Saturday 7th December
It was another day of strong team and individual cross country performances by the Harriers at a blustery Blaise Castle in Bristol last Saturday. The standout performance of the day was Amy Garrod who had her first-ever Gwent League victory over the undulating parkland in the under 13 girls race. She was strongly supported by her other team members: Freya Taylor, Lilly Oakenfull, Anya Brady and Emily Walker. Freya achieved her first-ever top 10 finish in 9th. The girls were second-team on the day to Westbury (on their home turf) but remain in 3rd in the league overall with two fixtures remaining.
Equally strong were the under 15 boys who again were second on the day to Westbury but remain in 3rd in the league. Top finisher was Henry Evans in 8th supported by Leo Stark, Ollie Lloyd, Oliver Humphreys and Isaac Jones.
Further fine individual performances came from Welsh internationals Lily Williams and Ellie Robinson who were both third in their respective races. Lily remains 5th overall under 15 and Ellie 3rd under 20. Yet more top 10 finishes were from Lois Codling in the under 11 girls with Nia Wakley close behind in 15th and Elin Griffiths 8th under 17.
The under 11 boys team of Dylan Evans, Tom Garrod, Isaac Barry, Henry Faulkner Clegg and Gethin Williams remain in 6th place overall but only 9 points below Bristol in 3rd.
The incomplete under 15 girls team of Lily, Ceri Griffiths and Shauna Reed was 5th. Oscar Denton formed a team of one under 17 and allowed Newport to remain joint 17th.
Finally, contenders in the highly subjective ‘strongest finish’ category ( I didn’t see everyone’s finish) included: Emily Walker who mustered great speed despite only having one shoe on; and Dave Griffiths (V50) who produced an age-defying last 15 metres to snatch 341st in the senior men’s race. However, the prize goes to Ollie Lloyd (u15) who was passed in the last 15 metres by a fast-finishing athlete only for Ollie to respond and win the race to the line.
In the Seniors, Chloe Powell was 68th 1 minute 2 seconds faster than last year and Phoebe Marsden was 197th out of the 292 finishers.
Well done to everyone who competed and all the team managers and supporters.