Havering members maintain red-hot form on freezing cold Cambridge day
PUBLISHED: 14:00 20 December 2018
Havering AC members defied freezing conditions to maintain their red-hot start to the Essex Cross-Country League season over the county border at Horseheath, Cambridgeshire.
Lauren Deadman made a successful return from her maternity break to lead home the senior women’s field as under-20 Jess Mitchell stepped up to finish a comfortable second.
And with Ginte Bailey coming home in eighth place and Debbie Appleton (13th) not far behind,m the Havering squad claimed their second successive win to top the table.
Robyn Matson ran well for 16th in her first cross-country event this winter while Clare Davies (33rd), Jo Sullivan (39th), Lesley Gahagan (66th), Tracy O’Neill (67th), Alex Edwards and Jane Hallam were also in action to make it 11 finishers.
There was another Havering one-two in the senior men’s race as back-in-form Ben Davis pulled away for victory on the second lap for a deserved win after vying for first place for most of the race with Grant Twist who came home in second.
There was another top-10 finish for Rob Warner, closely followed by Sam Atkins (13th)0 and Paul Grange (14th), as James Stewart completed the scoring team in 26th to give the team a third successive victory on their way to defending their league title.
The senior men still managed to put out 22 runners despite the wintry conditions and Alfie Waithaka (30th), Gavin Maley (34th), John Whitehead (44th), Barry Smith (47th) and Martin Chester (50th) all ran well to make the top 50.
Freddie Keefe (51st), Robbie Cooman (53rd), Matt Bland (67th), Kieran O’Hara (68th) and Tony Pecoraro (76th) kept up the pressure and pushed other teams further down the finishing order.
And the big Havering squad was completed by Steve Walker (90th), Gary Atkins (94th), Richard Rowe (104th), Jason Crispin (106th), Paul Berrett (118th) and Tony Collins (153rd).
Alex Ford returned to league action with another victory in the under-15 boys’ race with team-mate Charlie Howell just eight seconds back in second.
Shane Hart (14th) and Lenny Houston (26th) brought the team home in second to retain their lead in the table, as Timi McDaniel (27th), newcomer Dan Peters (31st) and Jack Thomson (34th) completed the line-up.
A second-place finish for the under-15 girls also maintained their league-leading position, with Natalie Sewell and Sydney Foley coming home in fifth and sixth.
Chloe Rand (9th) and Alice Brown (13th) completed the scoring four and another strong Havering line-up included Maddie Barker (19th), Jessica Wright (24th), Alice Atkins (29th), Ella Burgess (31st), with Hannah Yexley and Morgan Romain finishing in 34th and 35th.
The under-13 girls were again second to maintain runners-up spot in the overall table, as Ruby Higgins placed an excellent third and Stephanie Okoro a fine fifth.
Freya Long was not far behind in seventh and Tilly Canty (11th) completed the scoring quarter, with Ruby Tillson, Charlotte Evans and Hannah Evans packing between 13th and 16th and Charlotte Kennedy coming home in 31st.
The under-13 boys retained second spot after a third-place finish on the day and there was little to separate their four scorers as Michael Tesi, Nathan Hart, Ryan Carroll and Charlie Burgess all finished between 12th and 16th.
Max Robbins (20th), Finley Wolton (22nd), Seb Alexandru (23rd), Oscar Shearing (25th) and Joseph Gray (38th) made it nine finishers in total for Havering.
The under-17 boys could only field two competitors as Luke Chester was 12th and Louis Berrett 22nd, while the under 17/under-20 Women were one short of a scoring four as Sophie Rand took a fine fourth, with Jessica James (25th) and Angelica Thomson (26th) in support.
*Havering’s Jacob Blanc broke the club’s 60m hurdles record on the way to finishing fourth at the South of England Indoor Pentathlon Championships at Lee Valley.
Blanc’s 8.60-second clocking improved Toby Bishop’s previous mark, set last February, and smashed his old best of 8.96, while also proving the fastest time by an under-15 boy in Britain this winter.
He also set new bests in three of the other four events, with 5.37m in the long jump, 8.18m in the shot and 2.16.70 in the 800m.
An indoor high jump best of 1.57m allowed Blanc to finish with 2,607 points in fourth place, while Dominic Alexandru was sixth with 1,608 after stepping up the under-15 level.
Alexandru’s best results came in the hurdles (9.82) and high jump (1.51m).