EENAGER Ffion Higginson has been nominated for a British Athletics position in the Academy of Sporting Excellence, writes Tony Poole.
The young member of Bridgend AC has made it through to the first stage of the British Athletics Performance Pathway for athletes between the ages of 16 and 18.
It’s a fantastic achievement, as only runners that British Athletics feel have demonstrated potential to perform are chosen.
Ffion has performed at the highest level and it made her eligible to apply. JEFFREY Thomas proved the old saying “all things come to those who wait” spot on in winning Porthcawl 5K Parkrun for a first time at the 170th attempt.
And the veteran Bridgend runner, who completed the course in 18 minutes 32 seconds, went close to the Vets 50-54 category record set by Royston Whitehouse.
On his one and only Porthcawl attendance back in July 2016, the Neath Harriers runner clocked 17:56.
However, the best time that Thomas has achieved on the seaside course remains 18:17 when finishing third to Paul Speyer (Brackla Harriers) in race number 35 back in November 2013.
A combination of wet weather and the Welsh Road Relays in Pembrey Country Park led to just 266 runners facing the starter for the 284th staging.
Thomas crossed the finishing line a mere seven seconds in front of Dave Dickson (Porthcawl Runners) with Jacob Griffiths (Brackla Harriers) just a second in his slipstream.
The remaining top-10 places went to Dave Moore (Brackla Harriers) 19.00, Sam Dodge (unattached) personal best (pb) 19:14, Michael Furness (Porthcawl Runners) 19:42, Andrew Clements (unattached) 19:57, Dave Bennett (Porthcawl Runners) 20:01, Thomas Ogilvie (Brackla Harriers) 20:06 and Peter Johns (unattached) 20:21.
Top female finisher in 26th spot was Deborah Roberts-Goule (Porthcawl Runners in 21:41. SOME familiar names occupied the top-three places last Saturday during the 58th staging of Maesteg 5K Parkrun in the Welfare Park.
Victory for a 19th time went to Rowan Hobbs (Brackla Harriers), who on this occasion completed the course in 18 minutes 58 seconds.
This was 55 seconds outside his personal best (pb) that he carded when victorious in event number 30 back in March.
Runner-up was five-time event winner Niki Puleio (Ogmore Phoe- nix) with the former football star clocking 19:57.
Third place went to Adrian Pearce in 20:25 while the next three finishers were also unattached – Gareth Thompson 20:34, Paul Kearns 22:39 and Kevin Williams 23:07.
Timothy Rees of Ogmore Phoenix took seventh place in 23:18 ahead of Lee Thomas (unattached) pb 23:56, top female Libby Lavis (Brackla Harriers) 24:34 and Tomas Stephens (unattached) 24:35.
Second female to cross the finishing line in 17th place was Denise Bradley (Ogmore Phoenix) in 29:45 with Katy Kearns (unattached) following her home in 33:18. THE third season of the Bridgend County Running League is done and dusted with Gareth Davies (Bridgend) and Melanie Williams (Brackla Harriers) toping the respective gender individual tables.
Earlier in the month the Tuska Beach event in Rest Bay formed the sixth and final event on another busy Bridgend calendar.
The team event resulted in Bridgend banking 380 points, Brackla Harriers 441, Ogmore Phoenix 593, Cornelly Striders 679, Porthcawl Runners 9967, Pencoed Panthers 1,128 and Pencoed tri Club 1,415.
It led to Bridgend being crowned champions with final placings of Bridgend 1,838, Ogmore Phoenix 3,120, Brackla Harriers 3,314, Cornelly Striders 4,049, Porthcawl Runners 5,102, Pencoed Tri Club 7,529 and Pencoed Panthers 7,597.
However, next year the league returns to six clubs because Pencoed Tri Club have opted out.
The Men’s final table, based on an average of the four best runs in the six seasonal events, read: Gareth Davies (Bridgend) 76.87%, Keith Powell 75.74, Peter Turner (both Cornelly Striders) 75.12, Richard Dando (Bridgend) 74.7, Dave Cascarina (Cornelly Striders) 74.66, Rob Atkin 74.16, Mark Emery (both Bridgend) 73.1, Ian Ogilvie (Brackla Harriers) 72.15, Graeme Rand 71.92 and Jeffrey Thomas (both Bridgend) 71.32.
The corresponding female chart displayed: Melanie Williams (Brackla Harriers) 76.09%, Kate Roberts (Bridgend) 74.56, Anneliese Loveluck (Ogmore Phoenix) 72.81, Charlotte Johns (Brackla Harriers) 72.78, Georgina Jayne Dando (Bridgend) 72.15, Romane Maine 70.74, Deborah Roberts-Goule 70.57, Sharon Ford (all Porthcawl Runners) 68.94, Angharad Mason (Bridgend) 68.84 and Jane Ogilvie (Brackla Harriers) 67.74. BRIDGEND Senior Ladies achieved a third-place finish in the Welsh Road Relay Championships that were staged last Saturday at Pembrey Country Park in Llanelli.
This was the most notable achievement from the Bridgend county clubs, and it was down to fine running from Helen Andrews, Hayley Coburn, Gina Hardman and Katrin Higginson.
Swansea Harriers made successful defences in Carmarthenshire of both the Men’s and Women’s titles.
Great Britain marathon runner Joshua Griffiths and Wales 3,000m steeplechaser Jonathan Hopkins recorded joint-fastest leg among the THE festive season can’t be too far away when organisers of the Nos Galan Road Races announce applications for this year’s event are now open.
The annual New Year’s Eve races around the streets of Mountain Ash are this year celebrating their 60th anniversary.
The event was the brainchild of the late Bernard Baldwin MBE to perpetuate legendary 18th century Welsh runner Griffith Morgan, who was better known as Guto Nyth Bran.
Legend has it that he could run from Saint Gwynno’s Church in Llanwonno to Mountain Ash – a distance of just under four miles - in the time it took a kettle to boil on an open fire.
Demand for the 2018 event is greater than ever, and online booking is already well underway.
The fee remains frozen on £10 for athletes affiliated to a club; its £12 for non-affiliated runners while entries for children are just £6.
Further details are available via www.nosgalan.co.uk JOSHUA Morgan defied wet and windy conditions last Sunday to win the 152nd staging of Bridgend Junior 2K Parkrun in Newbridge Fields.
It was the sixth time in 84 starts for the young Bridgend runner to pull off a win, and he completed the course in eight minutes 27 seconds.
This was just 14 seconds outside his personal best time that was recorded back in May when he also carded a victory.
In second place came Dylan Jones in 8:41 from Jack Green 8:54, Ethan Wyatt (Ogmore Phoenix) 9:03, Luke Woodhouse 9:11, top female Mia Allen (Bridgend) 9:14, Dan May (Cornelly Striders) 9:20, Harvey Jackson 9:37, Freya Allen (Bridgend) 9:40 and Ariannah Thomas 9:55.
Five personal best times were set, and these came from William John, Posey John, Alice Dunscombe, Aneira Flay-Petty and Charly Webb.