Another action-packed league season has come to an end in a popular club competition...and it has seen hundreds of runners attend across five locations in Wales and England. Season Round-Up for the Successful Harriers.
Another Re-Named "John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League" Campaign has flown by...
At the end of another re-named John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League / Ar ddiwedd tymor arall Cynghrair Trawsgwlad Y "John H Collins Gwent League" - here's the season Round-Up
The league has been going strong for a number of years, attracting athletes - juniors and seniors - from across South Wales and the South West of England. The league, formed in 1963 has continued every year since then and is a good way of making friends from other clubs.
Cardiff, Pembrey, Tredegar, Pontypool and Bristol were the venues confirmed for the past season over five months. Each match saw over 1,000 athletes take part across a range of age groups, starting with the under 11 athletes and going up through under 13, under 15, under 17, under 20 and the seniors which attracted the most numbers.
Cardiff played host to the first of five British Athletics Cross Challenge Series and provided a great opportunity to face the best British athletes ahead of the European Trials. which also headed to Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Belfast and the season finale in Loughbrough at the UK Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships.
The opening round of the JC Gwent League was on October 13th 2018 and got off to a storming start at Llandaff Fields in Cardiff as early senior wins went to Sale & Manchester Harriers' Charlie Hulson and Denmark's Anna Moller. Local man Jake Heyward came down the home straight to a loud Welsh cheer to win the under 20 men's race. Athletes in the Gwent League were able to test themselves alongside possibly unknown competitors in high qualify fields that they would not be used to at other competitions.
With Storm Callum having disrupted events in West Wales, including a large number of weekly ParkRuns cancellations, the Welsh capital got away with the worse of the conditions and stayed mostly dry for the majority of the event, as it got the green light and go ahead.
A month later...the league made it's move from the Welsh Capital down the M4 West to Pembrey Country Park on November 10th for round 2. A fantastic venue in Carmarthenshire that hosted the first leg of the Tour of Britain Cycling Event followed by the Welsh Athletics Road Relays Championships back in September, the course changed back to cross country running.
It was an event hosted by Carmarthen Harriers and Carmarthenshire County Council and ended up seeing one of the biggest turnouts of almost 1,400 from the whole campaign. This was boosted by the West Wales and East Wales Cross Country Championships being added into the mix for Welsh Inter-Regional selection.
On 2nd December, the league arrived at a new venue of Parc Bryn Bach in Tredegar which was described by many as the most testing conditions seen underfoot. Competitors had to contend with some real cross country elements on the day. Rain, Wind, Mud, it had it all as the season reached half way before the Christmas and New Year break.
Following a two month break to give way to road and school events, the John H Collins was back at a location where the Gwent League made it's first step back in 1963, which was Pontypool Park on 9th February in the penultimate round. The course provided a real cross country test, with a tough hill for athletes to climb as they made their way around the perimeter of the rugby field towards the finish.
This 2018/19 season concluded in South West England on March 2nd. For the first time in two years, hosts Westbury Harriers welcomed athletes, officials and spectators to the magnificent Blaise Castle Grounds situated in Bristol who again put on a great event.
Thankfully, there was no repeat of 2018 where the event was cancelled this time last year due to the "beast from the east" and snow that hit the country hard.
Awards this season were based on the five fixtures at Cardiff, Pembrey, Parc Bryn Bach, Pontypool and Bristol. The top five individuals in the novices, under 13 and under 15 were awarded with medals as well as the top three teams in all age groups. For under 17's up, the top three individuals and top three teams were presented with end of league awards. Seniors were to be presented at a later date.
Carmarthen Harriers continue to deliver in the Junior Categories...
Despite the busy fixture congestion, Carmarthen Harriers have enjoyed another pleasing season in the league with top half finishes and some medallists amongst them. Pride of place goes to the Novice boys and girls and the under 13 boys and girls who all contributed towards a great campaign, securing gold, silver and bronze medals.
It rounded off another great winter season for these youngsters coached by the experienced Neil Thomas, David Toogood and Carol Jones. They all deservedly came away from Bristol a fortnight ago with awards for their efforts.
