Havering wrap up a successful cross country season

By YA Reporter in Athletics

HAVERING AC athletes rounded off their Essex League cross country campaign in style with some fine results at a snowy Gloucester Park, Basildon, on Saturday to ensure league victories for two teams - with three teams runners up - plus four individual titles.

But it was hard fought as the snowy conditions in the early races and the hilly course made a challenging end to the league season.

A fourth victory for the Under 17 Girls / Under 20 women was the icing on the cake as they already had the league title in the bag. Jessica Mitchell was runner up on the day and also second in the individual standing and Kate O’Neill’s third place was also third in the table. Sophie Rand was 7th and Amy Baggs 13th to complete the scorers.

The Under 13 Girls had also sealed the league title after round four and another victory confirmed their dominance and the squad were once again the largest on show with a dozen finishers. Natalie Sewell was third and with another year in the age group looks forward to a good season next winter and Sydney Foley’s fourth place brought her runners up spot in the league stakes. Chloe Rand was a fine ninth and Alice Atkins’ 13th was her highest yet and completed the scoring four.

Alex Ford’s fourth individual victory confirmed his individual league title and also led home the second placed Under 13 boys who were also second in the league table. Matthew Blacklock’s fine third place brought him fourth in the individual standings and he will hope to emulate his older team mate Alex’s title next year.

Molly Sweetman’s second place was enough to confirm an individual Under 15 Girls league title. Lily Bath (12th), Grace Dukelow (16th) and 26th placed Lucy Priestley completed the third placed team, on the day and in the table.

The Senior Men’s team finished their successful campaign with one of their best league turnouts of the season as 15 club athletes toed the line. Another strong run from Rob Warner in fourth confirmed his individual league title just in front of sixth placed Ben Davis who became the first club athlete since Rob Warner in 2000 to lift the Under20 league title. Vet Steve Rand had another solid run in 17th to place second in the veteran’s standings with ever improving James Stewart finishing in a great 26th.

The Senior Women regained their Division 1 status as second placed ensured a top three promotion place. Debbie Appleton was 13th, sister Jo Sullivan in 31st, Claire Davies made a rare cross country appearance in 31st and Lesley Gahagan was the fourth to score in 59th.

The Under 15 Boys’ highest placing this season lifted them into the top three in the table, boosted by Harry Jones’ second place. Alex Friend was eighth, Dom Jarvis 13th, and Ben Naish in 20th to complete the scoring quartet.

Third place for the Under 17 Boys was enough for them to place second in the league table thanks to Sam Atkins (fifth) Lewis Debenham (11th) and Oliver Bath’s in 17th.

It was by some way the club’s best Essex League campaign for several years. No other Essex club came close to matching their record of top three finishes in every age group.

Six club athletes were part of the winning Essex Under 11 teams who came up trumps at the Eastern Region Sportshall Championships at the Hertfordshire Sporting Village, Hatfield on Sunday.

The Essex Under 11 boys’ team were dominant as they came home 57 points clear of runners-up Norfolk with recent club recruits Dominic Alexandru, Callum Basinger, Thomas Greening and Gidea Park Primary pupil Teddy Matthews playing their part.  The Under 11 girls were also well clear with a 32 point advantage over second placed Hertfordshire with Havering’s Stephanie Okoro, Tilly Canty and Charlotte Grundy all in good form.

Five other club athletes were in the Essex Under 13s teams – Alex Critchell, Micahel Okoro, Daragh Thomas and Patrick McLean-Tattan competing for the boys’ team who placed fourth and Lola Kuponiyi in the second placed girls’ squad.

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