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Cross country success for Basingstoke athletes
12:00pm Saturday 19th January 2013 in Sport
BASINGSTOKE and Mid Hants athletes enjoyed plenty of success at the fourth Hampshire Cross Country League meeting of the season.
Both the men’s and women’s under-17 teams moved to the top of the league thanks to impressive displays in the penultimate event of the season, which was held in Bournemouth.
The women were especially dominant, with Charlotte Chalwin finishing second, just ahead of Gemma Wildash, who overcame a cold to come third, while Jenny Helyar was the third scorer, finishing fifth. They hold a dominant lead at the top of the division, with just one race to go.
The men went into Saturday’s race in second spot, just behind leaders Aldershot and Farnham – but an excellent display saw Basingstoke win on the day and move to the top of the table with one race left.
Ollie Butler ran an excellent race, ending up second after a dramatic sprint finish, while Brendan O’Connor came fourth and Richard Fernando claimed seventh.
Basingstoke runners are also in contention near the top of the under-17 individual standings. On the women’s side, Chalwin is second and Wildash third, while Butler is third in the men’s standings, with O’Connor sixth.
Lucy Wildash produced perhaps the performance of the day from a Basingstoke athlete, finishing second in the under-15 girls race. Completing the course in 14min 15sec, she was just 13 seconds behind English champion, Aldershot and Farnham’s Katie Shiel-Rankin, the result leaving her second in the overall standings.
The under-15 boys team remain second in the overall standings despite only managing to finish seventh at Bournemouth. Jack Ladhams was their top performer in 14th place.
The weather deteriorated for the senior races, turning the course into a quagmire. Despite this, Dave Ragan was able to finish 10th, while Basingstoke team is fourth overall, while Overton Harriers Sean Holmes and Cath Wheeler both claimed fourth place in their respective veteran races.