In addition, Macsen Toogood, Daniel Warrender, Alex Coles, Iwan Thomas and Frances Mackie picked up individual medals for finishing in the top five of their respective age groups whilst Liam Upton-Boorman, William Coles, Ifan Bowen, Zach Elvy, Frank Morgan, Ben Thomas, Jessica Norman, Ellie-May John, Amy Greatrick and Chloe Hale were in the top 10.
Team Wise as listed below, the boys' categories were particularly strong with the A teams both winning and B teams in fifth and seventh respectively. From the other side, the under 13 girls were second and novice girls in third. The majority of these athletes had been to all five matches!
Big thanks to all the members and their parents who have supported the league this year and travelled the long journeys across South Wales and Bristol. They will now look forward to the upcoming track and field season which gets underway at the beginning of April. All team results and athlete recognition are listed below.
TEAM RESULTS / CANLYNIADAU TIMAU 2018/19 (points)
Novice Boys: A 1st (1990); B 7th (1376); C 27th (307)
Under 13 Boys: A 1st (1450); B 5th (949); C 37th (56)
Under 15 Boys: 6th (628)
Under 17 Men: 18th (104)
Under 20 Men: 7th (54)
Senior Men: 55th (2630)
Male 35: 45th (1430)
Male 45: 33rd (614)
Male 65: 14th (21)
Novice Girls: A 3rd (1820); B 29th (319)
Under 13 Girls: A 2nd (1405); B 18th (426)
Under 15 Girls: 22nd (63)
Under 17 Women: 20th (37)
Under 20 Women: 12th (16)
Senior Women: 46th (1455)
Female 35: 31st (1113)
CLUB ATHLETES / ATHLETWYR Y CLWB P1 - first three matches in 2018
Novice Boys: Macsen Toogood, Daniel Warrender, Liam Upton-Boorman, Alex Coles, William Coles, Tristan Warrender, James Sloyan, Jac Jones, Harri James, William Davies, Jimmy Davies, Tom Morgan
Under 13 Boys: Ifan Bowen, Iwan Thomas, Zach Elvy, Steffan Davies, Jake Lynock, Rogan Cox, Ellis Caddick, Brynmor Peters, Jack Thomas, Tygan Davies
Under 15 Boys: Dafydd Jones, Frank Morgan, Liam Edwards, Ioan Cressey-Rodgers, Scott Price
Under 17 & 20 Men: Archi Morgan, Ben Thomas, Lewis Jones
Senior Men: Kyran Roberts, Huw Davies, Paul Lynock, Jonathan Cox, Peter Moody, Jack Tremlett, Jamie Best, Dafydd Bowen, Matthew Page
Novice Girls: Jessica Norman, Ellie-May John, Martha Morgan, Esme Lynock, Lybbi Greatrick, Jemima Taylor, Ellie-Marie Jones
Under 13 Girls: Frances Mackie, Chloe Hale, Amy Greatrick, Carys Wood, Erin Morgan, Faye Jones, Bessy Hill, Nel Davies
Under 15 Girls: Tanwen Moon
Under 17 & 20 Women: Eva Edwards, Ellie Kiff
Senior Women: Kate Parker, Lisa Forrest, Wendy Price, Mel Best
CLUB ATHLETES / ATHLETWYR Y CLWB P2 - rounds four and five in 2019
Novice Boys: Macsen Toogood, Daniel Warrender, Liam Upton-Boorman, Alex Coles, William Coles, Tristan Warrender, Jac Jones, William Davies, Jimmy Davies
Under 13 Boys: Ifan Bowen, Iwan Thomas, Zach Elvy, Steffan Davies, Jake Lynock, Ellis Caddick, Brynmor Peters, Jack Thomas
Under 15 Boys: Frank Morgan, Liam Evans
Senior Men: Huw Davies
Novice Girls: Jessica Norman, Ellie-May John, Martha Morgan, Esme Lynock, Grace Toogood, Gwennan Jones
Under 13 Girls: Frances Mackie, Chloe Hale, Amy Greatrick, Carys Wood, Erin Morgan
Under 15 Girls: Tanwen Moon
Senior Women: Lisa Forrest