Grey skies and a drizzle were the order of the morning at Stevenage where we had twelve young athletes toe the line on a fairly flat course that was a bit boggy in places, which ensured a good test for our youngsters' first race of 2020.
In the Under 11 girls race we had three Woodettes out in force. First home was a brilliant run from Daisy McDonald (right in the photo by Adele McDonald) who, though only a year 5 girl, was in the leading bunch of girls throughout the race. Daisy celebrated her 10th birthday by placing a great 7th - by far her best performance to date. Chasing Daisy all the way was Jasmine Caras, a year 6 girl who pushed hard all the way for 10th spot. Annabel Reid (left in the photo), also a year 5 whom we will see her at her best on the shorter races in the summer, did really well for 22nd place. The team race could not have been closer, with 6 points covering 2nd to 5th, and we were the unlucky ones to place 5th. This was a great experience for the girls as they will all be competing for their schools in Hertfordshire Schools CC next month.
In the Under 11 boys we had four Woodies out battling in the mud. Rudy Parker-Bayes led the team home in 11th spot. Again, Rudy is only a year 5 lad, and against top opposition he ran really well. Henry Bailey (27th), Josh Parry (32nd) and Dom Parry (33rd) gave their all and should feel proud of themselves for supporting the club once again in bleak conditions. In the team race the boys placed 6th.
The Under 13 girls race over 3k saw Tilly Major and Lexie Bonney in action. Though not liking the flat course, Tilly competed in magnificent style by placing 2nd to Phoebe Gill who set an age record last summer with 4 minutes 32 seconds for 1500 metres. Tilly should feel proud that she was only 17 seconds down on Phoebe in the end. What was also nice was the two girls exchanging their well dones to each other whilst smiling and laughing. It was great to see. Lexie, who trains in Harlow, ran really well for 22nd.
In the Under 15 girls we had triathlete Meisha Trend-Evans in action. Meisha is a top triathlete who hopes to make it to the top level in that event. A bottom year Under 15 girl, Meisha placed an excellent 11th, which makes her a reserve for the CAU Inter Counties.
In the boys race combined with the girls, Evan Johnson, like Meisha is a bottom year under 15. Evan had been out before Christmas with a leg injury but proved he is on his way back with a solid 7th place, which will get him selection for March's Inter Counties.
Sam Sloan was our sole runner in the Under 17 men’s race, and he too mastered the mud in the early stages as five athletes broke away. Sam held his 5th position in great style to come home just 36 seconds behind the winner, a fine performance which will give him another Hertfordshire vest.