Kent County Cross Country Championships, Brands Hatch (Sat. 6th Jan.)
Holly Dixon finished well clear in the senior women's race, adding the Kent County title to the London Cross Country title she won in November. Blackheath dominated the team event taking both the three-to-score and six-to-score team wins, with six finishers in the top ten. In the three-to-score the club finished fifth, but picked up bronze in the six-to-score; comprising Holly, Phoebe Cooper (27th), Hayley Newman (43rd), Georgia Huddleston (44th), Susan Dixon (47th) and Christine Bond (62nd).
Individual Medal Winners: Holly Dixon (courtesy Mark Hookway - TAC) & Charlotte Foster (left)
Young Age Groups: Charlotte Foster was the clubs other individual medal winner, with third place in the U13G race. A strong second half of the race saw her move up from fifth to take bronze, reports Mark Newell. Sophia-Rose Bonnar (12th) and Seren Yeatman (13th) finished two seconds apart to complete the scoring team of three in 4th place (and only two points off third).
In the U13B there was a debut run from Austin Richards, who finished an excellent 9th. Alex van den Berg-Hows (14th) and Monty Brown (18th) completed the scoring team to secure another 4th place.
Celia Yeatman secured a top ten placing with 9th in the U15 girls race. Once again, we had a team placing of 4th with Celia Allen and Meredith Cummins finishing 21st and 23rd respectively.
In the fourth race of the day (U15B) we finally had some success with a 3rd team placing. Olly Cook lead the team home with a fine 9th place followed by Aniket Iyengar (14th), Daniel Whitehouse (29th) and Kaden John (41st).
Half of the U15 Boys Team - Olly Cook and Aniket Iyengar
We were depleted in numbers in the older age groups. As usual, Amelia Lawrence was our only competitor in the U17 women's race and despite missing valuable training over the Christmas period due to illness, she still finished a very respectable 5th. Olly Buck (8th) and Sam Scrase-Field (18th) were our only two competitors in the U17 men's race. In the strongest and most competitive race of the day, David Poungui came 14th in the Under 20 men's race.
The senior men had one of their best ever showings at the county championships this year, writes Clem Dixon. A decade ago Dean Lacy would usually win it or at least finish in the top three but then have to wait for ages for the rest of the team. These days we have no one in the hunt for individual medals but have much better strength in depth. Our top three runners (pictured below), Bobby Babaker (465), Tom Brooke (467) and Ben Shearer (486) had a good battle all the way round. As a spectator I am sure that I saw them in all six of the possible permutations at one time or another. In the end Bobby and Tom opened up a slight gap on Ben and then contested a sprint finish which Bobby won taking the season's head-to-head score between the two of them to 3-2 in his favour.
Those three were in positions 16, 17 and 18 (with Ben 1st M40) and they didn't have to wait long for Dean (25th), James Macdonald (34th) and Angus Vosper (39th) back from university for the winter break and choosing to run in the senior race rather than the U20s. So that was the six to score team in but would it be good enough for medals? The front of the field was again dominated by Tonbridge led by national champion James Kingston; the perfect score for a team of six, i.e. if you take all of the first six places, is 21 and Tonbridge were not far off that with 29. But to the naked eye there didn't seem much to choose between the next three clubs: Kent, Medway and us. Unfortunately when the results were finally put up we found that we had missed out, but only narrowly, with 149 points to Kent's 139 and Medway's 140. In the 12 to score it was the same story; 4th place with the next six runners being John O'Mahony, Lewis Baker, Ben Rew, Geoff Smith, James Pitts and Will Longhurst. In all we had 21 finishers.
Angus Vosper - Geoff Smith - Lewis Baker
England Athletics Indoor Race Walk Championships, Sheffield (Sat. 6th Jan.)
Feeling a little 'under the weather' Hannah Hopper finished just outside the medals in fourth with a season's best of 15:14.72s.
RunThrough Battersea Park Half-Marathon (Sat. 6th Jan.)
Making his debut for the club Darren Waters recorded a time of 1:49:08 for 386th place.
Sutcliffe Indoor 60m Hurdles (Sat. 6th Jan.)
The club’s latest indoor venture was a bit of a shot in the dark as to how many people would sign up, reports Mick Bond. Hurdle races are not put on that often in Open Meetings due to the fewer numbers of hurdlers being out there compared to sprinters, and the time and staff consuming nature of moving hurdles to the different settings for the different age groups. In the end however some good promotion to coaches we know around the southeast led to 59 hurdlers signing up, with good numbers and races for each age group. Athletes travelled from as far afield as Oxford, Portsmouth and Chelmsford, whilst the event also provided good local club competition for eleven Cambridge Harriers. There were personal bests by virtually all our club members making an excellent start to their indoor season and the fixture looks set to be a regular feature of the indoor season.
Lily Gayle winning the Under 17 Women’s race with Gabby Noyce in 3rd place.
Sutcliffe Indoor 60’s (Sun. 7th Jan.)
With a sign up of 168 athletes a rapid turnaround of races was the order of the day and hats off to the start team who were sending races down every 2.5 minutes by the end of the meeting, writes Mick Bond, whilst the officials at the other end of the track were getting photo finish results up online less than a minute later.
A total of 50 races were run during the course of the afternoon with Omari Markland-Montgomery showing there was life in the 'old dog' yet setting a PB of 6.88s and leading the various young pretenders in the club. Next quickest was Dante Legister with 6.97s with Osagie Imanswuomo setting a small PB of 7.05s in his second round race after hamstring cramps disrupted his first round race.
On the women’s side Doyin Aderinto was competitive in the top seeded race finishing with 7.75s, whist new U17 member Danielle Talbot showed good promise in her first race for the club with a time of 8.18s.
RunThrough Victoria Park Half Marathon (Sun. 7th Jan.)
Tom Loia finished 29th with a time of 1:27:48.