Hammond Hammers New Record

by Steven Scott — 21st March 2023.

JK Relay 2019 - James Hammond 2 JK Relay 2019 - James Hammond 2

Forth Valley Orienteers' young star James Hammond broke new ground as he became the youngest-ever Scottish elite champion, with victory in the Middle distance championship which was held at Beecraigs Country Park, Linlithgow.

Once again forfeiting his place in the Under 18 race to compete at the top end, Hammond opened strongly, and was soon in contention for a medal. Philip Vokes (Octavian Droobers) had established an early lead, and looked set for the win, but when Vokes wavered with an 80 second drop four from home, Hammond seized his chance and trotted home for a 44 second winning margin (34.39).

Four months shy of his 17th birthday, Hammond has broken the 55 year old record of Geoff Peck, who went on to race in seven World Championships, as the youngest Scottish champion.

This was one of nine titles which went to FVO athletes in the championship, which also featured the British Universities Championship. The club's junior girls showed their class right across the board, and snapped up four titles from W10 right through to W16. Rose Martin made her big race debut, and won W10 in 21.38. Hannah Inman backed this up with the W12 title (25.32), with Esme Finch 2nd (41.09).

W14 was one of two classes on the day which saw an all-FVO podium. Esme Kelly won her first terrain title in 19.43, and Eilidh Connor grafted hard to hold off Hanna Brindley by just two seconds (23.10) for the silver medal. Meanwhile, Scarlett Kelly continued her amazing run of championship success, with nine medals from ten runs, as she won the W16 class by 47 seconds (22.26).

Lucy Hensman went into the W18 race as a distinct 4th-favourite in a four runner field, but showed good form to take the silver medal in 38.28, and Bryony McLeod matched this with silver in Womens Open (40.52).

Futher up the experience scale, Janine Inman maintained her 100% record in Womens Vet with her 4th successive win in the class (35.29) and Heather Thomson claimed a very welcome silver medal in 42,26. Alison Cunningham made it a hat-trick of wins in Womens SuperVet with a finish of 32.50, and was joined on the podium by Vicky Thornton, who took bronze in 35.48.

On the mens side, Matthew Inman wasn't going to let mum and sis have all the bragging rights for the day, and turned in a sound performance, featuring seven of the 10 quickest splits, to win M14 in 18.14. Ethan Harrison added to the medal haul with silver in the M12 race (50.44).

The final set of medals was a full set for the Veteran Men, as Steve Feltbower's error-free run was strong enough to take the win in 29.22, ahead of Will Hensman (30.04) and Dave Godfree (31.56). and ensure that the title remains in FVO hands for a 5th consecutive year, with club athletes filling out nine of the top 11 places in the field.

Related posts

Filed under:  Results