The heavy rain overnight on Friday into Saturday thankfully stayed away from Brecon and the already heavy underfoot conditions did not deteriorate further. Weather conditions did stay largely dry with the occasional shower as competition got underway at 11am with the now traditional Primary School development races.
First winner of the day was Mari Stephens (Ysgol Castell-Nedd) as she took a 3 second victory in the Year 5 Girls race. Liam Upton-Boorman took the narrowest victory of the day as he took the Year 5 boys race from Carmarthen teammate Aaron Hedd Jones. In the Year 6 races it was again the Carmarthen club which dominated with wins for Erin Morgan and Ifan Bowen. In the team events there were three wins for Carmarthen with only Ysgol Melin Gruffydd breaking that domination as they took the Year 5 Girls title.
After a short break the Under 13 Girls took to the course at 1:15, after a few changes of lead in the early stages it was Jemima Robinson (Stanwell) who broke away to take a comfortable 7 second win from Abigail Davies (Porthcawl) and Gwenno Goode (Bro Morgannwg). Great packing from Erin Andrews (4th), Evie Watkins (5th), Tara Nathan (9th) and Phillipa Allen in 12th. saw Cowbridge take the team medals.
The biggest field of the day (86 finished) took to the start line in the Under 13 Boys (School Years 7 & 8). The race was dominated by Frank Morgan (Bro Myrddin) and Math Thomas (Dyffryn Conwy) who ran shoulder to shoulder for the first lap and opened a significant lead. It was Frank who eventually took the title by 10 seconds with Ben Macey (Cowbridge) coming through to take bronze. The team medals went to Ysgol David Hughes, a great reward for the long journey from Anglesey; they were led home by Tudur Lloyd who finished a fine 5th.
It was disappointing to see only 46 finish the Under 15 Girls race, but this did not detract from the quality of a highly competitive race, it was Samia Jones (Syr Hugh Owen) taking victory from Daisy Thompson (Bro Myrddin) and Nia Clatworthy (Porthcawl). Glantaf took the team title with the 4 scorers closed out in 23rd. place.
Dwr y Felin’s Rhys James showed great maturity as he dominated the Under 15 Boys race. After a conservative start he broke away with Joseph Reardon (Rhydywaun) and then gradually increased the gap to take a comfortable victory. Lloyd Sheppard (Blackwood) came through well to take the bronze from Finley Hines (Ystalyfera). It was Y Gwyndy taking the team award led home by Jacob and Ben Reynolds.
There was another dominant performance as Eluned King (Gwyr) took the Senior Girls race, leading from the start as she opened up and held a 20 second advantage through to the finish. Laura Wright (St. David’s College) took both the individual silver and the Welsh Colleges title, Hannah Jenkins (Bryntirion) underlined recent good form as she finished in third. Bro Morgannwg took the team medals.
There were a number of changes of lead in the Senior Boys race, first to the fore was last year’s Under 15 Champion Sebastian Lewis (Bishop Vaughan), but it was Ben Bartlett (Neath Port Talbot College) who made the move that broke up the lead group, he went on to finish 4th. but had the consolation of the Colleges Championship. The win eventually went to Ben Thomas (Ysgol Y Strade), successfully defending the title he had also won in 2016. Track specialists Larry Ryan (Radyr) and James Vincent (Whitchurch) made light of the conditions as they finished in second and third respectively. Cardiff High were comfortable winners in the team competition.
Full results are attached to this report, these are PROVISIONAL at present - team managers are asked to forward any queries to email@example.com by Friday November 24th.
The thanks of WSAA go to all of the officials who made the event such a success as well as those PE teachers and Welsh Athletics staff who supported on the day. Special thanks to all those who helped take down the course at the end of the day, this allowed us to have everything wrapped up by 4:30. A great day of top quality cross country competition.