Ward Junior Home Internationals 2014

Full report & photos

Scotland has won the Ward Junior Home Internationals for the first time since 2002!
A long time coming, but this competition was well worth the wait. It was a fantastic achievement given the strength of the opposition, but as reported earlier, this team have all been working hard throughout the past few months, taking part in tours and training camps and so they were all well prepared and ready to face the opposition.

The competition took place in the Oban area and was organised by members of EckO led by co-ordinator Kate Hunter.  The teams assembled on Friday evening at the Kilbowie Outdoor Centre south of the town. We had a team meeting at which M18’s Sasha and Tam (just back from the JROS training camp in Stockholm) gave the team a motivational talk which they had prepared on the flight back to Edinburgh. The main point was “we can do this if everybody does their normal average run; we don’t need to do anything different!”

After an early breakfast on Saturday morning (we had been woken earlier than expected by the voice of Pharrel Williams piped throughout the building into the rooms) the action moved to Creag Mhic Chailein for the Individual competition. The excellent courses – planned by Ross Lilley – tested the juniors both physically and technically, but the Scots rose to the challenge.  At the evening prize-giving back at Kilbowie there were Scots on every podium, with a win  for Sasha Chepelin in the M18 class, second places for Daniel Stansfield (M18), Eilidh Shearer (W14) and Emma Wilson (W16), and third places for Jake Chapman (M14), Alex Carcas (M16), Eilidh Campbell (W14), Roanne Lilley (W16) and  Jenny Ricketts (W18). The first two finishers from each Nation count for points and Scotland’s other counters were: Joe Wright (M14, 5th), Ewan McMillan (M16, 6th) and Briony Kincaid (W18, 6th).  At the end of the day the scores were:
1. England  79 points
2. Scotland 73
3. Ireland   34
4. Wales    28
And so England was presented with the Individual Trophy.

The prize-giving was followed by a fast and furious ceilidh - at which the Scottish juniors participated fully!

The following morning (after early morning music began at 6.45), the teams then packed up and travelled to Ardnaskie for the Relay competition.
The weather was bright, windless and sunny and the Assembly had been well-chosen with fine views of the distant mountains as well as a spectator control, and the penultimate and last controls. Fortunately the cows had been removed beforehand...

We knew that the 6-point difference between England and Scotland, although significant, was well within the grasp of this very competitive Scottish team and everyone was confident and well up for the challenge. And so it proved to be – but only just...
The Relay consists of teams of 3 – a 16, a 14 and an 18, running in that order with the women setting off first; our teams were selected mainly on the results of the Individual competition.
This was the most exciting Relay race I’ve watched for a long time (since 2002 in fact!)
After the mass start, there was no way of knowing what was happening until the first runners appeared at the spectator control.  The courses had been planned be Andy Dale and proved to be well gaffled as well as technical and interesting from the competitors’ point of view, also physically tough which would suit our very fit team members.

To cut a long story short, our Women’s teams finished in the reverse order from what we would have expected.  One of the most exciting points in the whole competition was the race from the penultimate control to the Finish by the first 4 last leg runners – Alice Rigby (England), Scots Clare Stansfield and Kathryn Barr (both W16’s running up), hotly chased by English no. 1 Julie Emmerson, all finishing within 30 seconds of each other.  This result meant that England and Scotland finished on equal points in the Women’s Relay, so still 6 points behind overall but still in contention – just 7 points still to make up in the Men’s Relay and we would win the overall competition. The Scottish men’s teams did finish in the order we would have expected, but not before a lot more nail-biting from the Scottish spectators (which included the EckO members manning the Finish).  Alex Carcas , running for Scotland team M1 came back with a clear lead  after a storming run to hand over to Jake Chapman.  Jake was overtaken on the last gasp by Alastair Thomas (England M1) but handed over to last leg runner Sasha Chepelin just a few seconds behind the leader. Sasha then showed just why he is British no. 1 by coming home in the lead a full 15 minutes clear of his nearest rival.  The result of the overall competition then depended on Daniel Stansfield (Scotland team M2) coming home in second place.  So there was much cheering in the Scotland camp when Daniel came through the spectator control in the lead, but could he hold on? We needn’t have worried.  Daniel ran up to the finish with over a minute to spare, taking Scotland to it’s first JHI overall win since 2002.
A great overall team effort Scotland, and we are all very proud of you!

Overall Results:
1. Scotland  129 points
2. England   127 points
3. Ireland       56 points
4. Wales         46 points

Ireland won the Judith Wingham Trophy for their win over Wales.

PS Many thanks to co-ordinator Kate Hunter, planners Ross Lilley and Andy Dale, and all their team of mainly EckO helpers for such a great competition. Incidentally 2 of the helpers, James Tullie and Fiona Berrow, were members of the winning team in 2002!

Results on the EckO website

Wendy Carlyle has 924 photos from the weekend on her flickr site

Pre event info

The following team has been selected based on good results in the first 3 SOLs, Days 2 and 3 of the JK, and the Northern Championships.

M14

Alistair Chapman  MAROC
Jake Chapman  MAROC
Ben Parkinson  FVO
Joe Wright    MAROC
Reserve:  Luke Graham MAROC

W14

Kirsty Campbell  MAROC
Jura Macmillan  ECKO
Grace Molloy  FVO
Eilidh Shearer  ECKO
Reserve: Eilidh Campbell MAROC

M16

Alex Carcas   INT
Ross McMurtrie  MAROC
Ewan McMillan  MAROC
Finlay Todd  INVOC
Reserve: Sam Galloway  INT

W16

Kathryn Barr   MOR
Roanne Lilley  ECKO
Abigail Mason  MAROC
Lindsay Robertson  CLYDE
Clare Stansfield  FVO
Emma Wilson   CLYDE
Reserve 1.  Megan Ricketts MAROC
Reserve 2.  Emma Baird  ECKO
(Two to run up in W18)

M18

Andrew Barr   MOR
Alexander Chepelin  GRAMP
Daniel Stansfield  FVO
Thomas Wilson  CLYDE
Reserve:  Matthew Galloway   INT

W18

Briony Kincaid  ECKO  (subject to fitness)
Jennifer Ricketts  (MAROC)
Two from W16

Congratulations to all those selected.
Note: reserves are non-travelling.

Photo of authorLast edited: 01st Sep 14
by Maureen Brown - ScotJos Squad Manager -2015

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Alex, Sasha & Jake, winners men's relay, Credit:Maureen Brown

Alex, Sasha & Jake, winners men's relay

Scotland, the winning nation, Credit:Maureen Brown

Scotland, the winning nation

We won!!, Credit:Maureen Brown

We won!!

W14's on the podium, Credit:Maureen Brown

W14's on the podium