Davies and Jones fly the flag for the region at Ashton Court event
ON an excellent day of cross-country racing, rookies Alice Davies, of North Somerset AC, and Bristol & West's Katie Jones took the honours for local runners in the McCain Challenge event at Ashton Court.
Twelve-year-old Davies, who lives in Lympsham, near Weston-super-Mare, finished runner-up in the under-13 girls' race just four seconds behind the winner, Katy-Ann McDonald, of London club Herne Hill Harriers.
"Katie is a very talented young girl with bags of potential and we have high hopes for her," said coach Alan Thomas, from North Somerset AC.
There was also a silver medal for Jones in the under-11 girls' race, which was won in some style by Elena Sidman, of Wells Cathedral School.
Otherwise, podium paces were few and far between for our local runners as athletes from all around the country, from Liverpool to east Kent, arrived in Bristol for the start of the 2012-13 McCain Series that offers £30,000 in prizes across its five meetings.
Top honours went to Swansea Harriers' Dewi Griffiths in the men's race, defeating reigning champion Frank Tickner of Wells, while there was further Welsh success in the women's race as Caryl Jones continued her good start to the season with a runaway victory.
Both athletes are strong contenders to qualify for the European Cross Country Championships via the trials, which are incorporated into the next McCain event in Liverpool on November 24.
Top local runner in the men's race was Bristol & West's 1,500 metre specialist Steve Mitchell, showing good stamina as he finished just ahead of clubmate and international duathlete Phil Wylie.
Rebekah Randell led the home challenge in the women's race finishing ninth with Bristol & West clubmate Hannah Alderson 12th.
Sadly, the turn-out from Bristol & West AC and Westbury Harriers was hugely disappointing for what will be the most prestigious cross country event to be held in the West Country this winter.
Bristol & West fielded just seven athletes in the senior and under-20 races, while Westbury, who have a rich heritage of cross country running, didn't manage a single runner.
At least Westbury had six young athletes in action (excluding the under-11s primary school races) whereas B&W couldn't muster even one, which should lead to questions being asked by the club's hierarchy.
Thank goodness then for North Somerset AC, who had a party of 20 young athletes in action and managed some decent results with former Easy Runner athlete of the month Ellie Leather ninth in the under-15 girls' race just ahead of Jasmin Emery, Harriet Emery 11th in the under-13s, David Warnes 10th in the under-15 boys' race and Ben Cureton ninth in the under-13s.
Looking at the bigger picture, it was great to see an athlete of the calibre of Jessica Judd, who in the summer finished second in the 800m at the World Junior Championships, make the long journey from Chelmsford. If all goes well there is a potential future Olympian, so make note of the name and remember that she was happy to race in Bristol.
Senior men: 1 Dewi Griffiths (Swans) 29:44; 2 Biniam Ande (Birch) 29:53; 3 Frank Tickner (Wells) 29:53.
LOCAL: 7 Steve Mitchell (B&W) 30:33; 8 Phil Wylie (B&W) 30:42; 27 Phil Parry (B&W, M45 1st) 34:41; 31 Andrew Davies (TRC, M40 1st) 38:35; 35 David Cousins (SRC) 41:30; 36 David Lee (SRC, M40) 49:40.
Under-20 men: 1 Jack Gray (BRAT) 23:22. LOCAL: 11 Alex Hill (TBAC) 25:14; 22 Kieran Young (B&W) 26:05.
Under-17 men: 1 Jac Hopkins (Swan) 20:29. LOCAL: 4 Alex Carter (TBAC) 21:03; 35 George Chapman (TBAC) 24:35.
Under-15 boys: 1 Daniel Evans (Warr) 13:38. LOCAL: 10 David Warnes (SAC) 14:56; 12 Ashley-Joe Leathem (NSAC) 15:12; 20 Tom Clark (NSAC) 16:16; 22 Ewan Joyce (Yate) 16:34.
Under-13 boys: 1 Jamie Rawlings (Reading) 9:58. LOCAL: 4 John Howorth (TBAC) 10:03; 7 Robert Howorth (TBAC) 10:13; 9 Ben Cureton (NSAC) 10:20; 13 Oscar Rogers (NSAC) 10:36; 14 Themis Bower (TBAC) 10:41; 16 Jaylan Bacon (NSAC) 11:16; 18 Euan Campbell (NSAC) 11:27; 20 Ben Whitaker (WH) 12:23; 21 Oscar Allgrove-Ralph (NSAC) 12:24; 25 Alfred Livesey (WH) 15:02.
Under-11 boys primary schools' race: 1 Rory Howorth (TBAC) 6:37; 2 Sam Evans (Warr) 6:49; 3 Sam Gentry (Yatton Juniors) 7:00.
LOCAL: 6 Oliver Lock (Fairfield) 7:34; 7 George Stagg (Henleaze) 7:41; 9 Henry Smith (Elmlea) 7:50; 10 Bryn Davies (Elmlea) 7:50; 11 Mitchell Osmond (Portishead) 7:57; 12 Joshua Carpenter (Yatton) 7:57.
Senior women: 1 Caryl Jones (Swans) 25:58; 2 Hannah Brooks (Crawley) 26:14 3 Sara Treacy (Birch) 26:25.
LOCAL: 9 Rebekah Randell (B&W, W35) 27:25; 12 Hannah Alderson (B&W) 27:54; 19 Rebecca Pierce (TBA) 30:25; 21 Diana Kennedy (B&W) 32:31.
Under-20 women: 1 Jessica Judd (Chelmsford) 17:35.
LOCAL: 17 Alex Stainthorpe (TBAC) 22:23.
Under-17 women: 1 Bobby Clay (Invicta) 17:29.
LOCAL: 4 Loren Bleaken (TBAC) 19:42.
Under-15 girls: 1 Harriet Knowles-Jones (Warr) 14:59.
LOCAL: 9 Ellie Leather (WH) 16:36; 11 Jasmin Emery (NSAC) 16:43; 19 Georgia Taylor (WH) 17:40; 21 Emma Jones (WH) 17:49; 22 Cecilie Andersen (NSAC) 17:59; 28 Emma Tomes (WH) 19:45; 29 Angharad Flower (NSAC) 20:14; 30 Sofie Andersen (NSAC) 22:46.
Under-13 girls: 1 Katy-Ann McDonald (HHH) 10:26; 2 Alice Davies (NSAC) 10:30; 3 Amelia Lancaster (Sheffield) 10:36.
LOCAL: 11 Harriet Emery (NSAC) 11:38; 15 Lauren Ashurst (NSAC) 12:24; 21 Sophie Parker (NSAC) 13:08; 22 Georgina Hamilton-James (WH) 13:15; 23 Lizzzie Plews (NSAC) 13:20; 24 Olivia Burton (NSAC) 13:28; 25 Phoebe Curyer (NSAC) 13:35; 26 Caroline Walder (NSAC) 13:47; 28 Phoebe Gould (WH) 14:02; 29 Ella Davey (NSAC) 14:34.
Under-11 girls primary school race: 1 Elena Sidman (Wells Cathedral) 7: 24; 2 Katie Jones (B&W) 7:36; 3 Hannah Sherridan (Curry Mallet) 7:41.
LOCAL: 4 Kate Howard (Henleaze) 7:50; 6 Charlotte Livesey (WH) 8:04; 8 Elle Radford (Henleaze) 8:10; 12 Imogen Hayles (Fairfield) 8:14.