WESTBURY Harriers’ team manager and coach Jason Michael has praised the club’s junior girls for their results in the 2022/23 Gwent Cross Country League.
Michael and his fellow coaches, plus parents, have been working hard to persuade the youngsters to start racing again after participation levels dropped off after the Covid crisis.
That hard work finally seems to have paid off with the club’s talented group of rising stars making their mark in the latest campaign which ended at Pontypool last weekend.
“It turned out to be a fantastic season for the club, and a big turn-around from the previous season, when they finished with just the one silver in the U15s age group,” said Michael.
Elizabeth Hutchings proved to be the individual star of the season as she finished first overall in the novice girls’ age group with an unblemished record of five successive wins.
Lola Simpson finished fourth overall in the U13s and will still be in that age group next season.
On the team front Hutchings led the novice girls to an emphatic victory from North Somerset while, in contrast, the U17 women claimed the title by just one point following a tense and exciting battle against local rivals Bristol and West.
Also, the U13s finished runners up by just two points after another tremendous tussle with Bristol and West.
“This season was all about the club being competitive again and getting girls on the start line,” added Michael.
“This season our aim was to increase the number of girls racing; if we could do this, then success and medals would follow.
“Our Junior Academy produced around 15 novice girls that raced this season, which was fantastic and sets the club up for the future.
“I’m really proud of all the girls and the efforts of the coaches and parents this season, which has put Westbury back on track again.”