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Gwent Cross Country League 2017/18 - SEASON ROUND UP! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Nathan Jones   
Monday, 05 March 2018 18:30


At the end of another Gwent Cross Country League season / Diwedd tymor arall Cynghrair Trawsgwlad y "Gwent League" - here's the season round up: It has now been going strong for a number of years, attracting athletes - juniors and seniors - from across South Wales and the South West of England. The league, formed in 1963 has continued every year since then and a good way of making friends from other clubs.

Cardiff, Brecon, Pembrey, Pontypool and (Bristol) were the venues confirmed for the past season over five months. Each match saw over 1,000 athletes take part across a range of age groups, starting with the under 11 athletes and going up through under 13, under 15, under 17/20 to the seniors which attracted the most numbers.



The opening round of the Gwent League Cross Country back on October 14th got off to a storming start at Llandaff Fields in Cardiff, as World University Games medallist Jess Judd and Sam Stabler were victorious in the senior races at the opening fixture. It was incorporating the first event of the British Athletics Cross Challenge, which had moved from its usual date in January to October at a new venue of Llandaff, offering a change of scenery for the cross challenge which had been held nearby at Bute Park for nearly two decades.

The season opener provided a great opportunity to face the best British Athletes ahead of the European Trials. Meanwhile, it was the chance for many club runners to get their campaign's underway with races coming thick and fast for all ages. Different to a normal Gwent League, runners were able to test themselves alongside unknown competitors in high quality fields.



In addition, the Cardiff fixture welcomed the West Wales Cross Country championships where the top finishers from the region were automatically selected to take part at the Welsh Inter Regional XC championships in Brecon. Unfortunately, the event was called off 24H before due to the wintry conditions across the country.

Four weeks later...the league made it's move from the Welsh Capital along the A470 up to Penlan Arena in Brecon in mid November for round 2. Ahead of the visit to West Wales and a great warm up ahead of the Welsh Inter Schools Cross Country championships which took place at the same venue a week later, a total of 600 juniors and 700 seniors from Wales and England took part across all age groups in an event, incorporating the South & East Wales Cross Country championships.

In amongst the 415 finishers in the concluding race on a rather messy and muddy field was Dewi Griffiths who was making his first cross country appearance of the season back on home soil following his excellent marathon debut time in Frankfurt, Germany.



On Sunday December 3rd 2017, Carmarthen Harriers' hosting of the third Gwent Cross Country League match in conjunction with Carmarthenshire County Council was again hailed as a great success at Pembrey Country Park.

Returning for the second time in successive years on a demanding course that showcased the counties park and the surrounding areas, the competitors aged 9 to 80 tackled fast grass sections, sand dunes, woods and paths with the course winning praise from all who attended.

This fixture was the last 2017 event to take place just before the Christmas and New Year break. The Gwent League followed on from the 2017 Welsh Road Relay championships which was welcomed to Pembrey Country Park for the first time back in September. After a wet, muddy and chilly previous match, any mud was hard to find with the conditions ideal for quick cross country runners, giving participants the chance to take in some breath-taking sights around the route overlooking Carmarthen Bay.

Carmarthen & District Harriers Athletics Club, Carmarthenshire County Council, Actif Sir Gar, Pembrey Country Park, Alfie Pics, Dyfed Powys Police, St John Ambulance Llanelli, Weymans catering plus many more volunteers contributed towards the day. It is hoped that this will be a springboard to bring for future bids for Welsh National championships and International running events.

ALSO before that in September, the Welsh Road Relays championships came to the Llanelli based facility for the first time with a great days running and several great individual and team performances, CLICK HERE TO READ OUR REPORT ON THE DAY (via the Welsh Athletics website)



Last month (February) the league headed back to a less familiar venue over the years for round four of five...Pontypool Park resulting in a new course for many of the athletes and spectators, however a location where the Gwent League made it's first step back in 1963.

Clubs gathered on the 11th of February on a tough and difficult course not helped with the wind, rain, hail and snow that was thrown in throughout the with a big hill climb to challenge runners overlooking the rugby pitch. This turned out to be the end of the league for this season and the final opportunity for those in the leading individual and team positions to make their move or hold on to their medal places due to the Bristol postponement below.

