Essex Cross Country Championships, Day 1, Writtle College, 30 Nov 2019
Havering athletes were celebrating a seven medal haul at the first day of the Essex Championships, for Under 13, Under 15 and Masters Age groups at a cold and icy Writtle College on Saturday.
The Vet 40 Men team took pride of place as they packed together to deliver a fantastic team gold, ahead of local rivals Ilford and Orion. Only 16 seconds covered their first three home led by Barry Smith’s eight place closely followed by Steve Rand and Gavin Maley in ninth and tenth. Rob Trevor’s 24th place ensured victory with Graham Hogan in 49th and Tony Collins 74th.
The Vet 50 race saw the evergreen Matthew Bland continue his superb Championship record by winning individual silver, ably supported by Tony Pecoraro 18th, Steve Walker 23rd & Gary Atkins 37th for the fifth place team with Darren Priestley (38th) & Roy James (59th) well placed in the 135 strong field. The Masters ladies were one short of a scoring team as Debbie Appleton’s fine fifth and second W45 home with Clare Rudgley 57th and Tracy O’Neill 61st.
The young athlete teams added five more medals – three silvers and two bronze. Despite an injury-affected run-in to the event Charlie Howell repeated his bronze from last year to lead the Under 15 Boys to team silver. Matthew Blacklock was a fine fifth with 15th placed Shane Hart and Finley Wolton in 20th the scorers with Owen Fisher (22nd), Charlie Burgess 32nd and Lewis Edwards 34th providing back up.
The Under 15 Girls also took team silver as Chloe Rand was first home for the squad in fourth while Nicole Langan made the top ten in 8th. Hannah Yexley was 14th, just ahead of 15th placed Ruby Higgins to complete the scoring four with Ruby Guynan 35th. If either last year’s bronze medallist Natalie Sewell (resting on health advice) or Tilly Canty (virus) had competed the squad might have challenged Chelmsford closer for team gold.
There was also silver service from the Under 13 Boys as all four scorers made the top 12. Ryan Carroll & Oliver Taylor-Bush were fifth and seventh and with Nathan Hart and Joseph Oton in 11th and 12th. Daniel Lammas (15th), Sean Langan (18th) and Zach Higgins (19th) all made the top 20 and Joseph Gray in 39th completed the eight-strong line up. The Under 13 Girls completed the medal roll with team bronze. Charlotte Evans missed out on medals placing fifth in a tight finish for bronze and sister Hannah was one place back in sixth. Lucy Bacon and Ruby Tillson were close together in 16th & 17th, as were Abigail Swan & Rosie Warner in 21st and 22nd with Lucia Ward 34th.
Day 2 of the championships sees the Under 17s, Under 20s and seniors going for gold at Basildon’s Gloucester Park on 4th January.
Indoor Round Up
Jacob Blanc won individual silver and helped England to team gold in the Home Countries Schools Indoor International in Glasgow on Saturday.
Jacob opened with a big hurdles PB of 8.41s to take an early lead and stayed in contention with his second longest ever long jump of 6.01m. A 200m run of 24.30s was also close to his best and a shot effort of 10.99m saw Jacob line up for the 800m in the silver medal position. A 2m 13.41s 800m clocking – Jacob’s second best ever – made sure of silver with a 3229 point tally as England team mate Jake Minshull took gold. With three to score in the team stakes Conrad Winter’s 13th place score of 2289 – after a fall in the hurdles – was enough for team gold to complete a fantastic medal winning season for Jacob who now steps up to the Under 17 age group.
Paris King started her indoor season in superb when she broke the club indoor Under 15 girls 60m hurdles record at the Lee Valley Open on Sunday. She took two-tenths off her best to clock 9.34s in round one to go close but made no mistake by running even faster in round 2 with a brilliant 9.25s.