Cross country roundup.

English Schools Cross Country Cup

The weekend of 13/14 October was the first of the new season designated as a “league weekend” by the English Cross Country Association. For a fair few of our younger athletes, however, the action started on Friday 12th with the Oxfordshire round of the English Schools Cross Country Cup at Banbury. This event involves just the junior and intermediate age groups. Among the competitors from Abingdon AC, Olivia Martin finished 2nd in the intermediate girls' race, with Georgie Halfhead 3rd and Rosie Mullins 8th. This time, Olivia had to cede the family bragging rights as sister Izzy emerged victorious in the Junior Girls race; Evey Powell came in 3rd.

Chiltern League

On to Saturday and a decidedly damp start to the day. However, by the time the Chiltern League got underway in Oxford, we had very warm sunshine, albeit with a very strong wind. Olivia was back in the fray in the Under-15 girls with another 2nd place. Today though the opposition was very much tougher, notably from Chiltern Harriers for whom national 6th placer Orla Williams took the win. Calum Steer was our other standout performer, finishing 4th overall and first Under-20 in the senior men's event – another big step up after a successful season on the track.

Surrey Women's League

The racing didn’t stop there though, with several of our more widespread athletes in combat for their universities or their second-claim clubs. Cordy Parker was clad in the blue and yellow of Ranelagh Harriers at a very warm and dry Wimbledon Common, no need for spikes here. The Surrey Women's League is high-class and very well-supported and now has 2 divisions with separate races. Another great run from Cordy, 9th in division 1 where a massive 234 finished.

Manchester Area League and North Midlands League

Up to the northwest and Lottie Siddle finished 12th overall and first Under-20 in the Manchester Area League at Wythenshawe Park, third scorer in the winning Manchester University team. Down to Derby and the North Midlands League, with Aric Klukowksi lining up for Leicester University, 105th in a strong field where 231 finished – winter work has begun well for one of our 400/800m specialists.

A great start to the 2018/19 cross country campaign, well done to all of our athletes, wherever you were.