Cross Country round-up … Chattering teeth at Chiltern XC

Mandie Trudgill and David Brown report …

The conclusion of the Chiltern Cross Country season arrives early next month, and BAC athletes have been doing the vest proud at recent fixtures.

On 1 December, five juniors and a senior trekked over to Stopsley Common on the outskirts of Luton to be given the full cross-country treatment. On a course exposed to the elements, the wind and rain blew across the landscape, but the juniors – Jessica Hardy, George Hardy, Orlagh Brunning, Nicholas Batterbee and Elliot Swinburne – along with Elliot’s father Paul were not to be deterred.

All athletes acquitted themselves admirably over their courses which ranged from 2.5km-10km in distance. In their respective events, Nicholas Batterbee was 21st, George Hardy 25th, Orlagh Brunning 28th, Elliot Swinburne 41st, Jessica Hardy 42nd and Paul Swinburne 56th.


The next leg of the league took place at Keysoe Equestrian Centre on 12th January, on a course that featured two water crossings, Orlagh Brunning and Jessica Hardy were 32nd and 51st respectively in their under-11 girls’ race. Debutant Alfie Lawrence finished a fine 69th in the boys’ equivalent.

In the U13 boys standings, Nicholas Batterbee finished 76th, while Elliot Swinburne was 14th in his U17 race. Finally, Paul Swinburne – running 10km, twice the distance his son had to cover – came in 68th in his Division 2 standings, and 227th in the “mob” race overall.

Next up for athletes: the season finale at Milton Keynes’ Campbell Park.


Youngsters mix it at SEAA indoor champs

At the SEAA indoor champs U13/15/17 held at Lee Valley earlier this month, up-and-coming BAC multi-eventer Teagan Blake competed in two events, the 60m hurdles and shot putt.

In hurdles action on the Saturday, Blake was fourth in her heat and produced a new personal best of 10.80 secs – an impressive 0.3secs outside the national qualifying standard.

On the Sunday, mixing it with the top youngsters in the south of England in the shot put, Blake was disappointed with 6.12m for 14th in the final.

Elsewhere on day two, under-15s athlete Sophie Forbes-Laird was in action in the 300m. Up in the first heat, she had a clean race and came second in a new indoor PB and club record of 43.38secs. She nervously waited on the outcome of the other two heats, with the first finishers and three fastest losers qualifying. Thankfully she was fifth quickest overall from the three heats and made it through.

In the final Sophie put in a brave effort and when the athletes approached the point where they break from their lane and all run in the inside lane, she was second, with approx 120m to go. Yet as they rounded the bend to the finishing straight, she was passed and two girls then fell over the finishing line which forced her to check her stride to avoid the melee. It still added up to creditable fifth place which will means she will experience in the national finals in February at Sheffield.

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