Havering end season on a high
PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 February 2015
Athletes enjoy success in cross-country finale
Havering ended the Essex Cross-Country League season in style with their best set of results yet at an icy Colchester.
The under-15 girls finished unbeaten to lift the title, despite three regulars being awayon Essex Schools’ duty.
Amba Coombe led the team home in ninth, as Catherine Barker (14th), Grace Macleod (19th) and Emily James (21st) completed the scoring four and Amelia Day finished 22nd.
The absent Kate O’Neill was third in the individual standings, based on an athlete’s four best results in five fixtures.
Rob Warner’s third-place finish was his best of the season as the senior men team took their first league top spot for four years.
Matt Bland’s 17th place was his best this year, confirming runners-up spot in the veterans table, with Alfie Waithika 19th, Paul Grange 22nd and Richard Heath 25th all running well in snowy conditions.
Under-20 Abdul Mohamed (34th) completed the winning six, while Paul Wyatt, Russ Middleton, Barry Ward, Paul Berrett and Tony Collins all did the club proud in one of the toughest men’s league race for many years.
The under-13 girls’ team equalled their best result of the season in second, but had to settle for fourth overall.
Grace Dukelow’s fourth place was her highest finish, with Molly Sweetman sixth, Alice Brown 12th and Sydney Foley (16th) completing the scoring.
Kate Walker, Aaliyah Davies, Jessica James, debutant Freya Duffey, Ella King and Chloe Rutter were all inside the top 35.
Debbie Appleton was second in the senior women’s race to win the individual veteran’s title and a £10 voucher from sponsors Runners Edge, with Vicky Smith an impressive third.
Veterans Jane Hallam (34th) and Juliet Ward (37th) completed the scoring, with Havering’s second place their best league result this winter.
Mo Lear and Clare Rudgley also competed as the veteran women finished third in the table.
The under-17/20 women were second on the day thanks to Bella Woods (fifth), Sarah Wilson (10th), Jess Ward (12th) and Holly Hyde (13th).
And the short-handed under-15 boys confirmed third place overall as Lewis Debenham (eighth), Sam Atkins (14th) and the returning Bailey Hearne (20th) secured third on the day.
The under-13 boys were also third with the consistent Oliver Woods seventh, Alex Ford 21st, Henry Lay 23rd and Dominic Jarvis 30th, but James Stewart (13th) was the only under-17 athlete in action.
n In-form Lydia Hallam finished in an excellent third place in the senior girls’ race at the Southern Schools Inter Counties Cross-Country Championships in Reigate.
Clubmate Heidi Surman-Wells finished 32nd in the same race for Essex, while Kate O’Neill was ninth in the junior girls’ race and Sophie Rand 33rd and sixth Essex athlete home to improve her chance of English Schools selection.
Jessica Mitchell was 52nd, while Jack Rice’s 27th place was Essex’s best in the junior boys’ race, with John Fennessey 68th.
Matt Braybrook was 72nd in the senior boys’ race and Emily Marshall 79th in the intermediate girls’.
n Havering’s Mercy Gutteridge broke the club’s under-20 pole vault record at the London Indoor Games at Lee Valley.
A third-time clearance at 3.36 metres was a six-centimetre improvement on her previous personal best and took Gutteridge into the UK under-20 top 10 this winter.
Tom Pitkin won his 400m hurdles race in a new best of 51.17 seconds, while Lucy Bailey clocked 9.43 on her 60m hurdles debut.
A busy Michelle Hughes was third in the 200m with 25.93, had a best long jump of 5.10m and clocked 8.14 over 60m on her 17th birthday.
Mike Duncan improved his 800m best by over five seconds to win his race in 2:09.56, while Bradley West clocked 2:17.00 on his indoor 800m debut.
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