Havering athletes show fine form again with five more team wins in Essex League
PUBLISHED: 13:30 01 November 2019
Havering’s strong start to the Essex Cross-Country League season continued with another five team wins at a blustery Horseheath Race course on Saturday.
Essex selection for the Southern Inter-Counties team were on offer for the first seven finishers in each age group on the day.
And the under-13 boys bagged a second successive win, but Southend pushed them close.
All four scorers made the top 12 as Oliver Taylor-Bush (fifth) and Ryan Carroll (sixth) earned county invites.
Nathan Hart (10th) and Toby Johnson (12th) also scored as Were Joseph Oton (14th), Zack Higgins (17th), Sean Langan (21st) Alfie Geeves (22nd) packed well ahead of Joseph Gray, Michael Tesi and Waleed Kabuye.
The under-13 girls were second to Chelmsford again as fifth-placed Abigail Swan gained Essex selection, ahead of Hannah Evans (ninth), Rosie Warner (17th) and Maisie Lee (42nd), but Charlotte Evans was unable to finish.
Both under-15 teams won again to stay top of the table, with the girls having five in the top 12.
Ruby Higgins (sixth) and Chloe Rand (seventh) made the Essex squad, with Tilly Canty (ninth) and an off-colour Natalie Sewell (10th) completing the scoring ahead of Nicole Langan (12th), Hannah Yexley (18th) and Maddie Barker (31st).
The boys had all four scorers in the top 15 again, with Matthew Blacklock again fourth and Charlie Howell fifth to earn county selection.
Dan Peters (13th) and Shane Hart (15th) gave the squad a four-point cushion over Southend as Max Robbins, Finley Wolton and Charlie Burgess were in the top 30 and Owen Fisher and Archie Winney also played their part.
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The senior women continued their strong title defence with another win as Morgan Campbell led them home in fourth with Ginte Bailey sixth, Clare Davies (23rd) and Bella Woods (25th) completing the scoring.
Jo Sullivan (48th), Tracy O'Neill (71st), Clare Rudgely (81st) and Jane Hallam (90th) also ran.
The senior men improved their chances of defending their title with a second victory despite losing several strong runners with illness.
Rob Warner (eighth) kept up his string of top-10s and another great run placed under-20 Sam Atkins 11th, as good runs from James Stewart in 20th and Gavin Watts in 21st kept the pressure on and the scoring six was completed by Gavin Maley (33rd) and Barry Smith (35th).
Steve Rand was 38th, one place in front of a greatly-improved Kieran O'Hara, as Matt Bland (49th), John Whitehead (59th), Louis Berrett (64th), veterans Tony Pecoraro (86th), Gary Atkins (88th), Steve Walker (90th) and Paul Berrett (100th) and Tony Collins (148th) completed the squad.
Sydney Foley was a great runner-up in the joint under-17 girls/under-20 women's race as the team were a good third.
Sophie Rand (15th), Rebecca O'Rourke (25th) and Morgan Romain (28th) also scored as Ella Burgess placed 31st.
Alex Ford was the only under-17 boy on show for the club and was a good eighth.
Essex selectors will have a headache however as many of the club's young athletes in contention may be competing in the English Schools' Cross-Country Cup Final in Chesterfield on the same day, if they qualify from the Essex and Suffolk Regional Final on November 9.
*Havering's James Connor posted the fastest marathon time by a club runner since 1992 on Sunday as he clocked a fine time of 2:22.07 at Frankfurt.
It was the second fastest ever by a club athlete and took Connor to within a minute of Paul Bettridge's record.