Micheal Hesslenberg reviews the athletic clubs success at the recent cross country championships in Gwent

Cardiff University Athletics Team took 19 runners up to Brecon for the 4th Gwent League cross-country race of the season.

The conditions were perfect for the race, with the sun shining and clear blue skies. From last year’s experience the team was prepared for a tough flat race with short, sharp inclines.  With the low winter sun shining on most of the course, the ground was soft underfoot and muddy on the corners.

The first to race were the senior ladies who had a fast paced 5km course to complete. There was an unusually small field for the race, however the girls ran extremely well with Rachel Underhill finishing 8th overall.  With the girls’ team running well in all the Gwent races, they have put themselves into a strong position at the top of division 2 and have a chance to get promoted into division 1 at the end of the season

The last race of the day saw the senior men running a tough 10km course with a field of 220 runners. After a steady start which Cardiff athlete Owen Haswell led from the front, the pace soon increased. All the guys ran very well, with Peter Hart coming 8th and the others following suit. Strong finishes from many of the men guaranteed an under 23 team category victory. This was a sterling effort as the Brecon course pushed the runners, forcing one or two to retire. With many of the Cardiff athletes achieving positions, this should see us continue into the last Gwent in a central position in division 1 and hopefully ensuring we stay in the top division for another year.