CROSS COUNTRY: Classy Alex lands South West crown

Wiltshire Times: Alex Carter on his way to victory in Bournemouth Alex Carter on his way to victory in Bournemouth

ALEX Carter is determined to end his school career on a high, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

On Saturday, the 18-year-old St Laurence School, Bradford on Avon, student added the South West Schools’ senior boys’ title to his Wiltshire success the previous week.

Now only the English Championships remains to be conquered at Donington Park, Leicestershire, on Saturday, March 15 and Carter will be giving everything to try and improve his bronze medal from 2013.

“This will be my last English Schools’ Cross Country Championships and it would be nice to improve on my bronze but we’ll have to see as it is going to be a very tough event,” said Carter.

It seems as if Carter is running into form at the right time after a steady start to the season that has left him frustrated at times.

Not on Saturday, though, as he took control early on and finished a comfortable 15 seconds clear of the field and claim his third regional title in three attempts over five years.

“It was a slow start so I picked up halfway around the first lap and just kept it going,” added Carter.

“The conditions were tough in very cold wind so I didn’t want anyone sitting on me and just wanted to get clear of the field. It was nice to get the title back that I last won in 2012.”

Carter’s gold was the pick of the five medals won by county athletes at the event which was lacking teams from Avon and Cornwall as they opted not to travel due to the weather conditions.

Sheldon School’s Gemma Shepherd enjoyed her best race of the season to finish runner-up in the inter girls race as she just edged out Devon’s Izzy Kidner as both girls were given the same time.

The previous week the 16-year-old from Yatesbury had been well beaten by Zoe Wassell in the county championships but Shepherd raised her game in Bournemouth with Wassell having to settle for sixth.

With good packing from St Mary’s Yasmin Watling, Sheldon’s Elen Lindsey, Malmesbury’s Miri King and Jade Day of Matravers Wiltshire finished third team in a very close contest.

St Augustine’s youngster Robert Howorth has been in great form recently and the 13-year-old county champion continued that with third place in the junior boys’ event. Twin brother John also ran impressively to finish fourth.

Swindon’s Calllum Bampton finished top county runner in the inter boys’ race with a splendid bronze and with solid support from Will Stockley (Melksham Oak), Cameron Perkins (Hardenhuish), Oliver Shad (Warminster), Jaymee Domoney (St Joseph’s) and Jessie Bacon (Corsham) Wiltshire also won the team silver medals.

The fifth and final individual medallist was Abigail Burn of South Wilts Grammar in the minor girls’ age group.

In the senior girls’ race Sheldon’s Kirsty Stanley finished ninth and Caitlin Wosika of John of Gaunt was top county runner in the junior girls’ race.

Results

Senior boys: 1 Alex Carter (W) 26:30 2 Matt Dickinson (S) 26:45; 3 Oliver Fox (S) 26:51.

WILTSHIRE: 23 Ciaran Cooper 29:40; 24 Ben Complin 29:47; 31 Connor Wright 30:59; 32 Harry Butt 31:04; Teams: 1 Devon 65; 2 Somerset 73; 3 Dorset 85.

Inter boys: 1 William Battershill (De) 20:27; 2 Sam Sommerville (S) 20:41; 3 Callum Bampton (W) 20:45.

WILTSHIRE: 7 Will Stockley 21:07; 10 Cameron Perkins 21:15; 3 Oliver Shad 21:30; 21 Jaymee Domoney 22:20; 26 Jessie Bacon 22:30; 27 Elliot Lassiter 22:32; 44 Jacob Payne 24:48.

Teams: 1 Somerset 50; 2 Wiltshire 80; 3 Devon 113; 4 Dorset 116; 5 Gloucestershire 141.

Junior boys: 1 Themis Bower (A) 16:09; 2 Thomas Bourne (Do) 16:11; 3 Robert Howorth (W) 16:12.

WILTSHIRE: 4 John Howorth 16:21; 22 Tom Miller 17:28; 26 Jacob Smith 17:33; 28 Jack Bennett 17:36; 31 Nathan Huynh 17:44; 38 Finley Lloyd-Gilmore 18:14; 39 Jonathan Mitchell 18:16; 40 Taylor Oakley 18:19.

Teams: 1 Dorset 89; 2 Somerset 90; 3 Devon 96; 4 Wiltshire 114; 5 Gloucestershire 120.

Minor boys: 1 Joel Kirby (De) 11:49; 2 Sam Pyne (De) 11:52; 3 Joshua Pilkington (De) 11:57.

WILTSHIRE: 11 Robert Croager 12:31; 15 Be Sheppard 12:42; 22 Dan Poynting 12:51; 24 Ed Slee 12:59; 27 Jake Dodge 13:04; 28 Alfie McNally 13:05; 33 Thomas Musselwhite 13:15; 36 Rajendra Limbu 13:19; 41 Henry Adamson 13:32; 44 Will Kendrik 14:06.

Teams: 1 Devon 40; 2 Somerset 97; 3 Gloucestershire 119; 4 Dorset 124; 5 Wiltshire 127.

Senior girls: 1 Isobel Glaisher (S) 16:43; 2 Emily Smith (S) 17:08; 3 Lillie Bellamy (G) 17:13.

WILTSHIRE: 9 Kirsty Stanley 18:40; 21 Angharad Jenkins 19:53; 24 Maddie Perrins 20:08; 31 Lizzie Rayner 21:18; 32 Ellen Whatley 21:19.

Inter girls: 1 Emly Ackford (De) 15:38; 2 Gemma Shepherd (W) 15:48; 3 Izzy Kidner (De) 15:48.

WILTSHIRE: 6 Zoe Wassell 16:03; 8 Yasmin Watling 16:38; 11 Elen Lindsey 16:51; 23 Miri King 17:44; 24 Jade Day 17:46; 33 Eve McCormack 18:07; 34 Hannah Thomas 18:10; 35 Kirstie Roberts 18:25; 37 Camille Stanley 18:37.

Teams: 1 Devon 63; 2 Dorset 64; 3 Wiltshire 74; 4 Somerset 146.

Junior girls: 1 Sophie Hamilton (S) 13:07 2 Sian Temple (De) 13:111; 3 Amelia Vance (S) 13:24.

WILTSHIRE: 16 Caitlin Wosika 14:03; 19 Jade Littlechild 14:09; 24 Ariana Watling 14:27; 33 Scarlett Rockett 14:47; 35 Katie Strange 14:49; 38 Anna Tuck 14:54; 42 Jess Tregoning 15:08; 43 Chloe Crippen 15:13; 45 Fleur Sams 15:25.

Teams: 1 Somerset 26; 2 Gloucestershire 102; 3 Devon 103; 4 Dorset 151; 5 Wiltshire 165.

Minor girls: 1 Elena Sidman (S) 11:16; 2 Abigail Burn (W) 11:37; 3 Jasmine Wellman (Do) 11:44.

WILTSHIRE: 19 Davina Gray 12:25; 39 Kate Greenall; 40 Coco Smythe; 41 Dion Rawlins; 43 Louise Donald; 44 Hannah Craggs; 47 Clair Barnett-Tucker.

Teams: 1 Somerset 78; 2 Dorset 81; 3 Gloucestershire 89; 4 Devon 91; 5 Wiltshire 188.

MOER SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THIS WEEK'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND WILTSHIRE TIMES

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