BUCS Cross Country is undoubtedly the highlight of both the XC season and the student racing calendar. Not failing to disappoint, this Saturday saw a squad of over 30 Exeter athletes, encouraged by a loyal support team, do battle against the UKs finest student athletes in the mud of Plock Court, Gloucester.
In dismal conditions over a flat but fast XC course, and facing a nasty bottleneck after the starting straight, the Mens' A team of Phil Bridge, Zach Nolan, Charlie Critchley, Joachim Tranvag, Jordan Clay and Dan Myers put their training to the test, finishing 66th, 83rd, 116th, 167th, 175th and 186th respectively over the 10k course. These performances allowed the team to take a solid 22nd in the team rankings. Over a 5 and a half km course already badly churned up by the men, Suzy Reid strode out confidently to lead the girls in an excellent 64th. Eleanor Johnson and Nikita Steiner completed the leading trio for the girls, though Nikita probably would have been happier with an extra few km! Penny Oliver, Emma Chan, Charl Tromans, Hannah Kilby, Charlie Cornwell, Eliza Gilchrist, Sophie Knight, Sophie Telfer, Harriet Dunn, Harriet Conti, Anna Woolf and Daniela Nolan rounded off what was a strong team for the Ladies, and one of the largest teams we have fielded. Amidst a sea of mud, the Mens' B of Sam Peters, James Hancock, Josh Eve, Aaron Langenberg, Ben Hartford, David Lobb, Calum Smith, Victor Meeus, Joe Minton and Aaron Gomez fought their way through the 400 strong adrenaline fuelled pack that, Sam Peters coming home in 142nd while James Hancock, Ben Hartford and David Lobb battled it out for 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the team. Credit is due to all the team for putting in long and hard hours at the track, on the road, and on the field, and to our supporters, who braved the torrential rain and wind, for all their encouragement!
The night was not complete without a well deserved meal, followed by a trip to the local 'sauna' Kukui; the venue for the after party! With the race out of the way, we danced away any haunting reminders of the day's muddy events, and waved farewell to Aaron as he leaves behind EUAC for the sunnier streets of Melbourne. You will be missed!