A cool and dry Royal Welsh Showground played host to the 2012 Welsh Inter-Regional and Masters Championships on Saturday. The course that has become the recent home of these Championships was run in reverse for 2012.
The first event of the Inter-Regional programme was the U13 Girls race where South Wales provided the outright winner, Lucy Dennis as well as the winning team.
The U13 Boys race saw North Wales team mates Matthew Willis, Joseph Crutchley and Thomas Evans taking the top three places to seal team victory.
Cari Hughes was a runaway winner in the U15 Girls race, repeating her success in the U13 race from twelve months ago. Behind her, Jessica Bradley (West) and Seren Allin (South) completed the podium places. West Wales packed well to take the team title.
In the U15 Boys race, Welsh Cross Country Champion Jake Heyward (South) ran a well paced race to take to the front in the later stages and steadily increased his lead for a comfortable victory. Aran Rees (West) was equally comfortable in second ahead of Rhys Gooch (South) finishing third. The South took a narrow victory here from the West.
Aran Rees (551) leads eventual winner Jake Heyward
The U17 Womens race was always likely to see a duel between Ellie Atkinson (South) and Olivia Gwynn (West). Both athletes shared the lead in the early stages before Olivia pushing ahead to take victory. Lara Phillipart (West) finished strongly to claim third. Olivia’s victory ensured another team win for the West.
Jon Tobin (West) began as the likely favourite in the U17 Men’s race. Jon’s ‘’favourite’’ tag had added credibility following his ninth place finish at the McCain Liverpool Cross Challenge last month. However he didn’t have it all his own way with John Cove (South) narrowly missing out, following a late surge which he hoped would catch his rival by surprise. Jon went on to win with John Cove second and Iolo Hughes (North) in third. The South reversed the tables here to finish ahead of the West who had claimed both U15 titles.
Rhianwedd Price (302) shown leading the U20 Women's race
Twins Ffion and Rhianwedd Price (East) are always hard to beat at Cross Country and especially so on a course which includes so much climbing. Ffion started quickly in the U20 Women’s race and built up a considerable lead on the first lap. Her sister was keen to put daylight between herself and Sarah Livett (North) in third. The positions remained unchanged at the finish allowing Ffion to retain her title from 2011 with Rhianwedd and Sarah also mirroring their positions from last year.
In the U20 Men’s category Liam Lloyd (West) was keen to improve on his second place from 2011 and made his intentions clear early on by taking up the front running. Josh Griffiths stayed in close contact and when he made his move, it was clear he wasn’t going to be caught. Josh went on to win with Liam second and Mike Ward (South) in third.
Emily Brown (South) pushed the early pace in the Senior Women’s contest. Alaw Beynon Thomas (West) and Debbie Rees (South) joined her in forming a leading group. Debbie Rees used the fast sections of the lower field to establish a lead and was well clear before the first major climb. Alaw soon moved clear in second position and all three went on to finish in that order.
Debbie Rees (531 leads the Women's race
David Mountford (North) was a runaway winner in the Senior Men’s race. He never looked tested by the competition or the course. Phil Matthews (East) was the defending champion and finished second this time. His endeavours were enough to lead his team to an easy victory.
The Masters races saw both Regional and Welsh National titles up for grabs. Austin Davies (East) began the Men's Race as a big favourite and didn't dissapoint. After breaking away from the gun with Huw Evans (West), Austin went on to win the Masters 45 title and the race outright. Huw Evans finished second, clinching the Masters 40 title. Peter Coles (South) and David James (South) claimed the M50 and M55 titles respectively whilst Martin Cortvriend (North) and Dic Evans (West) took the M60 and M65 titles. Gordon Orme took the Welsh Masters M70 title.
In the ladies event Sharon Leech (West) pushed the early pace but couldn't prevent Shan Roberts (West) from taking her chance and pulling clear. Shan went on to win the race and take the W45 honours with Sharon sealing the W40 title in second overall. Claire beatty (South) won the W35 race, Melissa Watson (West) the W50, Caroline Dallimore (South) the W55, Margaret Monk (East) the W60 and Chris Birch (North) the W65.
Primary Schools results can be found here.
Pictures can be found here courtesy of Gwynfor James.