Teenager Wallace bounces back from illness to race to victory
THE return of Ellie Wallace to winning form was one of the most encouraging results at the Avon Schools' Cross Country Championships at Blaise Castle.
The Redland High School pupil has seen the runaway start to her career derailed by a bout of glandular fever that first came to light in the summer when her performances tailed away.
Wallace, 13, was left feeling drained and lacking energy and after taking a break has been monitored closely by her coaches at North Somerset AC Steve Hollier and Alan Thomas.
Saturday's excellent win in the junior girls' race was only her second race in six months following her third place in the Avon Clubs' Championships on her comeback last month.
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Wallace said: "It is unfortunate that I got glandular fever but better now than when I am older. I have really missed training and racing, so I really enjoyed that today."
Such is Wallace's enthusiasm and dedication that her coaches have had to hold her back, so they will be watching her carefully this week to ensure she has recovered from her win, which guarantees her a place in the Avon squad for the South West Schools' Championships at the same venue on February 2.
Thomas said: "Ellie has done very little in training as we want to make sure she recovers properly and now we will wait and see how she feels in the week after this win."
While Wallace's win came as no surprise, the defeat of Miranda Sadler in the senior girls' race was unexpected.
The 17-year-old was heading for victory as she led at halfway, but then she unfortunately took a tumble allowing training partner Maria Jones to move into top spot.
The 17-year-old Colston's School student said: "I have never beaten Miranda before and I didn't expect to beat her today. That is my first Avon Schools' title, so I am really pleased."
Also delighted was 12-year-old Grange School, Warmley, rookie Aidan Noble as he held off Worle School's Jaylan Back to win the minor boys' race.
David Warnes, of Gordano School, showed real grit and determination to win the junior boys' title as his early lead was dramatically cut back by Ben Cureton and Harry Leeming as they chased hard.
Warnes, 13, said: "I was worried about my fitness as I had been ill so I decided to go out hard and see what happened."
Cecilie Andersen showed good pace judgement to win her first county schools' title in the inter-girls' age group as she led home Joanna Taylor and Jess Monk, who had her best run for some time.
An excellent morning's racing ended with St Bedes' 16-year-old David McMillan sprinting to the line to lift the inter boys' title and afterwards Avon team manager Lesley Nunn paid tribute to Cherry Krause from Ashton Park, plus staff from BGS, Ashton Park. Redland Green and SMR. plus Ken Holmes for their help in putting on the meeting.
Nunn said: "With absence of staff, the Avon Schools committee were very thankful for all the support that was offered to them by Westbury Harriers.
"Dave and Marilyn Palmer did a sterling job heading up the course, while Robyn Golding co-ordinated the club volunteers for marshalling. A special thanks must go to the small group of people that, despite the pouring rain, set about laying out the course at 7.30am. These were Dave, Marilyn, Keith Brackstone, Bruce Holden, Ken Holmes, Pete Jakobek (BGS), Ian Holmes, Steven Bailey (Redland Green), Steve Body (SMR), Simon Johnston and Christopher Barley from St Bedes.
"Thanks must also go to the Avon Club officials that did an excellent job at the start and finish."
Senior boys: 1 Kieran Young (BANES) 26:20; 2 Miles Chandler (NS) 28:34; 3 James Humphrey (BANES) 29:40; 4 Magnus Gordon (B) 30:12; 5 Jack Millar (B) 30:49; 6 Nick Matthews (BANES) 32:07; 7 Dan Douglas (NS) 3234; 8 Jack Philpot (B) 33:47.
Inter boys: 1 David McMillan (B) 22:43; 2 George Chapman (B) 23:02; 3 Corey Haines (B) 23:08; 4 Charlie McDoald (BANES) 23:37; 5 Jack Benden (SG) 24:07; 6 Henry Cochrane (B) 24:16; 7 Josh Kerry (B) 24:22; 8 Stephen Barnett (BANES) 24:27; 9 Alex Keen (BANES) 25:04; 10 Joe Connors (SG) 25:10. Teams: 1 Bristol 42; 2 South Gloucestershire 82.
Junior boys: 1 David Warnes (NS) 14:53; 2 Ben Cureton (NS) 14:55; 3 Harry Leeming (B) 15:00; 4 Hugh Sadler (B) 15:06; 5 Kieron Dunkley (B) 15:15; 6 Themis Bower (BANES) 5:19; 7 Ashley Leatham (NS) 15:21; 8 Sam Dangerfield (NS) 15:33; 9 George Marshall (B) 15:49; 10 Billy Cochrane (B) 15:58. Teams: 1 Bristol 45; 2 North Somerset 49; 3 BANES 100; 4 South Gloucestershire 137.
Minor boys: 1 Aidan Noble (SG) 11:24; 2 Taylor Bacon (NS) 12:15; 3 Iwan Tudor (BANES) 12:23; 4 James Cook (SG) 12:33; 5 Mike Morgan (B) 12:40; 6 Tom Paine (B) 12:42; 7 Matt Binding (SG) 12:51; 8 Oscar Sparks (B) 12:52; 9 Oliver Cunningham (NS) 12:55; 10 Luke Garner-Greene (NS) 13:00. Teams: 1 North Somerset 75; 2 BANES 84; 3 Bristol 97.
Senior girls: Maria Jones (B) 17:02; 2 Paige Matthews (BANES) 17:06; 3 Miranda Sadler (B) 17:33; 4 Amber James (BANES) 17:39; 5 Kelly Leat (SG) 18:13; 6 Jodie Kelly (B) 18:23; 7 Rosie Fawcett (B) 19:28;8 Lauren Ellis (SG) 19:57; 9 Ellie Livingston (NS) 22:25; 10 A Shears (B) 25:11.
Inter girls: 1 Cecilie Andersen (NS) 16:46; 2 Joanne Taylor (B) 17:04; 3 Jessica Monk (SG) 17:17; 4 Emma Taylor (B) 17:22; 5 Rose Evans Baker (B) 17:28; 6 Emma Jones (B) 17:59; 7 Ellie Hunter (SG) 18:08; 8 Sophie Nash (B) 18:12; 9 Angharad Flower (NS) 18:13; 10 Jamina Scrase (B) 18:18. Teams: 1 Bristol 35; 2 South Glos 81; 3 BANES 102; 4 North Somerset 113.
Junior girls: 1 Ellie Wallace (B) 13:10; 2 Rosie Allen (SG) 13:21; 3 Jasmine Emery (NS) 13:25; 4 Ellie Leather (SG) 13:29; 5 Hannah Hobbs (SG) 13:59; 6 Georgia Taylor (SG) 14:11; 7 Sara Flower (NS) 14:13; 8 Alexandra Withey (BANES) 14:19; 9 Eloise Brown (B) 14:30; 10 Jasmine Moroney (NS) 14:54. Teams: 1 North Somerset 67; 2 South Glos 71; 3 BANES 102; 4 Bristol 111.
Minor girls: 1 Laura McNab (BANES) 9:29; 2 Harriett Emery (NS) 9:42; 3 Imogen Moroney (NS) 9:59; 4 Isobel Leeming (B) 10:05; 5 Lilly Landman (BANES) 10:35; 6 Alexandra Hart (BANES) 10:37; 7 Olivia Croft (B) 10:38; 8 Jones (BANES) 10:53; 9 Abigail Hayes (B 10:58; 10 Olivia Burton (N) 11:02. Teams: 1 BANES 48; 2 Bristol 78; 3 South Glos 130.