City of Salisbury Athletics and Running Club (COSARC) junior Alex Van Dyck was the stand out performer at the third Hampshire cross-country meeting of the season at Popham, near Winchester on Saturday 1 December.
The under-17 star won his race to add to his success in the same category at the second meeting, held at Goodwood in November.
In the girls race of the same age group, Alex Mundell and Emma Clarke continued their consistent form finishing 7th and 11th respectively.
In the under 15 boys race, Jaymee Domoney finished 17th, while in the girls race Ella Hards came 41st.
COSARC were well represented in the under 13’s girls race as Maisie Grant crossed the line 31st, Heidi Porter just behind in 44th and Katherine Murphy 82nd.
In the seniors, Stuart Holloway led in strong contingent of men from the club in 22nd, ahead of Elliott Haimes in 45th, Tom Cummings in 60th, Sam Rogers in 79th, Andy Budgell in 147th, Craig Murphy in 186th, Gary Domoney in 187th and Mel Holloway in 193rd. Mark Cole did not finish.
It was a family affair in the ladies as Katie Sloane finished just ahead of mother Aly in 22nd and 44th respectively, Sue Hazzard in 59th and daughter Ann-Marie just behind in 66th reversed that trend. Mel Murphy finished 75th and Marilyn Hunt was 86th.
COSARC sprint team members Richard Holt and Trevor Cobbs were lucky enough to take part in a coaching session with Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford and his coach Guy Spencer at the Lee Valley Indoor Athletics Centre on 29 November.
Richard said: “We were very lucky to be among the competition winners and were complimented on throughout the evening. We had the opportunity to talk with Greg and his coach about maybe competing against him one day and there is a prospect of future sessions with Guy at Lee Valley. The whole experience will stick in the memory for a very long time.”
Heavy rain before the start failed to dampen the enthusiasm of more than two hundred road runners in Sunday’s annual Downton half marathon where City of Salisbury’s Ben Brewster was the club’s best performer.
His finishing time of 78min 05sec was some four minutes down on the winner, Stuart Leane of Chippenham Harriers, but was still good enough for both fourth place overall and a personal best at the 13.1mile distance.
Further down the field, Craig Murphy too had the satisfaction of a pb to bring away from the rolling New Forest course, with 1.40.46.
Then came Nick Willetts in 1.47.18, Lizzie Clapp with a good pb 1.47.52 that was matched by a fourth pb on the day from Michelle Sartin in 1.53.11. She was followed by Steve Lomas in 1.56.17 and Cassandra Belcher 2.10.33.
Despite recording a new personal best for the half marathon distance, City of Salisbury athlete Stuart Holloway was disappointed to have eight runners in front of him when he crossed the finishing line in the Gosport league race on Sunday.
Citing a week’s heavy training prior to the race, for once the ever improving Holloway found the going tough and although his new time for the 13mile event, 72min 04sec, secured a top ten place, his result was an unusual four minutes down on the winner and not what he had hoped for.
The Salisbury A team started the day at the top of the Hampshire road race league table, well ahead of leading clubs like Winchester, Overton and Stubbington Green, and with a good performance from Chris Southern, who clocked a pb 73.28 followed by Aaron Wilson in 79.22 and Jon Rich in a pb 85.26 the squad again acquitted themselves well.
Another outstanding run from Sally Greenslade who finished in a pb 91.35 put her in lead position for the ladies’ team, supported by Fiona Ross-Russell with 98.15 and Sue Hazzard 103.10.
Adrian Woolven led the men’s B quartet in 86.06, followed by Andy Budgell with a pb 89.22, David Osment 90.55 and Mel Holloway following in son Stuart’s footsteps with 99.10. John Gorham completed the set with 100.26.
Another Salisbury family duo competed at the Swindon 10k, where Aly Sloane with 44min 8sec was not quite quick enough to hold off her son Oliver Sloane’s 42.18.
Simon Plummer ended his current series of prestige road races when he took third place in the Plymouth international 10k, his place on the podium the reward for a fine run on a hilly course. The City of Salisbury athlete crossed the line in 30min 50sec in lead position for the Scotland team he was representing, within sight of two England runners who filled the first two slots.
“I enjoyed the race and the high standard of competition but now I need to start putting in the distance training again,” said Plummer. “That will prepare the way for heavy mileage in the new year on the way to April’s London marathon which is one of my big targets.”
The club’s young prospect Alex Vandyck put down a marker in the Hampshire cross country league at Goodwood, when after running strongly on the difficult muddy conditions he took a superb win in the under-17 category. In the ladies race, fortunes were reversed when Hannah Drewett sprained an ankle while up among the leaders, and was forced to retire. Flo Powell in her first senior race finished a creditable 39th, followed by Aly Sloane 62nd, Sue Hazzard 81st, Anne-Marie Hazzard 88th, Mel Murphy 93rd and Marilyn Hunt 99th.
In the men’s event Tom Cummings had a good run for 46th, then came Sam Rogers 75th, Mark Cole 120th,Craig Murphy 199th, Martin Phillips 203rd and Gary Domoney 207th.
Aly Sloane was the club’s sole representative in the British Masters 10mile championship at Tiptree and produced a good 72min 07sec for silver medal in her age group.
In the Drovers Revenge multi terrain 9 mile race over the hills at Broad Chalke, David Osment was the club’s quickest in ninth place and he was followed by Craig Murphy 35th, Mel Holloway 41st and Abi Sutliffe 89.56.
The Wiltshire county cross country championships are to be held at Bath university on Sunday 9th December for all age groups. Entry forms can be found on the website: www.wiltshire-athletics.com