Emily Hopkins may have been a late entry into the All England but like Nicole Ritchie in the Scottish a week before, she destroyed the rest of the field from the front: She started first and finished first.Â To add salt into the wound of the rest of the field, Hopkins beat the rest of the field by 0.88 seconds. Hannah Bozier took second, over a second more ahead of Jenny Davies who was delighted with third place.
With the first five fairly well spread out, … Hopkins showed that she was the class of the field in a field that was deprived of one of the stars of yesteryear with the non show of Charlotte Gould. Hopkins could only beat those that were at the race and gave the rest of them a demonstration in what they needed to do to win. The fact that she could not claim the All England title as she is Welsh is immaterial in the grand scheme of things; the fact she gave the rest a hiding is testament to how far the rest need to improve. Unlike the males race that saw a high percentage of the top fifteen crash out, just three girls crashed out on the first run in the girls race. Alice Hales was the highest profile casualty on the first run as she was expected to challenge for overall honors. Three more crashed out on the second run including Sarah Lamden, who had been in third overall and was another was expected to challenge at the top of the leaderboard.
With the race deprived of a number of high profile British racers, the top ten was open for some of the younger racers to make a name for themselves â€“ you can only beat who is in the race and the records will show who took the places not who was not there! While Francesca Lee will have been a little disappointed to be so far back, fourth place in the All England for an Under 16 was a great achievement. Lee is used to mixing it with the older girls but with a great aptitude for snow racing, she will do better on the Indoor Slopes and also on the alpine circuit in the winter.
Sophie Ogden took fifth overall and must be relishing a return to the indoor slopes at the end of the month. Ogden has improved greatly in the last year on the indoor slopes and her hesitation at the start of the first run demonstrated where her preference lies these days.
In sixth and seventh were two mainstays of the summer racing in recent years yet this year the demands of school exams saw their priorities elsewhere. Alex Bullock showed she still has what it takes to mix it amongst the top ten at the All England while Nia Jenkins in seventh, another with preference for the Indoor slopes these days, will have been encouraged by her performance despite the limited amount of time she has spent on the matting recently.
Georgia Hallett took eighth ahead of Annie Usher with the best of the Under 14 racers, Grace Williams rounding off the top ten.
While Emily Hopkins celebrated winning the Overall race, the age groups were won by Grace Williams (Under 14); Francesca Lee (Under 16); Hannah Bozier (Under 18); Emily Hopkins (Under 21); Mel Wilcockson (Senior) and Sarah Campbell-Woodward (Masters).
Full results will be up soon
Pictures will be up on www.racer-ready.ifp3.com