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Havering tested by muddy Hill

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 February 2015

Havering's Jack Rice in muddy cross-country action (pic: Gary Howard)

Havering's Jack Rice in muddy cross-country action (pic: Gary Howard)

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Athletes battle at Cross-Country Championships

Havering's Kate O'Neill in muddy cross-country action (pic: Gary Howard)Havering's Kate O'Neill in muddy cross-country action (pic: Gary Howard)

Havering youngsters battled through the mud at the National Cross-Country Championships on the ever-challenging Parliament Hill course.

Recent heavy rain ensured a mud bath, but Havering’s under-15 girls were the first Essex team home in 21st place.

National debutant Kate O’Neill led them home in 40th, while fellow first-timer Sophie Rand was a fine 70th.

Becca Brown (187th) and Catherine Barker (327th) compelted the scoring quartet, with Grace Macleod and Amelia Day also in action.

Havering's Lily Bath in muddy cross-country action (pic: Gary Howard)Havering's Lily Bath in muddy cross-country action (pic: Gary Howard)

The under-15 boys finished 26th, led Oliver Bath (149th) just getting the better of Jack Rice (154th).

Lewis Debenham (185th) and Sam Atkins (242nd) completed the scoring, while Oliver Woods was 105th as the under-13 boy finished 29th.

Ellis Osborne (163rd), Alex Ford (224th), Henry Lay (268th) and Ben Naish (281st) all benefitted from competing at this level.

The under-13 girls had an impressive turnout of 11, with the scoring quartet finishing in 42nd place.

Grace Dukelow was a respectable 127th, with Molly Sweetman (231st), Molly Bath and Kate Walker also scoring.

Milli Lewis (345th) and Lily Bath (350th) were not far apart, while Ella King, Chloe Morter, Hannah Paton, Charlotte Wright and Jessica James were well placed between 413th and 426th.

Four senior men braved the quagmire-like course, with Rob Warner first home in 200th place among over 2,000 finishers.

Matt Bland (480th), Jason Crispin (813th) and Russ Middleton (1,216th) agreed it was “one of the worst races” they had ever been in.

Sarah Wilson continued her comeback with 72nd place in the under-17 women’s event, with Zoe Rudgley in 226th, while Bella Woods (75th) and James Stewart (251st) flew the club flag alone in the under-20 women’s and under-17 men’s races.

Results, under-13 girls: Grace Dukelow 14:35; Molly Sweetman 15:21; Molly Bath 16:20; Kate Walker 16:25 (team 42nd); Milli Lewis 16:29; Lily Bath 16:32; Ella King 18:15; Chloe Morter 18:41; Hannah Paton 18:52; Charlotte Wright 18:58; Jessica James 19:01.

Under-15 girls: Kate O’Neill 16:41; Sophie Rand 17:11; Becca Brown 18:32; Catherine Barker 21:01 (team 21st); Grace Macleod 22:11; Amelia Day 24:28.

Under-17 women: Sarah Wilson 22:25; Zoe Rudgley 29:41.

Under-20 women: Bella Woods 28:17.

Under-13 boys: Oliver Woods 13:40; Ellis Osborne 14:08; Alex Ford 14:39; Henry Lay 14:57 (team 29th); Ben Naish 15:11.

Under-15 boys: Oliver Bath 18:28; Jack Rice 18:29; Lewis Debenham 18:43; Sam Atkins 19:16 (team 26th).

Under-17 boys: James Stewart 27:23.

Senior men: Rob Warner 45:10; Mat Bland (M45) 49:02; Jason Crispin 52:39; Russ Middleton (M45) 57:12.

n Havering’s Josh Olawore showed fantastic form to win long jump gold at the British Universities (BUCS) Indoor Championships in Sheffield.

Bath student Olawore led the qualifiers with a 7.20 metre leap, equalling his personal best, and sealed victory with an ever better effort of 7.37 in the final for his best result since winning the England Athletics Uner-17 Championships in 2011.

Olawore had also improved his 60m best to 7.02secs, but missed out on a final place.

Emmanuel Quarshie was fifth in the shot put for Coventry, matching his 2014 placing, with 13.59m in the final after a 13.85 effort in qualifying.

And Billy Rungay improved his 400m beat to 54.44 for Greenwich, while also clocking 2:06.49 in the 800m as Karl Tucker ran 7.67 in his 60m heat for Reading.

n Havering’s Mercy Gutteridge improved her club under-20 pole vault record with a 3.43m clearance at the Vault London Indoor competition at Carshalton.

After needing three attempts at 3.33m, the 17-year-old soared clear at a new lifetime best and seven centimetre improvement on her previous record.

Only Kate Cowley among Havering female members has vaulted higher and Gutteridge will hope to go higher still at the National Indoor Age Group Championships at Sheffield this weekend.

Michelle Hughes contests the under-20 200m and 400m, while Lucy Bailey goes in the 60m hurdles, and a quartet of under-15 hurdlers in Mayi Hughes, Isabella Purdie, Grace Newson and Millie Hodges will all gain vital experience at their first National Championships.

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