#FeatureFriday - Reports on the 1981 BSIAB and 1981 Inter Association Cross Country Matches

16/04/2021 00:00, In Blog / History /

April 11th – the END of the Cross-Country season in 1981


Forty years ago, last weekend, on April 11th, 1981, the cross-country season came to an end for our talented young endurance athletes.

The Welsh Cross-Country championships had been held in February, and the Welsh Schools’ nationals were held in monsoon-like conditions on March 21st.

A report on that event at Builth Wells has already been published here: Welsh Schools National Cross Country Championships.

In 1981, the IAAF world cross-country championships were staged in Madrid on Saturday, March 28th.  This was the annual end-of-season target for Welsh senior men. Senior women and junior men until the IAAF withdrew the invitation to the separate home countries association after the 1987 event.  After that, only a Great Britain and Northern Ireland team was accepted to compete.

Kathryn Williams (Cymer Afan CS, West Glamorgan), the schools’ senior girls’ champion, had been included in the Welsh senior women’s team for that Madrid event, where she finished 108th.

Selection for the Welsh Schools' teams on April 4th and April 11th:

As soon as the national races were complete, Welsh Schools selectors met in the commentator’s box at the Royal Welsh Showground to select teams of eight boys and eight girls to compete in six races at four different venues.

On Saturday, April 4th, Welsh Schools was to be the host association for the British Schools’ cross-country international (BSIAB).  This was the third occasion that Wales had hosted the event but the first time that a venue other than Newtown High School was to be used.

For that international, the best young endurance athletes from the schools associations in England, All-Ireland, Scotland, and Wales were to meet in individual and team competitions for boys and girls, 8 per country per race with six to score, at two age groups – under 15 covering years 7, 8 & 9 and under 17 for pupils in years 10 & 11.

On the following Saturday, April 11th, Welsh Schools were committed to competing in a new venture for only the second time – and in north Wales.

Recognising the importance of providing the ‘carrot of a vest’ for sixth formers, the association had been prompted by the South Glamorgan schools’ county to establish representative matches over the country with the Welsh Cross-Country Association and, on the track, with the Welsh AAA and Welsh Women’s AAA at under 20 level.

For the BSIAB international, Welsh Schools had accepted an invitation from the West Glamorgan county to hold the event at Singleton Park in Swansea, with changing and administration at the adjacent Bishop Gore School.

BSIAB selection

The teams selected to compete at Singleton Park were:

 

Middle Boys

F 4 & 5/Y 10 & 11

 

Middle Girls

F 4 & 5/Y 10 & 11

1

Brian Matthews

South Glamorgan

 

Fiona Harwood

Mid Glamorgan

2

Mark Griffiths

West Glamorgan

 

Jackie Thomas

Dyfed

3

Nicholas Comerford

South Glamorgan

 

Jane Thomas

South Glamorgan

4

Martin Jones

South Glamorgan

 

Julie Jones

Mid Glamorgan

5

Alwyn Ormond

Gwent

 

Nicola Charlton

Clwyd

6

Rodney Keeble

Gwent

 

Tracy Thomas

Powys

7

Nigel Gooch

Mid Glamorgan

 

Judith Kirk

Clwyd

8

Scott Atkins

South Glamorgan

 

Michelle Phillips

West Glamorgan

Res

Mark Lawrence

Mid Glamorgan

 

Mandy Lewis

Mid Glamorgan

           
 

Junior Boys

F 2 & 3/Y 8 & 9

 

Junior Girls

F 2 & 3/Y 8 & 9

1

David Morgan

Mid Glamorgan

 

Debbie Crowley

West Glamorgan

2

Carl Worthington

Mid Glamorgan

 

Julie Jones

Mid Glamorgan

3

Alan Phillips

Mid Glamorgan

 

Julie Thompson

Mid Glamorgan

4

Peter Bridger

South Glamorgan

 

Angela Griffiths

Clwyd

5

Nigel Saunders

Dyfed

 

Beverley Morgan

West Glamorgan

6

Michael Powell

South Glamorgan

 

Marianne Jenkins

Mid Glamorgan

7

Ian Parry

West Glamorgan

 

Rachel Walby

South Glamorgan

8

Andrew Griffiths

West Glamorgan

 

Melanie Davies

South Glamorgan

Res

Gary Ellis

Gwynedd

 

Anne Parry

Dyfed

Only one pupil, out of the 32 selected, had not competed at Builth.  Form 3/Year 9 Melanie Davies (Bishop Hannon RCHS, South Glamorgan) had been competing for the Great Britain Catholic Schools team at the European Catholic Schools championships on March 21st, but she was included in the Welsh Schools junior girls’ team because of her form earlier in the winter.

It is likely that Welsh Schools planned to select the first eight finishers in the two senior races for the ‘Inter-Association match but there is a question mark over the inclusion of Kathryn Williams.

Knowing her selection for Madrid on March 28th, she may have opted ‘not to be selected’ for the April 11th fixture.

For the boys’ team, it is understood that the selectors included the first six finishers at the nationals plus two other pupils who had not competed – but the names of those two pupils do not appear in any files.

Inter-Association Selection

These are the pupils that we think were selected:

 

Senior Boys

sixth form

 

Senior Girls

sixth form

1

Keith Noble

South Glamorgan

 

Kathryn Williams

West Glamorgan

2

John Pimley

Gwent

 

Becky Powell

Powys

3

Richard Toms

Mid Glamorgan

 

Lorena Marchetti

South Glamorgan

4

Peter Lloyd

Dyfed

 

Cath Owen

West Glamorgan

5

David Thomas

West Glamorgan

 

Gaynor Cox

South Glamorgan

6

Marcus Thomas

South Glamorgan

 

Caroline Devereux

Powys

7

AN Other

   

Margaret Crockett

South Glamorgan

8

AN Other

   

Julie Barratt

Clwyd

reserve

     

Nicola Lewis

West Glamorgan

For the report on pupil performance at the BSIAB international, click here.

The individual positions of Welsh Schools’ pupils in the years from 1972 to 1981 can be found here.

For the report on pupil performances at the Inter-Association match, click here.

Acknowledgments:

In preparing these reports, I would like to table my thanks to:

  • Mick McGeoch for his research on Athletic Weekly
  • Jason Henderson at Athletics Weekly for giving permission to include the report of Cliff Temple in the BSIAB report
  • Brian Matthews, Nick Comerford, Beverley Tucker, Melanie Evans, Rachel Hooper, Jonathan Hooper also Stephen Knight – all former pupils – who provided comments and memorabilia
  • Isabel MacMaster for advice and support on the names of Scottish athletes
  • Alan and Brenda Currie for their huge achievement in pulling together such a huge archive of schools results on their AthleticsStatsWales web site, which is a tremendous resource www.athleticsstatswales.webeden.co.uk
  • Capt. (Retired) George Crump, sadly long deceased, for producing the result of the 1981 Inter-Association match result

Thank you to Pete Morris for providing the report for this weeks #FeatureFriday 

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