Athletics: Havering AC youngsters brave cold to race at English Schools’ Cross-Country Championships

PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 March 2018

The Essex senior girls' team face the camera at the England Schools' Cross-Country Championships (pic: Tracy O'Neill)

The Essex senior girls' team face the camera at the England Schools' Cross-Country Championships (pic: Tracy O'Neill)


The latest news from the Havering AC club

There were plenty of talented Havering AC youngsters who braved the cold to take part in the English Schools’ Cross-Country Championships.

The organisers’ decision to go ahead last weekend with the prestigious meet, while many other events were cancelled, proved to be the right one.

There was no snow in Leeds, though the athletes had to contend with a bitterly cold wind and sleet showers, with parts of the undulating course muddy underfoot.

Kate O’Neill’s excellent form was rewarded with a brilliant eighth-place finish in the senior girls’ race, clocking 16 minutes and 14 seconds.

O’Neill’s display saw her finish just two places behind the defending champion, Khai Mhlanga from Chelsmford.

Fellow Havering runner Jess Mitchell started strongly, but faded to come 51st in 17.19.

Sophie Rand was 90th after finishing in 17.58 and the Essex senior girls’ team ran out comfortable winners over South Yorkshire.

The junior girls were also crowned national champions, with Natalie Sewell’s strong finish taking her into 17th place on her national debut, clocking 11.53.

Team-mate Sydney Foley finished three places and four seconds behind Sawyer.

Chloe Rand, who was 212th in 13.11, and Maddie Barker, who finished 285th after clocking 13.35, were also part of the successful Essex team.

There was a 60th place finish for Molly Sweetman, who was the first Essex runner home in the intermediate girls’ race in a time of 15.11.

Harry Jones’ 106th place in the boys’ equivalent saw him finish third Essex runner across the line, clocking 19.30.

In the senior boys’ race, two athletes who are transferring to Havering, Elliott Cordery and Tom Keevil, were 32nd in 24.08 and 64th in 24.48 respectively.

Havering athlete Sam Atkins, meanwhile, was 206th after finishing the race in a time of 26.37.

The Havering line-up was completed two runners who competed in the junior boys’ event.

Matthew Blacklock was 99th on his debut after recording a time of 15.39, while Alex Ford came 314th in 17.04 after missing last week’s Inter-Counties meet due to illness.

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