At a sunny but windy Goodwood, where dry conditions meant flats were more prevalent than spikes, Phoenix athletes had a successful day at the first Sussex x-country league race, with four individual race wins, Mathew Berridge in the U13 boy; Billy White U15 boys; Will Durkin U17 boys and Max Pickard U20 men. There was one second, Archie Davies U13 boys and two thirds, Jake Elliot 17 Boys and Erica Martin Senior/Vet Women. Special mentions to Max, who although U20 won the senior men’s race, which had its largest field for some time, also to Erica, who in her own words had her best x-country race for some time and although third overall was first senior women.
The league is not just about individual winners but also about team performance, every place matters. It was therefore pleasing to see that the fine individual successes were backed up with complete teams in all races except the U15 girls and veteran women, with team victories in the U13 and U17 boys. A more detailed report for the U13 boys can be seen below, unfortunately Isaac Wright suffered an injury in the U13 race and we wish him a speedy recovery. It was good to see complete teams in the U13 girls and senior women, who in the past have struggled to make teams. It was noted that it was up to Max and the ‘older’ men to make up the numbers in the senior men’s team, with Donald Maclellan running his first x-country race for Phoenix leading the Phoenix vets home. Donald also won the post race cake eating prize!
Well done to all those who attended, the next league races are on November 26th at Plumpton.
U13 boys report by Quenton Davis - We went into the first league match confident of a good result following the cross country relays, even with the absence of Reuben Hoyte from that gold medal winning team. With six boys available on the day we were also confident of a good B team position. Matt Berridge and Archie Davis had decided before the race to both hit the front early on and force the pace together, a tactic that saw them steadily work clear of Lewes in third place. By the last 200m the two Phoenix boys were well clear and the inform Matt Berridge took first place ahead of Archie in a last 50m sprint finish.
Ollie Johnson came home in 15th place in his maiden Sussex league match to ensure first place for the A team by six points ahead of Hastings. The B team were looking good for a mid table spot through Isaac Wright, Joe Lillee and Harry Swindells but unfortunately Isaac sustained what appears to be a pretty serious knee injury in the last third of the race. At twelve years old and a talented competition cyclist this could very likely end Isaac's cross country season; we all wish him a speedy recovery. The B team still managed a fantastic 12th position and hopefully with the three or four good runners we still have to call on we can push the B team up the table over the last three matches.