On Saturday 6th December all roads led to Brecon for the third fixture of this year’s Gwent cross country league.
From the past two fixtures the men’s team were comfortably at the top of the University table which consists of teams such as Cardiff University, Bristol University, and Swansea University. The Women’s team were in third place overall after impressive performances in the past two fixtures.
The men’s race saw the team battle through a flat and fast 9.8km course with conditions perfect for cross country running. Fresher, Dan Chesworth, who is currently leading the overall University standings finished 4th with two strong Bristol University students ahead of him. The other student ahead of him was Nick Wood who was the stand out male performer on the day finishing 15th overall, and an impressive 3rd in the University race. George Harris, fresh from his trip to Ethiopia where he has been helping organise the Great Ethiopian run, came home 9th in the University race with his first Gwent league of the season. Aaron Pritchard crossed the line a promising 19th in the University race but made massive improvements since his last outing going from 109th to 66th this time around. Sam Groom had a promising run making his first appearance in the Gwent league this season, finishing 23rd in the University race. Fresher Richard Crane had the finish of the day overtaking four people ahead of him to anchor the team home in 24th position. The mens team finished 2nd overall, with Bristol University fielding a strong team for this fixture taking the win.
The women’s team had the task of completing the 5.7km course, unfortunately without the talented Ffion Price who is unable to score for the University as she nears enrolment to Mississippi University later this year. Carys Hughes led the team home in 13th position overall and 3rd in the University race making great improvements on the 7th place finish at the previous Gwent league. Emily Monk had an impressive run finishing 20th position overall and 4th in the University race. The steeplechase specialist, Emily Brown, made her first Gwent league appearance of the season finishing 22nd overall and 5th in the University race. Fresher Zoe Barrett was 14th in the University race with a consistent run after finishing 15th in the previous fixture. Another Fresher Kari O’neill improved by three places from the previous fixture to finish 17th. Masters student Natalie Allen anchored the team home improving six places on the previous fixture to finish 19th. The womans team improved from 4th in the previous fixture to 2nd in this one with many excellent performances.
The Welsh University championships is the next fixture for the team on 18th January 2015 which is incorporated into the Cardiff Cross Challenge. After impressive performances in the past three fixtures it’s an exciting new year ahead for the team as they prepare for BUCS XC on the 31st January in Brighton.