Havering’s Kate is top-10 hit at Parliament Hill

PUBLISHED: 10:30 03 February 2017

Havering's Kate O'Neill at the Southern Cross-Country Championships (pic Tracy O'Neill)

Havering's Kate O'Neill at the Southern Cross-Country Championships (pic Tracy O'Neill)


O’Neill leads way at cross-country championships

Havering’s Kate O’Neill was the star of the show for the club last weekend as she battled her way to a top-10 finish at the South of England Cross-Country Championships at Parliament Hill.

Missing the talents of Jess Mitchell and Christine Barker in the under-17 girls’ race, Havering were unable to field a scoring quartet, but O’Neill – who is only in the first year of this age group – was able to show her potential nonetheless.

Over the traditionally hilly course, O’Neill clocked a fine time of 20 minutes 56 seconds to finish in 10th, while she was supported by Sophie Rand in 51st and Emily James who came home in 160th.

Ben Davis led home Havering’s under-20 men as he battled to finish in 18th place on the day, with James Stewart back in 76th and Kieran O’Hara in 87th.

The best turnout of all came from the under-13 girls, with nine Havering athletes toeing the line.

Sydney Foley led the group home in 45th place, with first year member Natalie Sewell finishing 86th on her debut outing at the Championships.

Annie Grannell and Chloe Rand were 120th and 145th respectively as the team finished in a respectable 12th place.

Also in action for Havering in the under-13 age group were Ava Poulson in 221st, Holly Bradley in 222nd, Hannah Yexley in 224th, Jessie Collins in 255th and Rebecca O’Rourke in 269th.

For the under-15 boys, Alex Friend was the first Havering athlete to finish as he came home in 85th place with Dominic Jarvis (177th), Louis Berrett (242nd) and Reece Debenham (285th) combined to earn the team 26th overall.

The under-13 boys endured a tough race, with Sam Bradley their highest-placed finisher in 217th, with Oliver Yexley (230th) and Shane Hart (251st) completing the team in 35th.

Alex Kerr and Lenny Houston also ran in the gold and blue vest for Havering, but there were incomplete teams in all of the other age groups with Sam Atkins (59th) leading the way for the under-17s and Lewis Debenham (106th) and Oliver Bath (153rd) also running.

For the under-15 girls, Lily Bath was the pick in 135th ahead of Grace Dukelow and Molly Bath, but they were one runner short of a full team.

Illness and injury meant there were only four senior Havering men in action, with Gary Atkins in 672nd, Steve Walker (683rd), Richard Rowe (839th) and Tony Collins (1008th).

Bella Woods (207th) was the sole senior woman, while Georgia Phillips was 73rd in the under-20 race.

*Trials for the Havering teams for the London mini marathon are taking place on Sunday.

Athletes need to live, go to school or have been born in the borough and must be at least 11 and no older than 17 on April 23.

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