Havering dominate at Essex Cross-Country Relays to start winter season in style
PUBLISHED: 13:30 04 October 2019
Havering AC started the winter season in fine style winning two gold, two silver and a bronze medal at the Essex Cross-Country Relay Championships at Writtle College on Saturday.
The senior men made it a hat-trick of wins by defending their title in style, as Sam Atkins gave them a good start with third place on the first leg with his 16.37 clocking.
Gavin Watts brought the team up to second with his 16.38 split and Rob Warner produced a great 15.46 run to take the lead.
Grant Twist's strong 14.53 run on the anchor leg held off the challenge from Ilford and gave Havering a third straight win.
The men fielded five more teams with great competition between youngsters George Barnacle, Kieran O'Hara, Louis Berrett and Jamie Buckley-Stanton in the second team and the more established Gavin Maley, Barry Smith, John Whitehead and Matt Bland in the third team.
It wasn't until the last leg that Buckley-Stanton got past Bland to see the second team home in 11th with the thirds in 14th.
The other three teams, made up of runners returning from injury, all competed well for the club.
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The senior mixed quartet couldn't quite emulate last year's gold medal display, but were still good enough to take silver thanks to Steve Rand (16.56), Morgan Campbell (18.24), Ginte Bailey (18.33) and James Stewart 16.36
And there were three medals - one of each colour - in the young athletes' races.
The under-15 girls went one better than last year with a superb gold medal winning performance.
Ruby Higgins was second on the opening leg and Tilly Canty gave them the lead, before Natalie Sewell's anchor leg sealed gold.
Two other club under-15 teams placed in the top 10.
The under-13 girls added a team bronze thanks to good runs from Ruby Tillson, and Hannah and Charlotte Evans, as the under-13 boys trio of Ryan Carroll, Nathan Hart and Oliver Taylor-Bush won silver, while they also had two other teams in the top 10.
The under-15 boys' team of Matthew Blacklock, Shane Hart and Charlie Howell were fourth, with the B team of Dan Peters; Owen Fisher and Finley Wolton fifth and the C team ninth.
The under-17 girls were eighth as Sydney Foley ran the fastest leg, while Alex Ford was fastest in the 10th-placed under-17 boys.
The senior women were eighth, with Debbie Appleton quickest, as the B team - all under-20s - took 13th as Sophie Rand and Molly Sweetman posted fast splits.