On Saturday 3rd March, the 2017/18 league season was due to be concluded over the Severn Bridge at Blaise Castle, Bristol where it offered different scenery over in South West England. Because of the extreme adverse weather conditions that hit parts of the United Kingdom during the latter part of the week and into the weekend, organisers made the early decision to cancel the event. Although the course was just usable with adjustments, surrounding paths were very icy and with further bad weather coming and travel disruptions, it was called off with disappointment for athletes and spectators alike.

Awards this season were based on the first four fixtures at Cardiff, Brecon, Pembrey and Pontypool. The top five individuals in the novices, under 13 and under 15 were awarded with medals as well as the top three teams in all age groups. For under 17's up, the top three individuals and top three teams were presented with end of league awards.



Despite the busy fixture congestion, Carmarthen Harriers have enjoyed another pleasing season in the league with top half finishes and some medallists amongst them. Pride of place goes to the novice boys and girls, who all contributed towards a great campaign securing team gold and bronze respectively. (the boys finishing over 200 points clear of second).

In addition, Iwan Thomas, Ifan Bowen and Jake Lynock were first, third and fifth in the NB. Other individual results included: Scott Price (8th under 13 boys); Liam Edwards (8th under 15 boys); Gordon Orme (2nd male 65); Carys Wood (6th novice girls); Amy Greatrick (10th under 13 girls); Ellie Kiff (10th under 20 women) and Wendy Price (7th senior women)



Novice Boys: A 1st (1793); B 7th (1208); C 36th (189)

Under 13 Boys: A 6th (884); B 30th (82)

Under 15 Boys: 12th (359)

Under 17 Men: 9th (199)

Under 20 Men: 12th (23)

Senior Men: 73rd (95)

Male 35: 55th (81)

Male 45: 42nd (56)

Male 65: 4th (15)

Novice Girls: A 3rd (1543); B 21st (478)

Under 13 Girls: 12th (347)

Under 15 Girls: 10th (405)

Under 17 Women: 7th (97)

Under 20 Women: 6th (31)

Senior Women: 34th (394)

Female 35: 22nd (291)


CLUB ATHLETES / ATHLETWYR Y CLWB 2017/18 - over the four matches

Novice Boys: Iwan Thomas, Ifan Bowen, Jake Lynock, Alex Coles, James Sloyan, Macsen Toogood, Liam Upton-Boorman, Finn Best, Rhys Durling, Dylan Bevan, Tygan Davies, Huw Cressey-Rodgers, Aron Hedd Jones, Aron Bowen

Under 13 Boys: Jack Thomas, Scott Price, Ioan Cressey-Rodgers, Frank Morgan, Brynmor Peters, Rogan Cox, Steffan Davies

Under 15 Boys: Dafydd Jones, Liam Edwards

Under 17 & 20 Men: Ben Thomas, Tomos Rees, Archi Morgan, Thomas Jones

Senior Men: Huw Davies, Nicholas Coles, Lloyd Heckler, David Jones, Jack Tremlett, Vince Bailey, Paul Lynock, Jonathan Cox, Gordon Orme, Peter Moody

Novice Girls: Carys Wood, Bessy Hill, Efa Vardill, Ellie-May John, Erin Morgan, Frances Mackie, Nia Seren Thomas, Amelia Garcia

Under 13 Girls: Amy Greatrick, Faye Jones, Milly John

Under 15 Girls: Daisy Thompson, Phoebe Davis, Siwan Jones-Evans, Maddie Morgan, Heledd Jones

Under 17 & 20 Women: Cerys Davies, Grace Page, Eva Edwards, Non Morgan, Ellie Kiff

Senior Women: Wendy Price, Louise Jones-Evans, Kate Parker, Lisa Forest, Gill Edwards, Elizabeth Tremlett, Kayleigh Bagshaw


Image may contain: 12 people, people smiling, people standing, child, outdoor and nature


Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling, people standing, child, grass, sky, outdoor and nature