Although there were some muddy sections, there was also plenty of firm going for the runners at this final Met League meeting of the season, originally set to take place at Ruislip but switched to Merchant Taylors School, a new venue for the league. On a cold day, some of the races were a bit longer than normal but most of the athletes seemed to enjoy running over what were mainly flat courses.
Three of ESM’s young athletes teams had their best league results of the season. In the senior races, the men were unable to find the unlikely result that was required to avoid relegation. Much better news for the women’s team though as they made sure of promotion to Division One with another solid team performance.
All smiles for ESM’s senior men and women despite mixed fortunes for the teams
Under-13 boys: John Fielding took an early lead before coming home in 2nd place, five seconds down on the winner. George Kerry (8th), Hassan Ismail (9th) and Bradley Payne (21st) completed the scoring and Luke Adar was 27th. The team had their best league result of the season, finishing just a single point behind league winners Shaftesbury. The result helped them move up two places in the table to take the runners-up spot.
Under-13 girls: once again the girls managed Ealing’s best turnout in any of the young athletes races. Nicola Ravenhill (6th), Roisin Lynch (7th), Laura Stewart (12th) and Emma Purcell (16th) were the A team scorers. Maryam Hussain (19th), Cameron Thomas (21st) and Shiva Basu (24th) followed them home in close order to score good points for the B team. After three fourths and a third, the A team came second on the day to make sure of third place overall.
Under-15 boys/Under-17 men: no ESM under-17’s at all but Rashid Riyad (11th) ran well for fourth under-15 in the race and Conor McCarthy finished 34th overall. The team came eighth and considering their best league result was only sixth they did well to end up in sixth place overall.
Under-15 girls/Under-17 women: Courtney Marshall had easily her best league result of the season with 6th place and there was little separating Olivia Will and Erica Wallace who finished 11th and 12th. Josie Elliott (19th) was the final A team scorer ahead of Katrina Will (21st) and Jennie Connelly (22nd). After starting the season with sixth place, the A team improved their position with each match to finish in second place here and hold on to fourth place in the table.
Women: mission accomplished with three of the team’s most consistent performers in the league leading the way for them. Alison Hopkins was 29th, Fiona Kennedy 40th and Sarah Richardson 56th. Simonetta Taccuso (71st) and Carol Jones (77th) completed the scoring for the A team who finished second on the day by one point from Woodford ‘B’. Good scoring from Nikki Baker (87th), Gill Morgan (95th), Jane Ruhland (98th) and team manager Mary Walsh (107th) resulted in the B team finishing second on the day in Division Three.
The A team ended up as Division Two runners-up behind Serpentine ‘C’ and the B team finished fourth overall in Division Three. The veterans A team, who narrowly missed finishing top team on the day, ended up equal third overall. They will be joined in Division One next season by the veterans B team who had another win and ended up champions of Division Two.
Men: two deceptively long laps plus an extra field before the finish made this something like a 5.7 mile course. Both of ESM’s first two home were making their first appearance for the Club since the first league at Claybury. Sam Ashcroft, after his bout of glandular fever, ran well for 36th as did injury-plagued Steve Elson who was 72nd. Angelo John reappeared after his long break to finish 93rd despite falling over twice. Another making a welcome return was Chris Hepworth who was 104th in his first race of the season.
Mark Cameron was next man home in 114th place ahead of Rob Brown who had a fine run for 117th. James Steel (147th) was another to take a bit of a fall, Mark Delahunty was 152nd, Eamon Bradley 211th, Dave Foley 231st, Rob Howells 246th and final scorer Gary Stringer 252nd. Phil York finished 270th in his first race of the winter. Sadly, ninth place on the day wasn’t enough to prevent the team slipping to a final placing of tenth. At least there was some consolation as the veteran men’s team picked up their third consecutive win to finish as champions of Division Two.
The Return of the Prodigal Elson/Angelo’s ‘what happened next?’ moment
Men’s club championships: with Mo Hashi and Rob Wilson not running, the contest for the championship turned out to be between Angelo John, the clear favourite if he avoided disaster, and Mark Cameron. And so it proved as Angelo ended up taking the title by five points with Mark the runner-up and Mo third. Angelo also overtook Rob Brown to win the veteran men’s championship with Eamon Bradley finishing third. Mark overtook Mo to win the under-20 men’s title.
The full final standings can be seen here:ClubChamps2012-13final
Photos by Andy Dodd. More can be seen via Facebook. Jean King’s photos, including those of the young athletes, can be seen here