’ field as she was on England international duty in Spain while younger sister Ellie was absent from the inters event with illness.

The senior boys’ race saw a clean sweep for Bath and North East Somerset runners with Ralph Allen’s Max Davis racing to victory from Freddie Webb and Sean Barry.



Avon Schools’ Cross Country Championships, Blaise Castle, Bristol

AP=Ashton Park; B=Backwell; BC-Bath College; BCL=Beechen Cliff; BGS-Bristol Grammar School; C=Cotham; CA=Castle; CC=Clifton College; CH=Clifton High; CHL=Churchill; CL=Colstons; CV=Clevedon; G=Gordano; H=Hayesfield; JC=John Cabot; K=Kingswood; KES=King Edward Bath; M=Marlwood; MC=Monkton Coombe; MF=Mangotsfield; NH=Norton Hill; PP=Prior Park; QEH-Queen Elizabeth; R=Redmaids; RA=Ralph Allen; RGS-Redland Green School; RHS-Royal High School; S=Sidcot; SB=St Brendans; SBD=St Bedes; SG=St Gregory’s; SGSC=South Glos & Stroud College; SM=St Mary Redcliffe; W=Winterbourne; WR=Writhlington; WS=Wellsway;

Minor girls: 1 Charlotte Warren CC); 2 Kiera Devereux (BGS); 3 Evie Turner (CA); 4 Laura Chance (R ); 5 Clemmie Houlden (CC); 6 Molly Thomas (R ); 7 Lottie Silverton (RHS); 8 Clemmie Lee (R ); 9 Blythe Jones (G); 10 Abbie Wadworth (SMRT).

Teams: 1 Bristol 26; 2 BANES 96; 3 S Glos 113.

Junior girls: 1 Dalis Jones (M); 2 Kate Howard (BGS); 3 Megan Horning (CH); 4 Ciara Newcastle (K); 5 Alice Bridger-Morales (B); 6 Dani Sinclair (MF); 7 Ingrid Aries-Belzer (CC); 8 Ella Treby (SG); 9 Mia Crossley (WS); 10 Emily Maclean (KES).

Teams: 1 BANES 58; 2 Bristol 60; 3 NS Somerset 105; 4 S Glos 110.

Inter girls: 1 Rosie Hamilton-Jones (BGS); 2 Enya Maylor (KES); 3 Claudia Spice (R ); 4 Ellie Webster (K); 5 Rhiannon Paton (RGS); 6 Emily Whitaker (RGS); 7 Charlotte Livesey (R ) ; 8 Meg McCrum (CV); 9 Lizzie Nobes (RA); 10 Rosie Whitehead (BGS).

Teams: 1 Bristol 32.

Senior girls: 1 Imogen Moroney (S); 2 Anna Burt (H); 3 Rosie Allen (CA); 4 Elizabeth Plews (R ); 5 Caitlin Wosika (BCL); 6 Phoebe Gould (CL); 7 Jessie Lane (NS); 8 Isobel Leeming (CC); 9 Lucy Tonge (K); 10 Kate Hamilton (CC) .

Teams: 1 Bristol 51.

Senior boys: 1 Max Davis (RA); 2 Freddie Webb (BC); 3 Sean Barry (PP); 4 Nick Castle (SB); 5 Callum Smith (NS); 6 Ben Rawlins (SGSC); 7 Themis Bower (RA); 8 Aiden Noble (SB); 9 Ben Whitaker (RGS);10 Josh McHale (NH).

Teams: 1 BANES 38; 2 Bristol 57.

Inter boys: 1 Sam Gentry (B); 2 Abdi Hasan (C ); 3 Bryn Davies (BGS); 4 Alex Parsons (BCL); 5 James Harrod (CA); 6 Edward Willoughby (JC); 7 Oliver Lock (CH); 8 Fred Hawker (W); 9 Greg Haywood (SM); 10 Justin Davies (KES).

Teams: 1 Bristol 58; 2 S Glos 70; 3 BANES 84; 4 NS Somerset 88.

Minor boys: 1 Dylan Stoneman (BC); 2 Nich Pestell (BGS); 3 Joseph Martindale (MC); 4 Eoin O’Halloran (RGS); 5 Joe Markey (WR); 6 Jay Hunt (BGS); 7 Fred Cummins (AP); 8 Misha Evans (C ); 9 Harvey White (G); 10 George Peacock (M).

Teams: 1 Bristol 41; 2 BANES 45; 3 NE Somerset 115; 4 S Glos 129.

Junior boys: 1 Beck Harding Hill (AP); 2 Seamus Robinson (SBD; 3 Artie Savage-Swain (RGS); 4 Rufus Thomas (QEH); 5 Jack Webb (MC); 6 Joe Milton (BCL); 7 Tom Markey (WR); 8 Will Connors (K); 9 Harrison Garland (B); 10 Will Scott (CHL).

Teams: 1 Bristol 36; 2 BANES 60; 3 NS Somerset 109; 4 S Glos 139.

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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.