Another fantastic weekend for AFD at our Rushmoor Arena. The organisation done by AFD was first class as was the athletics.
Aldershot, Farnham & District retained both senior titles in the South of England road-relay running championships at the weekend. They also took three of the six young athletes’ races at Rushmoor Arena. It was AFD’s ninth consecutive victory in the women’s event and their quartet had four of the five fastest times on Saturday. Steph Twell began the rout by coming home 21 seconds clear of the field on the first leg and Amy Griffiths doubled the club’s advantage when clocking the day’s fifth fastest time on the second. Emelia Gorecka recorded the fastest and Lily Partridge matched Twell’s time, which was second fastest, on the anchor leg so that runners-up Bedford & County were almost three minutes adrift. Third across the line was the AFD B team of Grace Baker, Laura Gent, Lauren Hall and Bryony Proctor.
The men hit the front during the second half of Sunday’s six-stage event. Following stints by Jack Rowe, Toby Smith and Josh Grace, Ian Bailey set off in fourth and gave AFD a lead that Joe Morwood and Adam Clarke never lost. Nick Torry, who was thirteenth in the marathon at the Commonwealth Games, anchored Serpentine to the silver medals but was unable to reduce the deficit of nearly a minute since his time was the same as Clarke’s, which was fourth quickest.
AFD’s other wins had all happened on Saturday, beginning with the under-13 boys. Joshua Genco-Russo took them into the frame after legs by Josh Foreman and Max Anderson. Luke Van Oudtshoorn, ranked in the age-group’s top ten for 1500 metres this summer, then produced the quickest overall time to improve the two places required for gold. The club’s u17 women were also anchored by the event’s quickest performer. Taking over from Katie Shiel-Rankin, Daisy D’Santos went from eighth to second and it was Niamh Brown who pipped Bracknell’s Hope Goddard, a national cross country champion as an u13, to the finish with five seconds to spare. The u15 girls team of Eugenie Cockle (third fastest overall),Tilly Horton and Stacey Burrows led all the way.
Dan Rickards completed the opening stage of the u17 men’s competition in eleventh before Nathan Gibson (eighth fastest) improved to fifth and Jack Boswell (sixth fastest) to second. Jake Cvetkovic set off twenty seconds behind Tonbridge’s Alasdair Kinloch, who was 44 seconds quicker than him when fastest u15 last year, but Cvetkovic managed to halve the gap while consolidating the silver-medal position with the event’s fourth best time.
Robbie Coupland was eighth best u15 boy when anchoring Ollie Percival, Will Brockman and Billy Smith to the bronze medals. AFD gained another set of medals, silver, in the veteran men’s contest.
Tad Dicker (ninth fastest) took his side into the lead after Nathan Aspinall (tenth fastest) had finished the opener in third. Darren Symes lost out to Kent AC’s Phil Sanders, who was third fastest overall, and Mark Symes, despite being seventh fastest, had to concede more ground to Chris Greenwood.