St Albans AC are so proud of all our XC athletes. As I have said countless times before XC is probably the hardest event you can do and our very own park provided an especially hard dose! To see all our athletes some making their debut ,some more established and then others now running in the senior races was a emotional experience for me and this wouldn’t be possible without all our supporting parents, volunteers on the day, volunteers behind the scenes and a great bunch of young and not so young athletes.
Again at the Hertfordshire Championships we dominated in several races with outstanding individual and team results. Several of St Albans Athletes receiving letters for selection in the Hertfordshire XC team and the East of England Virgin mini marathon team.
It was a perfect day for racing and marshalling ,not too cold, muddy or wet. The under 11 girls kicked off a tightly packed race timetable and as their little legs stormed up the first hill you could feel their excitement to take part in their first county champs. St Albans fielded 6 athletes Arabella Devlin, Amber Pinkerton, Annabelle Wade, Holly Fisher, Eva Dighe and Gabriela Bailey . As a club our ethos is taking part and enjoyment and in turn great things will happen in terms of retention of sport in children’s lives and also performance- rushing things does not put down the right foundations and we all need to remember this. It is a long journey!
Ten under 11 boys took part in the second race many of them in their debut races and the post race photo told stories of pride, enjoyment and team solidarity! Coming away with silver medals was icing on the cake Congratulations go to all , the top 3 finishers were Otis Lau-Johnston, James Dobbin and Theo Price.
The under 13 age groups saw the club win both individual and team golds. Phoebe Gill demonstrating her dominance in this age group and just cruised to a phenomenal win with Annabel Hedge, Poppy Fisher, Florence Crowley tightly packed in 5,6,7 place. The team was made up with Iris Foley and Sophie Thomson.
Alex McDonald ran a text book race to finish strongly and confidently to win the county title with Matthew Nicholls 3rd, Oscar Loveday 4th, Benjamin Gostick 6th, Cameron Cherry 13th, Eddie Wade 15th. St Albans under 13 teams received the County cup and also 3rd place medals another outstanding achievement. We had in total 11 athletes in this race and whether you be the first or 40th all runners really help towards this tremendous result in XC races.
The glory continued with the under 15’s Lily Tse and Antonia Jubb had their usual battle and this time with the lure of the London Virgin Mini Marathon place up for grabs it was Lily who took the Herts title but with her team mates Antonia and Sarah Mcgrath taking the clean sweep of Herts medals another performance of the day. Following on closely behind was Hannah Barker, Sara Laitner, Eve Gamsby, Mia Pullen and Yasmin Howgego.
Zach Segal, Aiden Tanner and Alex Fine made up our under 15 boys team finishing in 4th place behind some exceptionally strong county teams.
As the races progress into the older age groups the number of competitors drop dramatically , we try hard to retain our athletes and are proud to see them in the under 17’s through to seniors. Christy Durbin, Keira Stern and Niamh Gallagher went away in silver medal position in the under 17’s with Christy taking individual bronze. James Moore recovered from a fabulous half marathon over the Christmas break to take 5th place with James Allison in 13th.
Both our men and women under 20’s took team silver medals with 9 athletes competing, Will Bowran taking individual bronze. George Withers, Ed Anders, Lauren Eckley and Naomi Baker took part in the senior race where again St Albans Striders won both the individual men and women race courtesy of Paul Adams and Stacey Ormerod.
Wow – that was a long report but to finish where we started an enormous thank you to all our brilliant parents for helping to make this possible and to all your youngsters!
Cross Country and Middle Distance Coach
For full results, visit the Herts County Athletics website: www.hertscaaa.org.uk