Ealing’s women grabbed a Division 2 win and there was a much improved performance from the men’s team at Fairlands Valley Park. The outstanding individual performance came from John Fielding who helped his team move up to top spot in the league with a win in the under-13 boys race.
With two scheduled meetings falling victim to snow and ice, this was only the third Met League to take place here. Just twelve members of Ealing’s teams at the first ever fixture held nearly four years ago turned out this time. Which of the runners from Saturday’s races were part of that class of 2009? The answer can be found after these reports.
Under-13 boys: the first race brought the best team and best individual results from all of the young athletes races. With the team finishing second, they move up from fifth to first place in the league. John Fielding, in only his third cross country race for ESM, timed his race perfectly, sitting in the front group for the first part of the race before hitting the front and outpacing his nearest rival to give the Club its first individual win of the season in the Met League. George Kerry had a storming run to finish in 9th ahead of Bradley Payne in 22nd. Patrick Owen (24th) completed the scoring followed by the ever improving Luke Adar in 34th place.
Under-13 girls: they were one short of a full team but, undeterred, made up for that with some high quality racing. Roisin Lynch led the team home in 10th place with new recruit Laura Stewart not far behind in 15th. Cameron Thomas, recovering from a cold, ran bravely to complete the line up in 31st place. The team finished a solid fourth and hold on to fourth place in the league.
Under-15 boys/Under-17 men: were also missing some key athletes and in by far the largest young athletes field of the day – 61 finishers – were led home by Malik Ouzia in 15th place with new recruit Zephon Allen next in 34th. Under-15’s Reece Farren and Conor McCarthy completed the scoring in 44th and 49th respectively. The team finished 9th but hold on to 6th position in the league.
Under-15 girls/Under-17 women: an excellent showing from our athletes saw the A team finish 5th and the B team 8th. Under-15 Courtney Marshall was first to finish in 11th place with Olivia Will not far behind in 15th. Under-15’s Anna Maude (22nd) and Millie Atherton (29th) completed the A team. Katrina Will, also running against doctor’s orders, and Josie Elliott in 30th and 31st led the B team in, with Joanna Vale, improving with every race, close behind in 33rd. The A team move up from 6th to 5th in the league and the B team are in 11th place.
Women: in her first race for Ealing since the Chester Marathon, Alison Hopkins was first home in 38th place ahead of Fiona Kennedy who finished 49th. Sarah Richardson, who is pictured in Met League action in the current edition of Athletics Weekly, came in next in 56th followed by Patricia Thomas (70th) and final scorer Carol Jones (79th).
For the B team, Gill Morgan (92nd) finished just in front of Nikki Baker (94th) while another with a marathon still in her legs, Mary Walsh, came in 106th and Julia Gristwood was 129th. After their win, the A team are now just four points behind the leaders in Division 2. The B team finished third in Division 3 and after finishing fourth, the veteran’s team remain in fourth place in the table.
Men: with some much needed reinforcements, ESM were able to field a team and a half in an effort to make up for the disappointment of Claybury. In his first outing of the season, Rob Wilson (30th) was first home ahead of two under-20’s Ben Waterman (56th) and Nicholas Landeau (69th). Angelo John was again leading veteran in 82nd while, in his first race for the Club, newcomer Jonathan Lane impressed with 102nd place and Mohamed Hashi had another good run for 114th.
In a tight bunch finish, Rob Brown (151st) got the better of Mark Delahunty (155th) after which the remaining A team scorers came home at regular intervals. V40 veteran James Steel was the first of them in 182nd place followed by Jon Ellis (204th), Peter Drew, making his cross country debut for Ealing, in 256th and John McKim (278th) who just edged out Bill Gristwood for twelfth spot.
Steve Plested finished well clear of the remaining B team runners in 291st place. Three V55’s Graham French (330th), John Falvey (332nd) and Alan Keeler (334th) packed together well some way ahead of Rob Howells who was cautiously testing out his troublesome knee and so, very unusually, found himself bringing up the rear for the Club in 343rd place.
With 8th place on the day, the A team moved above Division One’s two B teams to sit just above the relegation zone in the table. The vets team finished second in the Veteran Men’s Division Two and now top the table.
First Stevenage Met Leaguers were: Ben Waterman, then an under-15, who was the only ESM young athlete from January 2009 to feature this time around. Fiona, Mary, Carol and Julia were among the 98 finishers in the women’s race which saw our team finish as high as 3rd! Just single divisions back then and the men did alright too, finishing 7th. Wilson, Gristwood, Delahunty, Plested, Falvey, French and Keeler were all part of the 262 strong field.
Photo by Andy Dodd shows the men receiving some welcome encouragement from ESM’s women. Plenty more can be seen via Facebook.