There’s been some beautiful conditions for the previous three fixtures in the Hampshire Cross Country League but Saturday didn’t look promising as the Island contingent met in gale-force conditions. A week previously a much bigger group had travelled to Eastleigh for the championships and it looked as if these efforts had taken their toll on the numbers with a smaller selection of athletes boarding the coach as well as reduced fields lining up for all the races at Reading’s Prospect Park.
IWAC’S Under 13 boys continued their strong placing but slipped behind in their battle with Southampton for third in the league. James Haggerty lead the team home in 18th. Maisie Witty was IWAC’s sole representative in the Under 13 girls, finishing a creditable 35th. Also the only Island runner in her race was Under 15 Elsie Lewis and she also finished 35th. The Under 17 boy’s race saw IWAC’s championship winning team from the previous week maintain their 3rd place in the league lead home by Sam Metcalf and Michael Illot who finished 10th and 11th respectively.
In the Senior Women’s race Sarah Kavanagh demonstrated her continuing return to the form of last Spring as she finished 24th. Julie King came next in 55th whilst Rosie Eldridge and Elaine Parry continued their personal battle with Rosie coming out victorious this time as they once again finished within touching distance in 83rd and 85th respectively to complete the Ryde Harriers team who sit 10th overall with one fixture left. Grace Crumplin was the only other Island runner competing and she crossed just before Rosie and Elaine in 78th.
The Senor Men’s race also featured the smallest Island group of the whole season but Ryde Harriers once again had a full team running as they moved clear of their Wight Tri rivals to take third place in the league. First Islander home was IWAC’s Steve Haggerty who showed his returning fitness with a strong performance to finish 69th. Next came Les Cupis who anchored Ryde’s team home in 89th followed by Tom Blackwell in 97th. Keith Curwood of Wight Tri split the remaining Harriers as he finished in 109th. Simon Joy came next on his debut cross-country and showed a strong finishing kick to overtake four other runners in the final 200 metres. Simon finished 172nd overall with the final Ryde team members being Ken Beak in 182nd and Andy Leal in 189th.