Athletes finish on a high note

AT the fourth and final meeting of this season's Gloucestershire XC League, the young athletes of NSAC finished on a high.

AT the fourth and final meeting of this season's Gloucestershire XC League, the young athletes of NSAC finished on a high.

Several athletes had much to run for at this event, and rose to the challenge to make for some entertaining racing. The top three individuals and the top team in each age group being recognised for the full season's performances overall.

After recording a second and third place at the previous two meetings, Ellie Wallace needed to go one step further and achieve a first place to guarantee finishing as the top Under-11 runner for the season. Focused Ellie ran superbly to deliver, finishing ahead of the two pre-race favourites to record her first win and with it the league title.

Alys Withers came in fifth on the day to finish a well deserved joint third place overall for the season.

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With the talented Jaz Emery unable to compete through injury, securing the team title overall was left to her team mates, and young Sara Flower on her debut finished a highly commendable 13th to secure a team first place for the third time this season.

Emma Mantzos, another debutant, Ada'ora Chigbo and the ever improving Jasmine Pearce supported the team superbly.

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For the Under-11 boys, David Warnes has run bravely on his own throughout the campaign.He finished fourth in his race and just outside the medals in fourth overall for the season.

The Under-13 boys were led again by Kody Mortimer who finished eighth, just ahead of the fast improving Ben Greenslade in 11th. Corey Davies, Will Binnington and Sam Hewitt ran well and being of the younger age group they will get to have another season in the Under-13s next year where they should do well.

The Under-13 girls have dominated their category throughout the season and Katie Grinyer, Angharad Flower and Ellie Parker were very much in the frame for honours going into the last race.

Virus victim Ellie bravely decided to run against the odds, but unfortunately pulled up half way through, suffering the effects, which put paid to her harbouring a top three finish overall.

Katie and Angharad led the way with a good guest runner who went on to win the race, but the quick pace pushed the race and title favourite, who had won the two previous races, further down the field.

Katie finished the stronger on this occasion edging Angharad into third and the favourite into fifth, ensuring that she shared first place overall for the season. Angharad took the bronze with a third place overall. Abbie Ball in seventh place was followed in by Chloe Buck, Hannah Godfrey and Holly Bradley to secure the overall team title with their third first place of the season.

Cameron Coetzee's season just seems to gets better. He secured a third place overall with his first race victory in this league, beating the overall winner who had won each of the previous three meetings comfortably.

The South West Schools Championships in Truro at the end of February surely cannot come soon enough for him.

Team-mates Calum Hannay, suffering from a virus, and debutant Josh Bray finished ninth and 10th respectively and easily securing the overall team title for the Under-15 boys.

Josh in particular looked impressive with plenty of running left in him at the end. With more race experience we can expect to see him feature prominently next season.

The Under-15 girls ran doggedly in a high class field with Catherine Hughes excelling to finish ninth and just ahead of two Westbury Harrier girls who had regularly beaten her during the campaign. Lizzie Warnes and Cecelia Bradley finished a little further down the field. The team prize went to Westbury Harriers with our girls taking second place overall.

Coach Steve Hollier has achieved remarkable success in the club's first attempt at this competition, producing two individual league champions and three individual bronze medallists. At team level they secured three league champion team prizes as well as a team second. A further five athletes also managed to get themselves into the top six of their respective categories overall.

Anyone wishing to be involved in this friendly, successful and ambitious athletic club can contact us on or . North Somerset AC are now one of the top two or three clubs in the South West, and are the only club in the area competing in cross-country, road running, quadkids, sportshall and track and field, and are also winning on a regular basis.

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