2019 Welsh Schools Cross Country Championships - Event Report

14/02/2019 00:00, In School News /

Welsh Schools National Cross-Country Championships - Penlan Arena, Brecon – Wednesday, 13th February.

Unusually mild weather conditions greeted the athletes for the 57th. staging of the Welsh Schools National Cross Country Championships. With the course also remarkably good underfoot this led to a sequence of 8 highly competitive races as the cream of our young endurance athletes battled it out for team and individual titles as well as selection for next months SIAB International to be held in Dublin.

The event got underway with the Junior Girls race at 1pm. An early break saw Gwenno Goode (Bro Morgannwg) and Sophie Evans of Y Dderwen get away, but it was eventually Gwenno who took the spoils by a 15 second margin. It was Abigail Davies (Porthcawl) who repeated her 2018 performance as she again secured the bronze. Cardiff & the Vale made a good start to their assault on the overall team title as they packed 6 scorers into the top 16.

Next up were the Junior Boys (school years 8 and 9). The victory in this race went to Frank Morgan (Bro Myrddin), Oliver Jones(Newtown) representing Powys came home 5 seconds behind in 2nd, whilst Osian Tyrrell (Plasmawr) was credited with the same time as he took bronze, Osian also led home a procession of Cardiff & the Vale athletes as they again dominated the team competition packing their 6 scorers into the top 20.

Race 3 saw the Senior Girls battle it out, it was Ffion Higginson(Archbishop McGrath) who made the early running but victory went to Bethan Davies (Creuddyn) as she reeled in the race’s early leader taking Eva Edwards (Bro Myrddin) with her as Ffion was forced to settle for bronze. Cardiff & Vale again dominated the team event.

The Year 7 races are always an unknown quantity with so many running their first Championship at National level. This year’s winners were firstly Iwan Thomas (Strade) and then Anna Rose Merchant(Porthcawl) taking their first individual titles. Iwan winning a close fought battle with Dyfed team-mate Finlay Tarling (Aberaeron) and Harry Dawes (Monmouth Boys). Anna Rose’s win was a little more comfortable as she took a 7 second victory, but the real battle was behind her as Kate Dunglinson (Cowbridge) held off Madeline Sinfield (Dyffryn Ogwen) and Iona Roderick (Glantaf) with all clocking the same time of 10:48 over their 2920m race. Cardiff & Vale again took the girls team prize, with Dyfed winning the boys.

A large group of over a dozen athletes broke away early in the Senior Boys event and it was not until the second lap that this broke up as pace was injected. Larry Ryan (Radyr) was the eventual champion as he held off the experienced pairing of Ben Thomas (Strade) and Remi Adebiyi (Gwynllyw). Remi had the consolation of leading his South East Wales team-mates to their only team win on the day.

Last year’s Junior Girls champion Samia Jones (Syr Hugh Owen) made a seamless transition into the Middle Girl’s as she took a comfortable victory with her usual front-running style. Moli Lyons (Bro Morgannwg) taking silver and last year’s champion Ashleigh Willis(Olchfa) taking another Welsh Schools medal with the bronze.  Lloyd Sheppard (Blackwood) made the early running in the final race of the day, but it was Osian Perrin (St. Gerrard’s) who eventually broke away to take the individual Middle Boy’s title from Ben Reynolds (Y Gwyndy), with Lloyd comfortably holding on to take the bronze. Eryri won the boys team event with Cardiff & Vale taking their fifth team title of the day as they again dominated the girl’s race.

It was Cardiff & the Vale who again took the overall team title. This was testament to a series of consistent performances throughout the day and the ability to field full senior teams when other districts struggle for numbers.

The thanks of all at WSAA goes to all those who contributed to another successful day, especially to our team of dedicated volunteer officials and Welsh Athletics staff who make the delivery of events possible and to the WSAA officers and volunteers who were involved in course planning and set-up.

For many of our young athletes’ thoughts now turn to Santry near Dublin on Saturday, March 23rd. with the climax of the cross country season as Irish Schools hosts the SIAB Internationals. Good luck to all who have earned selection.

Many thanks to Steve Jones (WSAA Support Officer) for the event report 

Full results can be found here