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Saturday 18th January 2020, Priory Park 

Thirteen RPAC Juniors qualified through the district xc races in November to compete in Priory Park on Saturday in the Surrey Schools XC Championships. 

All put in great efforts with some outstanding  performances recorded. Lucy Dénecé, with a typically strong run, finished 4th in the Junior Girls (Y's 8 & 9) race to earn automatic selection to the Surrey Schools XC  team that will compete in the prestigious English Schools XC Championships in Liverpool on the 14th March. Lucy is also selected for the Surrey Schools team competing in an Inter-counties xc match in Essex on February 1st.

In the same Junior Girls race, Shakila Keable and Lilah Unwin were both highly placed amongst the Y8  finishers and have been selected to represent Surrey Schools in an Inter-counties xc match in Kent on 21st March against Kent, Hampshire, Sussex and Essex. Alessia Turner ran well too but was agonisingly 1 place off selection.

Three more of our Y7 and Y8 contingent also finished in high enough places and have been selected by Surrey Schools for the match in Kent. Pollyanne Stott,  who was 5th in her race, and both Will John-Cox and Sam Rolaston will wear the Surrey Yellow vests again on March 21st. There were great performances in these  races too by Ollie Burnett,  Charlotte Pelekani,  Florence Carter and Livvy Thompson. 

In the intermediate boys race (Y's10 & 11), both Oscar Curry and Noah Young ran strongly in a highly competitive field.

Some of our runners on Saturday:

A small but strong contingent from RPAC competed in the Surrey XC League matches on Saturday with all producing excellent performances. 

In the U15 boys race at Beckenham,  Oscar Curry put in another great effort to finish in 27th position with several U17's ahead of him in that count as they run a combined U17/U15 race. In the U13B'S,  strong runs by Max Orchard, 14th, and Sam Rolaston 21st, saw our incomplete team manage 8th place out of 14.

The girls were racing on Wimbledon Common and a typically gutsy run by Lucy Dénecé saw her finish 5th in the U15G'S. Excellent running from our U13G'S saw Pollyanne Stott finish 14th,  Alessia Turner 22nd and in her first appearance in the League,  Livvy Thompson was 39th. This earned them 7th place out of the 14 clubs entered. 

The last round of matches take place on Saturday 8th February with the boys at Lloyd Park in Croydon and the girls at the scenic course in Richmond Park. 

There were plenty of great performances by the RPAC youngsters at the Surrey County XC Championships held at Denbies Vineyard, Dorking. 

On a mainly dry but heavy course with plenty of hill work included, the U13 boys were the first race. 17 clubs were represented in the race and whilst a number didn't field the minimum 4 runners required to constitute a team, 6th place for RPAC was an excellent result. Max Orchard was our first runner home in 16th place with Will John-Cox,  Sam Rolaston and Kai Adams making up the team.

With 14 from RPAC running in the U13 girls race, our first 4 home made up our A team (Shakila Keable, Lilah Unwin, Pollyanne Stott and Cara Koutzaroff-Richards) and finished in 5th place! A great result with Shakila 18th closely followed by Lilah 19th our top two finishers.

In the U15 girls race, a strong run by Lucy Dénecé saw her take 8th place and she has put herself in contention for the Surrey team that will contest the UK Inter-counties championships at Loughborough in March. Oscar Curry finished a very creditable 26th in the U15B'S.

There is plenty of competitive cross-country ahead in January with next up the third match in the Surrey League this coming Saturday.  The boys race is in Beckenham and the girls are on Wimbledon Common.  Anyone in year 6 and above is welcome to take part.

Some pics from Denbies:


Sunday 12 January 

Competing in the 2020 South of England AA Indoor U13,U15,U17 Championships at Lee Valley, Lilah Unwin, in her first appearance as an U15, qualified from her heat to return late in the day for the 800m final.

A superb run saw Lilah clock a new 800m PB finishing 4th in a time of 2.30.26.

Well done Lilah!


drew burridge and james naylor at lee valley

A trip to the Lee Valley Athletics Centre, Edmonton on New Year's Day proved successful for two of our junior athletes.

Under 20 James Naylor clocked a personal best over 400m on his first outing to a banked indoor 200m track with a superb run of 54.82s. Drew Burridge set a club best time over the same distance of 53.51s in his first competition in the Under 20 age group.

Both James and Drew have been training three times a week throughout the off-season to give themselves a flying start to 2020. Drew comments, "Thursday evening strength and conditioning sessions at the YMCA with Ian Martin, and a regular group of other junior athletes during the winter, has paid dividends. I'd encourage other under fifteen-plus juniors to consider joining us in the New Year."