Wallace shines to win South West Cross Country Championships title

Ellie Wallace proudly displaying the goal medal she won.

Ellie Wallace proudly displaying the goal medal she won after winning the South West Cross Country Championships Senior Ladies title - Credit: North Somerset AC

Ellie Wallace continued her fine run of recent form to win the South West Cross Country Championships Senior Ladies title near Taunton last weekend.

Wallace, fresh from disappointment in just falling short of sealing a place in the GB team for the European Cross Country Champs in Dublin last month, pulled away from the field in emphatic fashion midway through the first lap of the tough 7k RAF Merryfield course. 

Making light of the heavy conditions underfoot, she extended her lead throughout to finish a full one minute clear of second place.

Ellie Wallace leading the Senior Ladies Cross Country Championships in Taunton.

Ellie Wallace leading the South West Senior Ladies Cross Country Championships in Taunton. - Credit: North Somerset AC

She also led the County of Avon senior ladies team to Gold in the Counties competition.

The clubs under-13 boys 'A' team of Joe Finch, Leo Darlington, Felix Ashby and James Bennett cruised to Team Gold in the Club championship competition.

Finch also secured the individual silver medal after a gargantuan battle down the home straight with rivals from Team Bath and City of Plymouth AC. 

Only four  seconds separated the three athletes in the tightest finish of the day.

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For their efforts, Finch and Darlington also won additional Gold medals in helping the County of Avon under-13 Boys team to the Counties competition Title.

Finch, Darlington eigth, Ashby 16th and Bennett 27th, who ran half the race in one shoe, ensured the boys reamin top of the highly regarded Gwent Cross Country League after the first three fixtures

Other highlights for the club included Sam Gentry’s fine run in the senior men’s race. 

After his excellent sixth  place finish in the Clevedon Boxing Day run the previous Sunday, he dug deep into his reserves for this one to secure a superb 13th place finish, and with it a deserved gold medal in the winning six-man county of Avon team. 

In the men's under-20 competition Will Cheek and Ben Hamblin won team Bronze medals to help Avon to third place, whilst in the ladies under-20 race Alice Bridger-Morales ran very well to finish a respectful sixth place.

Under-15s duo Ben Collins and Mia Darlington secured county team medals on the day. 

Collins did enough in 18th place to secure a slot in the under-15 boys silver medal winning County of Avon Team, whilst Darlington has made huge strides since her first cross country race in October. 

Darlington's hard work over this short period paid off rewardingly to pick up a fine 22nd place and secure her a slot in the U15 Girls silver medal winning County of Avon Team.

The under-11s are a great introduction to championship racing and both Edward Stoat and Oscar Warren enjoyed themselves. The pair raced superbly to finish second and third respectively with only six seconds separating them in a 28-strong field.