The Combined SIAB and HCI Cross Country was held on a tight, testing course in front of Wollaton Hall, Nottingham. The length of the lap was kept to 2K with multiple laps used with an extra 500 m loop to accommodate the younger age groups. The course was in great condition after the last few weeks of bad weather, it had drained well and though soft in places was mainly good going and the temperatures were extremely mild. The joint venture of Schools and Association’s races worked well and there was a lot of support for the athletes in the younger races from parents and coaches. The competition was intense and though the fields were small 32 in each of the SIAB races and between 19 and 40 in the HCI races the quality was good.
With the going firmer than what had been encountered in recent Championships there was a turn around in form especially in the under 15 and under 17 races and a very tight finish ensued in the Junior Boys Schools race and was decided by the dip on the line with Joe Ponter taking the win. On the other hand Bea Wood in the Junior Girls event ran away from the field to win by 23 secs. England won all 8 races both individually and team wise however both Scotland and Wales had individuals on the Podium. The Schools Internationals also had the Inter Girls and Boys in action and Ella McNiven completed her season with another win, while David Stone completed a narrow victory in the Inter Boys event.
In the HCI events there were fine wins from seasoned Internationals Adam Hickey in the Senior Men’s race and Elle Vernon in the Senior Women’s race. The Senior Men’s Race was over 10K while the Senior Women’s was 8K with Adam’s winning time 31.44 and Elle’s 28.54. In the Junior Men’s race John Millar was the clear winner in 25.29, the tall Ipswich Harrier with long blond hair looked in great form as he won by 24 seconds. While in the Junior Women’s race Julia Paternain maintained her good end of season form winning in 22.01 by 10 seconds.
Although England dominated the Area teams did well, the North got the bronze team awards in the Junior Men’s and Senior Women’s races while the Midlands were silver medalists in the Senior Men’s event. With the World Cross Country Championships taking place in 2019 in Denmark the Home Countries will have to work out a suitable date for their event.
Full results of the SIAB and HCI can be found on this site in the News section.