What a day out! A few people have contributed to this write-up, but I’d just like to say a huge WELL DONE to everyone that got involved in our first cross-country since 2019. I’m fully aware of how daunting a task it must have been, I did start my athletics journey as a cross-country runner, many (MANY!) years ago after all.
No matter how you felt you performed, I, along with the various team managers and coaches thought you did fantastic. Have no doubt, your contribution to the team is absolutely invaluable. As Dan mentions below, every BRAT runner that overtakes someone, knocks a rival team one place down the results!
Bookmark the next date, a home fixture for us at Warley Woods on the 14th of November! If you’re not already involved and want to be, e-mail me here.
8 girls toed the line for the first cross country race of the season. For the majority of them this was their first ever cross country race and just to make it a proper cross country for them it was raining throughout their race!
The start was fast and furious for their 1.6km race, Sophie was our leading athlete working her way through the field to finish in a fantastic 16th position. Maiara Dalmedo was the 2nd BRAT athlete home, outsprinting Oshi Knox in the finishing straight finishing in 28th and 29th places respectively. The battle for the 4th BRAT athlete home was fiercely contested with Darcey Payne finishing 46th closely followed by Alice McKinnon in 49th and Orla Woodman in 50th. Our final 2 runners in the team had another fantastic battle with each other with Matilde Moreno edging out Millie Gordon-Maclean with both running the same time in 80th and 81st.
Every athlete had a smile on their face after the race and had clearly given their all for the team. Their effort was rewarded with a fantastic 4th place overall out of 17 teams with 837 points.
It rained and it rained and it rained some more! This is, of course, cross-country, in England, what else were we really expecting! Anyway, we had a team of 9 that braved the roughly one mile course. Olly Knight was out with the leaders are was challenging for the win from the gun to the tape and was in 2nd place until the final 50 metres. At that point, a battle royale between James Longworth and a runner from Wolves led them to chase down Olly with just a couple of metres to go! James finishing in 3rd place, just 1 second ahead of Olly in 4th! The team finished in 3rd place overall, with strong runs from Max Bone (19th), Mustopha Bailey (31st) and Dylan Tyler (40th) making up the 5 scoring places. Muayyad was the next BRAT home in 67th and has assured my that he is going to invest in some spikes before the next event as he was slipping and sliding around! He found enough energy later in the afternoon to do some fantastic cheering for his brother in the U13s race.
It was a close race between the 3 remaining BRAT boys, with Arber coming up with a fine sprint finish to complete the run in 90th place, closely followed by Toby and Yahia, all on their first XC outing. Well done lads!
Our biggest turnout of the day was the U13 boys with 11 athletes wearing their BRAT vests. This was probably the most competitive race between the BRAT athletes as they are all such strong competitive athletes.
Again, many of these athletes were making their cross country debuts and did themselves proud with some terrific performances. Seb Stendell had a fantastic run finishing 7th, Seb had his normal steady start but worked his way through the field fantastically to finish less than 45 sec behind the winner. Elliot Dawlatly, after only training for 3 weeks at BRAT had a tremendous run finishing 22nd, which looks very promising for the rest of the season. The real battle between the BRAT athletes to see who could make the scoring team of 5 was hotly contested with Mati Stendel finishing 32nd in 10.56, Josh Taylor was next in 34th 2 sec back. Then Diego Dalmedo snuck into the 5th team spot finishing in 36th 1 sec behind Josh and 1sec ahead of Sam Vaughan who finished in 38th place and to demonstrate our strength in this race Joel Davies was in 41st place. Only 10sec separated all of these athletes from Matti to Joel!
After a fast start Muslih Mohammed had a battling performance to finish in 67th just ahead of Seb Horton in 69th. Our final 2 runners Rafaele Contay and Antonio Wiltshire Bailey in 77th and 78th places.
Everyone in the team played their part, as every position gained by a BRAT athlete knocks another club’s athlete back a position. The team finished in a fantastic 4th position with 874 points only 20points behind 3rd place
5 athletes, 5 scoring athletes! Nerves a plenty as it was a first XC outing (yes, so many first timers). The girls, starting slightly later in the day, had the benefit of the rain having had stopped! Having said that, the ground had been nicely churned up with all the previous runners by then. Triathlon specialist, Alba Pena-Smith, was our first athlete back to a very credible 22nd place. I know that Alba is keen to build on this strong start to the season in the remaining fixtures. This was part of a mad scramble to the finish, in which 6 athletes crossed the line in the 3 seconds after Alba, so some fantastic strength shown there Alba, well done. Amira Emery was one of those 6 athletes, just 2 seconds behind, with a fantastic finish to get 26th place. Jessica Midgely wasn’t far behind to be the 3rd BRAT back in 46th, followed by battling performances by Noor Bailey and Dottie Curtis finishing in 68th and 76th respectively.
Another strong team, 5th place in the final standing (out of 18 teams in total). A real tussle for the top BRAT runner in this race with 3 BRAT runners within 12 seconds of each other. The honours this time went to Dylan Teasdale, followed by Niklas Van Mourik and then George Astbury in 18th, 23rd and 25th respectively. The three were separated by just 12 seconds, so lots of strength in depth there. Only slightly behind in 42nd was Maxime Hannam and new BRAT member was our fifth point scorer in 52nd. A fantastic season opener to build on for next time.
We have a bit of a challenge as a club to build on the girl’s side of the cross country teams. It’s important that we have at least 5 in each age group as 5 score points for the team. Hopefully we can work on this between now and the upcoming fixtures as we had just 2 athletes run. Aoife Gallagher was our first runner home in 53rd place, followed by Lauren Hevey in 68th. If you are reading this and want to get involved in this team, please e-mail email@example.com.
Aoife & Lauren, hopefully we’ll get a bigger team together going forward, but you both ran fantastically, well done! Bank those performances and look to build on them in November’s event.
Right, the I may get in trouble with the other age groups by making this claim, but I feel that the U17 team was the standout performance of the day. Why? The team finished in second place overall with 582 points, just 1 point behind the winning team! This was down to having strength in depth, with out top 6 runners in 6th, 7th, 8th, 17th, 26th & 31st. The first three BRAT athletes were Jeremy Maclean (on good form at the moment after his road relays performance), Tom Burdett & Alex Dickson and they all finished within 3 seconds of each other. Oscar Fleming finished around a minute behind in 19:45, with Oliver Brown in 20:25 and Morgan Hill in 20:48. A group of high performers indeed, keep up the good work all. In the same race, we also had Edoardo Conaty and Oskar Jensen that finished in 46th and 47th places respectively, both putting in battling performances.
A similar message to that of the U15 girls, a work in progress in building on our U17 women’s team. We had just 2 runners taking part. Rapidly improving Poppy Close was in the mix with a 29th place finish in a time of 18:35. Less than a minute behind was Anya Hulusi in 41st place on her BRAT cross country performance (very respectable indeed). Well done both!
We finished in 5th place overall across all the age groups. I have been informed by a few people that this is our best BRAT XC result in some time. This is how the opening fixture placings look for BRAT over the past few years:
2017: 603 points – 20th
2018: 1504 points – 17th
2019: 3145 points – 12th
2021: 5426 points – 5th
Everyone, athletes, team managers, parents, coaches let’s build on this for next time, we can definitely challenge the teams above us. GO BRAT!
Full results available here.