Essex Senior Road Relay Championships, Colchester Sun 15th March 2020
Although unable to make it a hat-trick of titles at this event, Havering’s Senior Men defied the Coronavirus and clash with the Brentwood Half Marathon to pull off a bronze-medal winning smash & grab at the county Road Relay at Colchester on Saturday.
Late replacement Kieran O’Hara acquitted himself well with his 17:13 opening leg to come home in ninth place before handing over to James Stewart whose 17:25 clocking maintained the quartet’s placing. Rob Warner took up the baton and his strong run in 16:31 brought the team up to fourth place. Ben Davis kept up the medal challenge and his 16:05 anchor brought the team home in bronze medal podium place.
The Men’s Vet 50 squad added a second bronze medal. Matt Bland set them up with his 17:46 opener, which proved to be the fastest by a M50 on the day, and he was ably assisted by Gary Atkins (19:25) and Tony Pecoraro (19:56) who came home in a very good third place. The M40 trio of Steve Rand (18:03), Jason Lendon (18:26) and Rob Trevor (18:03) couldn’t quite match their colleagues but finished in a creditable fourth.
The senior second team of Louis Berrett (18:21), Elliot Cordery (20:26), Luke Chester (18:45) and Richard Rowe (22:36) were 13rth and the M50 trio of Gary Robbins (26:34), Russ Middleton (22:18) and Paul Berrett (21:08 were 14th in their age group. Late withdrawals meant that Martin Chester (18:38) was the sole runner for the M40 B team.
The hosts organised a young athletes’ junior relay event before the main competition and Havering teams won two medals.
Oliver Taylor-Bush’s swift opening leg of 10:01 gave the Under 13 boys the lead and they never looked back. Findlay McLaren extended the lead with a very fast 9:04 leg before Nathan Hart comfortably maintained the gold-medal winning lead. The Under 13 Girls added silver, behind a strong Chelmsford trio. Leila Jones put them in a strong second place with her 10:33 leg and Charlotte Evans (9:55) and Hannah Evans (9:52) kept them in silver medal place. The B team of Rosie Warner (11:50), Ruby Tillson (10:15) and Grace Tilson (10:55) on her debut placed eighth.
English Schools Cross-Country Championships, Liverpool 14th March 2020
Six club athletes were in action for the Essex Schools’ team at Saturday’s prestigious English Schools Cross Country Championships, which went ahead at Liverpool’s very muddy Sefton Park despite the Coronavirus outbreak on Saturday
Tilly Canty was highest placed club athlete, finishing 66th in the junior girls’ race, and third Essex scorer, to make a memorable English Schools’ debut. Sydney Foley led home a trio of club athletes in the Intermediate Girls’ race in 89th, just two seconds and three places in front of training partner Natalie Sewell, with Maddie Barker in 211th.
In the Inter Boys’ event Charlie Howell was 221st as Matthew Blacklock came home in 297th.
Junior Girls: 66th Tilly Canty 12:08
Inter Girls: 89th – Sydney Foley 13:50; 92nd – Natalie Sewell 13:52; 211th – Maddie Barker 14:44
Inter Boys: 221st – Charlie Howell 21:00; 297th – Matthew Blacklock 21:56
Round Up 14th & 15th March 2020
Havering athletes excelled at the Brentwood Half Marathon taking four of the top 10 places in the men’s event.
Last year’s winner James Connor had to settle for runner up this time as Thurrock’s Paul Whittaker took gold just over a minute in front of James 69:11. In sixth Gavin Watts improved his best by almost two minutes in 75:41, while Barry Smith was a minute and a half faster than before with 78:14 in ninth (and second of the M40 finishers), while fast-improving John Whitehead was one place back and set a two minute PB with 78:25. Morgan Campbell was next home in 32nd and fourth female finisher in a 83:17 PB, to take over two minutes off her career best, as did Steve Walker in 36t, with 83:47 for third in the M50 standings. Darren Priestley improved to 89:37 and Clare Davies completed the line up with a 99:21 clocking.
Matthew Blacklock & Maddie Barker took the male & female honours in the 3k fun run, the day after their English Schools’ exploits.
Stephanie Okoro had to settle for ninth out of 42 starters in the England Athletics Under 15 Girls’ Indoor Pentathlon Championships at Sheffield on Sunday. She got off to the best possible start, improving her 60m Hurdles best to 9.49s and also bettered her previous shot mark to 8.62m but a long jump of 4.78m was down on expectations, as was a 1.36m in her weakest event the high jump which saw any slim hopes of a podium place disappear. Overall victory in the 800m in a modest (for her) 2m 24.80s at the end of a very long day lifted Stephanie up from 16th to 9th with a points total of 2979, 92 points shy of her best set in winning the Southern Championships.