Havering show strength with five wins in Essex XC League
PUBLISHED: 08:01 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 08:01 21 October 2019
Havering AC started their new Essex Cross-Country League campaign with an impressive five team victories at a soggy One Tree Hill in Thurrock.
The under-13 boys set the ball rolling with a fine win, as all four scorers made the top 10.
Ryan Carroll and Oliver Taylor-Bush both made the top three, with Nathan Hart seventh and Toby Johnson tenth.
Joseph Oton, Zack Higgins and Alfie Geeves were 12th, 15th and 21st on their league debuts, with Joseph Gray 27th, and more debutants Michael Tesi and Ike Okwudi in 31st and 44th.
Although all five under-13 girls were in the top 12, they were edged into second by one point by Chelmsford.
Charlotte Evans, Hannah Evans and Ruby Tillson all finished higher than before in second, third and fourth, while new recruit Abigail Swan completed the scorers in 11th and debutant Rosie Warner was one place back.
Both under-15 teams took top honours, although the girls had fewer on show than usual, but the competing quartet all finished inside the top 15 to see off Chelmsford's challenge.
Ruby Higgins overhauled Natalie Sewell as the pair finished fifth and sixth and Nicole Langan impressed on her debut in eighth as Hannah Yexley's 15th place ensured victory.
The boys had a good turn out with 10 on show and the scoring four placed in the top 15.
Charlie Howell's fine track form carried over on to the hills as he finished third with Matthew Blacklock one place back.
Dan Peters made the top 10 for the first time and Shane Hart was 14th to confirm victory ahead of Southend.
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Owen Fisher was not far behind in 16th and Charlie Burgess, Max Robbins and Lewis Edwards were also in the top 30, with Finley Wolton and Archie Winney also competing.
The senior women started their league title defence in style as Lauren Deadman, Morgan Campbell and Ginte Bailey were second, third and fourth, while Robyn Matson's 15th position brought the squad home well in front of the rest.
Debbie Appleton was 25th, with sister Jo Sullivan and Jade Edwards 45th and 46th, while Tracy O'Neill was 90th and team manager Jane Hallam 107th.
The senior men also had a great turnout and a successful start to the defence of their title.
No fewer than 24 Havering runners toed the line, led by a great run from Ben Davis in sixth just in front of Rob Warner with another strong finish in eighth.
Sam Atkins also made the top 10 with James Stewart 18th, Jamie Buckley-Stanton 25th and Steve Rand 31st completing the scoring six to come out on top.
They were well supported by Gavin Watts 34th and Barry Smith 35th with a quartet of runners in the 50s in Gavin Maley, Louis Bennett, Kieran O'Hara and Matt Bland as Tony Pecoraro, Rob Trevor and John Whitehead all made the top 100.
Sydney Foley led home the under-17 girls/under-20 women to fifth with Jessica James, Morgan Romain, Annie Grannell and Emily James between 24th and 29th and Rebecca O'Rourke 33rd.
Alex Ford was a fine fourth in his first race for the under-17 boys, but Lenny Houston was the only other club athlete on show in 27th as the incomplete pair were sixth.
Meanwhile, the club came away with two runners-up awards from the recent London Athletics presentation evening.
The club was unable to repeat their 2016 win in the London Club of the Year category losing out to Thames Valley Harriers.
Chairman Tony Benton, life vice-president Trevor Wells and young athletes team manager Jerry Canty were there to receive the runners-up certificate.
Rachel Kerr has risen through the ranks in recent years to officiate at World Championships, European Indoor Championships and Anniversary Games Diamond League and was a deserved runner-up in the London Official of the Year category.