Wind was battled, mud was squelched and mountains were conquered last week, as the Hare and Hounds took to Coldham’s Common for the third instalment of the annual cross country College League. The route incorporated a lengthy lap of the 1972 International Cross Country course, for which a sizeable and nearly insurmountable lump had been incongruously constructed, upon an otherwise very flat and exposed field. Undeterred by the somewhat mentally destroying course, the event saw a turnout of thirty seven Hareys, all keen to prove their worth in the mud, the wind and the terrifyingly steep synthetic hill.
Starting together, the men were set to complete three laps of the 2.25 mile course, whilst the women ran two – a much longer race than many were used to. First to finish was Liz Mooney, continuing in her excellent form from last term, in a time of 30:04. Liz, who won first place by an enormous 26 seconds on Saturday, finished her first term in style by helping the women’s Blues to thrash Oxford in December, and looks set to do similarly amazing things at BUCS in just a few weeks’ time. Finishing behind Liz was Alison Greggor – another brilliant runner from the victorious Blues team – in a not-too-shabby time of 30:30. Impressive runs in the women’s race were also had by Women’s Captain Megan Wilson, in 3rd place with 30:56, and Carrie Beadle, in 4th place with 31:42. Both demonstrated great form and stamina on the day; presenting an inkling of what we have to look forward to at BUCS.
The men’s race was similarly exciting, as Alex Short and Ian Williamson battled it out for first place. Ultimately, Ian claimed victory in a speedy time of 37:21, having just slipped past Alex on the final straight. Both ran impressive races and demonstrated top form. All eyes are now on Alex in anticipation of his performance at BUCS; having made his debut for the Great Britain under 20s last term, great things are expected from him. Third home in the men’s race was Joe Christopher, in 38:10, closely followed by James Hoad and James Chettle in 38:26 and 38:28 respectively. All three ran strong races, with Christopher and Hoad having won themselves places on the Men’s A team at BUCS, and Chettle having been named as a reserve. All of the boys at Coldham’s Common this year demonstrated a strength and form that looks very promising for the fixtures ahead.
Competition was also heating up in the College League standings, as Christ’s trio Megan Wilson, Nadia Ogilvie and Hattie Baker attempted to tackle the lead that the Homerton girls had acquired last term. Although Wilson, Ogilvie and Baker each put in strong performances to claim college victory at Coldham’s Common, the Homerton women remain in the lead in the run up to the final College League race. Meanwhile, Queen’s boys Joe Christopher and Will Ryle-Hodges worked hard to claim victory for their college last Saturday. However, demonstrating that breadth of talent is as important as depth in the College League, the final instalment will see Trinity and Christ’s battle it out for top position in the men’s, as both have produced large turnouts in this year’s fixtures, and have so far crafted for themselves some very competitive scores.
Ahead of BUCS: the Hare and Hounds are looking as strong as ever.