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Andover to the fore in Road Relay Championships
2:11pm Tuesday 8th October 2013 in Sport
The South of England Road Relay Championships signifies the start of the winter season and acts as a perfect warm up for the forthcoming cross country races. The standard is always very high making the event a tough challenge for a small town club. Andover entered six youth teams and having walked the course beforehand they were all naturally very nervous about the event. Undeterred all performed well on the day posting good times for each of their legs. The team of the day was the U17 Women, spearheaded by Lucy Rochford bringing the team home in tenth place in 11.04mins over a 3,000m course. She handed over to sister Phoebe Rochford and the last leg runner was Emma Jones, both normally 800m runners but they were determined not to let Lucy’s efforts go to waste and brought the team home in 18th place and Lucy’s time saw her place 19th individual. Any result in the top 20 at this meeting is a tremendous achievement.
The thriving U13 girls’ section fielded two full teams and the quickest individual performances came from Emma Livingstone and Ella Heathcote Hobbins over their course of 2,270m. Emma led the A team off handing over to Sarah Brett and then Ella forged through the field to see the team finish in 28th. The B team of Clara Nichols, Amelia Cairns and Hannah Craggs battled to 69th place. Many are still in the same age group next year so will be able to enjoy the experience once more and beat the times they set this year.
Ben Reed led the U15 boys team with a tremendous time of 10mins 24secs only placing him within seconds of some of his Hampshire rivals. Callum Duff, another 800m runner, also posted a solid run so was pleased with his efforts on the difficult last leg. The team finished 39th and included Lewis Reed and David Craggs.
One incomplete team saw U13 Jared Rolfe and brother Myles posting times to be proud of beating many older competitors.
Regrettably the U17 men were another incomplete team missing their best runner due to school commitments meant they would not be able to prove they would be also be in the best top 20 teams. Matt Cook, who is preparing for the World Biathle Championships, posted 13.31secs, newcomer Ross Livingstone blasted around in a fine 13.19secs and Archie McKellar posted 14.28secs over a longer and hillier distance of 3,850m.
All are now looking forward to the Hampshire Cross Country League that starts with the first match at Reading on October 19.
Full page of athletics in Friday's Advertiser