Title-chasing Havering leave Essex Cross-Country League rivals languishing yet again
PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 December 2019
Havering teams are in pole position is six of the 10 age groups after another strong display in the Essex Cross-Country League at Writtle College.
The senior women are on course to retain their title after a comfortable win put them well clear in the table.
Lydia Hallam celebrated her break from studies at New Mexico University with victory by over a minute from teammate Morgan Campbell, with Ginte Bailey (fourth) and Debbie Appleton (16) seeing them win by a 50-point margin.
Clare Davies (25th), Jade Edwards (40th), Jo Sullivan (51st) and Tracy O'Neill (75th) completed the line-up for the unbeaten squad, who need one more solid result to be crowned again.
Both under-15s teams remain unbeaten and on course for the title, with the girls again victorious after fielding four finishers in the top 10 and six in the top 12.
Runner-up Natalie Sewell had her best result for some time, with Maddie Barker (sixth), Ruby Higgins (seventh) and Tilly Canty (10th) also scoring, as Nicole Langan (11th) and Hannah Yexley (12th) finished close behind.
Freya Long (22nd) and Ruby Lendon (41st) completed their line-up, while the boys won on countback from Chelmsford as both teams finished on 27 points.
They also had six in the top 15, with county medalist Charlie Howell finishing runner-up and Matthew Blacklock again fourth, with a much-improved Max Robbins (10th) and Shane Hart (11th) also scoring.
Owen Fisher, Finley Wolton, Charlie Burgess and Dan Peters were in the top 20 and Lewis Edwards and Archie Winney also contributed.
The senior men, although missing some key athletes, kept up their challenge to retain the trophy after finishing close behind Ilford in a good second place.
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Rob Warner led them home in a great season's best in third place with James Stewart not far behind after a very good run to take ninth.
Gavin Watts (14th) and Sam Atkins (16th) both ran well in blustery conditions, as Barry Smith (28th) and Steve Rand (32nd) improved on their last outing to complete the scoring.
John Whitehead (44th) and Matt Bland (48th) both made the top 50 with Rob Trevor (61st), Tony Pecoraro (90th), Steve Walker (100th), Roy James (129th) and Tony Collins (164th) completing the squad.
The under-13 boys were edged out by Southend but still top the table, after Ryan Carroll, Oliver Taylor-Bush and Toby Johnson finished ninth, 10th and 11th, with Zack Higgins (21st) also scoring.
Alfie Geeves, Daniel Lammas and Joseph Gray were in the top 30 and Waleed Kabuye also saw action.
The under-13 girls look set forthe runners-up spot after Chelmsford's third win confirmed them as favourites for the title.
Charlotte Evans was an excellent second as Abigail Swan (ninth), Ruby Tillson (16th) and Rosie Warner (18th) also scored and Hannah Evans finished 22nd.
Sydney Foley was fourth in the under-17 girls/under-20 women's race as the team were again third.
Morgan Romain (19th), Emily James (21st) and Annie Grannell (23rd) were Havering's other scorers with Jessica James, Rebecca O'Rourke and Angelica Thomson between 25th and 28th.
The under-17 boys were again shorthanded as Alex Ford finished seventh ahead of Lenny Houston (24th) and Jack Thomson (25th).
The fourth round at Colchester's Hilly Fields on January 11 is likely to confirm several league titles with one round to spare.
The under-17s, under-20s and seniors start the second half of the winter season with their County Championships at Basildon on January 4.