On a cold and bright day the mainly flat course was varied with narrow muddy paths in addition to soft but manageable parkland sections.
The younger age groups all had good races. First off were the Under 11 girls and the Chiltern contingent maintained their league leading position although were just second by two points. Abbie Henderson in fifth, Holly Henderson in seventh and Rosa Williams with a new best finishing position of 11th were the scorers. They were backed up by Maddie Hughes (13th), Hannah Ashby (14th), and Carys Arnold (16th). The girls lead their division by 99 points with one match remaining, Abbie the best placed individual in fifth.
The Under 11 boys are in a tight battle in their league with Bedford and Wycombe. On Saturday the Chiltern lads leapfrogged Bedford into the league lead with a narrow win thanks to great runs from impressive race-winner Matt Aldred, Cormac Nisbet (4th), and William Mayhew (12th). There were further good runs from Harry Vintner (13th), Jamie Powell (21st), Sammy Bennetts (22nd) and Raphael Baker (23rd). The boys lead by just four points going into the final match with Matt Aldred first placed individual, Cormac Nisbet fourth.
The Under 13 girls had an excellent race registering their first team win of the season and moving into third place overall. Orla Williams won the Division 1 race, her first League win. Millie Hughes continued her great recent form to be third and the other scorers were Katie Repper in 7th and Jinaan Lockwood in 14th. Laura Williams in 16th and Jess Pullen in 26th completed the Chiltern team. Orla Williams goes into the final match in silver medal position.
There was another dominant display by the Chiltern U13 boys. There was a clean sweep of top positions with Angus Williams following on from his sister’s earlier win with an emphatic victory. Thomas Job in second, Tom Hunter in third, and Alex Aldred in fourth earned the maximum possible points and there were also great runs from Nathan Hackley (5th), Louis Hunt (9th), Matt Clifford (10th) and Zach Rahaman (15th). The boys have an unassailable league lead with one match left. Angus, Thomas and Alex sit in the individual medal positions.
Although a small team this year, the U15 girls have performed very well and look to feature in the medal shake-up. Saturday’s race saw a great run from a resurgent Sophie Morton to be second with Robyn Watkins not far behind in third. Soraya Lockwood in 16th and Emily Alderson in 17th completed the scoring and Beth Welham (21st) and Sandie Pohlman (30th) also ran well. In a close-fought match, the girls were narrowly third but remain second league-to-date, with Robyn overall second.
There were just three Chiltern U15 boys running and Cameron Reid (9th), Oliver Jackson (27th) and Ben Howell (29th) all worked hard to keep team points ticking over. The boys were sixth on the day and are sixth overall.
The Junior Women (U17 and U20) had a strong team of nine out and the scoring three of Hannah Thear (5th), Hannah Morton (8th) and Orla Fawcett (11th) were second on the day and improved the team’s medal prospects, up from fourth to second overall. Also coping well with a long and tough course were Scarlett Wager Leigh (12th), Rachel Padwick (13th), Maddy Lacey (14th), Jess Orr (20th), Lizzie Barraclough (24th) and Emma Barraclough (25th).
The U17 men also had a big team of eight running and Will Perkin (3rd), Sam Howell (6th), Rob Hall (11th) and Will Brown (16th) kept the lads in the hunt for team medals. David Thomas (15th), George Brown (17th), Harry Cox (19th) and Jake Alderson (22nd) all had solid outings. The team were third on the day but remain second overall. Will Perkin is second league-to-date.
The Senior Women had a top quality team out with Sian Thomas leading the way in a season’s best fourth place. Louise Durman (10th) Ellie Bates (13th) and Bex Nkoane (18th) were the reminder of the scoring team that finished second, just five points away from a win. Kirstie Elliot in 19th also ran well and Barbara Ralph in 75th and Fiona Williams in 90th completed a scoring team for the vets along with Kirstie and Bex. Angela Hughes was 95th. Both Senior and Vets teams are fourth with Sian fourth Senior and Kirstie third Vet 35.
The Senior Men were again missing some top scorers but kept club points going with Nick Hughes in 23rd maintaining his bid for a Vet 40 medal. Other scorers were Alastair Melville-Smith, Andrew Wiseall, Toby Smith, Kingsley Nanton Derek Brown, Jon Taylor, Will Oleksiuk, Hywel Thomas and David Breingan. The Senior men were ninth and are eighth overall.
The final match of the season is at Campbell Park, Milton Keynes on February 13th when all team and individual prizes will be determined.