- Noel Carmody
Weekly Update - 2nd Nov. 2022
Kent Cross Country League, Tonbridge
The second Kent League fixture of the season was held at Somerhill School near Tonbridge in distinctly unseasonal weather, writes Clem Dixon. Jokes abounded about whether anyone had brought any sun cream, but the grounds looked at their best in the sunshine and as always, the course had been prepared immaculately. I always say that anyone who doesn't like this course doesn't really like cross country, there are hardly any flat bits!
Another good team performance in the first race of the day, saw our U13G secure 3rd in the team competition (equalling the performance from the first fixture), reports Mark Newell. Delilah Lester showed a big improvement from the first fixture to secure 10th place. She was shortly followed across the finish line by the two Celias (11th an 12th) with Celia Yeatman managing to just hold off Celia Allen in a sprint finish. Sophia-Rose Bonnar, in her first year in this age group, finished a very respectable 20th.
Alex van den Berg was our only representative in the U13B race and once again showed good potential when placing high up the finish order in 15th (from a field of 77).
Iris Williams was in a similar position in the U15G race, being the clubs only representative. She opened up an early lead but unfortunately suffered the effect of a stitch causing her to drop back to cross the finish line in 8th place.
The U15B race saw a couple of close finishes between our club members. Sam Scrase-Field was our first finisher in 2nd but hot on his heals in 4th place was Olly Buck with only a three second gap between them. Three places and eight seconds separated Josh Wellings (25th) and Aniket Iyengar (28th). Oliver Cook, who prefers the sprint events on the track, showed a lot of determination to complete the tough course in 56th place. In the team event the boys secured third team.
In the U17W event we had three competitors, resulting in 4th place. Amelia Lawrence finished in a respectable 10th place. Evie Ravenscroft and Eva Armitage-Woods were always within a few seconds of each other during that majority of the race, with Evie having a slight edge over Eva. During the latter part of the race Eva opened up an 18 second gap when placing 24th compared to 25th for Evie.
Amelia Lawrence - Sophia-Rose Bonnar - Evie Ravenscroft - Eva Armitage-Woods
In the senior men's race we had another excellent turnout with twenty-two finishers, reports Clem Dixon. Chris Loudon led us home with another good run for 12th place with Tom Brooke just 20 seconds behind him this time. In the individual table Chris is now 4th and Tom 11th. James Macdonald and Bobby Babaker completed the four to score team for another excellent 3rd place.
The twelve to score team was bolstered by two newcomers: Geoff Smith (57th) who ran in our Joydens Wood race a week earlier as an unattached runner but was proudly wearing the club's vest this time and will be a good addition to the squad, as will Ross May (75th) fresh from a Sub 3-hour PB. at the Berlin marathon. As in the last fixture you had to go down as far as Dom Fiore, in 133rd this time, to find our 12th scorer and it was another 4th place in the twelve to score team competition.
Chris Loudon - Ross May - Geoff Smith
In the earlier, and shorter, race for the over 70's Keith Dungate and Peter Hadley finished 4th and 6th respectively.
A team of eleven took on the second ladies’ race, reports Rose Baker. Georgia Huddleston, in her first cross country season, improved on her 23rd place in the Swanley race and was first Cambridge Harrier home, in 8th place and is in an impressive 9th place overall in the league, followed by Katie Sanders and Julie Backley scoring for the team of three. The team of six was completed by Cara Oliver (welcome back, Cara after a long period of injury), Josephine Philpot, finishing a strong 18th in her debut race for Cambridge, and Sue Dixon. Back-up in the senior women’s race was provided by Angela Ford, Sally Carr, Donna Martin, and Rose Baker.
In the W65+ race, Maria Madonald delivered another fantastic performance, finishing a close second place, after her win at the first fixture.
In the “Team of 3” rankings, Cambridge Harriers placed 3rd out of the 17 teams with 37 points, 22 points behind Tonbridge and 21 points ahead of Maidstone Harriers. We are also third in the overall “Team of 3” competition so far, with a good lead over the chasing clubs. We are in the same position in the “Team of 6”, third place both on the day and in the overall league.
In the individual age categories, we did very well, with Julie leading the W50s home, Katie Sanders second in the W40s, Sue Dixon first in the W55 category and consolidating her position at the top of the W55s in the league. Across the age categories, there are Cambridge Harriers in the top 5 in the league in every category – as long as these individuals can complete the season, they should do very well. Just as importantly, everyone finished smiling at the end, there was very little lost property and no traffic coming home.
Senior Men (8000m): 12 Chris Loudon 28:02, Thomas Brooke 28:22, 25 James Macdonald 29:07, 30 Bobby Babaker 29:59, 47 Ben Rew 31:19, 57 Geoffrey Smith 31:44, 71 David Reader 32:29, 75 Ross May 32:36, 91 Steve Groom 33:15, 92 James Pitts 33:15, 95 Christian Poulton 33:20, 133 Dom Fiore 35:01, 153 Chris Hovenden 36:12, 161 Robert Barns (U20) 36:23, 180 Richard Bennett 37:17, 192 Graham Maynard 38:08, 201 Clem Dixon 39:01, 212 Liam Carr (U20) 39:59, 230 Paul Ford 41:45, 232 Stephen Smythe 42:07, 251 Ian McCarthy 44:34, 265 Paul Warricker 48:37.
M70+ (5000m): 4 Keith Dungate 28:55, 6 Peter Hadley 30:20.
Senior Women (8000m): 8 Georgia Huddleston 33:49, 13 Julie Backley 35:14, 16 Katie Sanders 35:52, 18 Josephine Philpot 36:18, 34 Cara Oliver 38:03, 40 Susan Dixon 38:37, 77 Rose Baker 42:34, 79 Sally Carr 42:40, 104 Donna Martin 46:24, 110 Angela Ford 47:34.
W65+ (5000m): 2 Maria Macdonald (W70) 31:05.
YAG Boys: U15 (4000m): 2 Samuel Scrase-Field 14:05, 4 Olly Buck 14:08, 25 Joshua Wellings 15:34, 28 Aniket Iyengar 15:42, 56 Oliver Cook 19:01; U13 (3000m): 14 Alex van den Berg 11:21.
YAG Girls: U17 (5000m): 10 Amelia Lawrence 22:38, 24 Eva Armitage-Woods 25:54, 25 Evie Ravenscroft 26:12; U15 (4000m): 8 Iris WIlliams 16:32; U13 (3000m): 10 Delilah Lester 12:17, 11 Celia Yeatman 12:32, 12 Celia Allen 12:23, 20 Sophia-Rose Bonnar 13:13.