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England call for Havering’s Mitchell

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 March 2017

Havering's Jess Mitchell (centre) at the English Schools' cross-country finals in Norwich (pic Lesley Gahagan)

Havering's Jess Mitchell (centre) at the English Schools' cross-country finals in Norwich (pic Lesley Gahagan)

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Athlete impresses at English Schools’ cross-country finals

Havering AC youngster Jess Mitchell showed just what a potential star she is over the cross-country as she earned herself an England vest at the English Schools’ Championships in Norwich on Saturday.

The 15-year-old from Frances Bardsley School in Romford has had a magnificent season in the mud and only last week finished seventh in the inter-counties race.

And this week over a fast, flat, 3.75km course the GCSE student battled her way home in fifth and will now line-up tomorrow for the English Schools’ team in the Home International race, in Port Talbot.

Her training partner Kate O’Neill, finished 18th last year, and was hoping to break into the top eight, but it proved a tough day for her and was naturally disappointed to finish only 36th.

In the same race, Molly Sweetman was 72nd out of the 350 finishers on her debut in the race and the Havering trio helped Essex to a third-place finish.

Ben Davis led home the Essex squad in the senior boys’ race in a gallant 23rd spot, a major improvement on his 57th last season, while in the junior girls’ race, Sydney Foley was second Essex girl home as she crossed the line in 52nd spot.

Completing the Havering contingent was Harry Jones who was 121st in the intermediate boys’ race.

The seaside at Harwich was the venue for the Essex Road Relays on Saturday and Havering did like to be beside it as they picked up more silverware for their efforts.

The veterans continued their medal-winning run they have had in all four years of the event as they collected the silver.

Led off by a fast leg from Steve Rand of 16 mins 43secs, they were always in contention. Matt Bland (17.42) kept up the good start, before handing over to Jason Lendon.

He managed to pull a calf muscle halfway round, but still managed to hang on for the silver medal in 17.46.

The senior men’s A team were depleted, but still worked hard with Ian Anthony’s opening leg of 17.37, leading to James Stewart’s 17.26 in his first senior road relay, while Jamie Buckey Stanton managed a useful 16.48.

He handed over to in-form Rob Warner, who posted the squad’s fastest leg of the day of 15.49, but the gap was too much and they had to settle for fifth place.

The B team of Russ Middleton (21.21), Alfie Waithaka (17.11), Tony Collins (21.15) and Trevor Robinson (23.17) battled gamely to bring the team home in 14th.

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