After a successful inaugural event last year, we once again hosted the Derek Hebbes Memorial Schools Relays at Perivale Park on Wednesday. Around 100 children took part from seven local schools, with Notting Hill & Ealing High and Belvue High participating for the first time. ESM members played a prominent part in the event – how many familiar names can you can spot in the results?
Each team of five legs comprised one runner from each of years 7, 8, 9 and 10, plus one from year 11 or above. Girls and boys ran together over the 1500m cross country course, but the girls competed for the Derek Hebbes Trophy, while the winning boys’ team was awarded the Mike Barratt Trophy.
After a storming first leg from Vikki Newton in the girls’ race, Notting Hill were in the lead, though Rhiannon Stewart of defending champions Elthorne Park finished just seconds behind. This was the youngest age group, yet Vikki ran the 5th fastest time of the day, while Rhiannon was 7th quickest.
On leg 2, Feia Starkey of Ellen Wilkinson was one of only four girls to break 6 minutes, but Notting Hill’s Anna Mackenzie kept them ahead, opening up the gap over Elthorne Park to over half a minute.
On leg 3, Cameron Thomas clocked another sub-six-minute run to keep Notting Hill in the lead, while Imogen Riley of their B team pulled them up into second, two seconds ahead of Elthorne Park.
By the end of leg 4 though, Nicola Ravenhill had unleashed the fastest time of the day, Elthorne Park were back in second, and it was a two-horse race between them and Notting Hill.
Martha Hayward of Elthorne Park pulled out all the stops but could not close the 38 second gap on Jessica Harbert, and the two girls clocked exactly the same time. Like team-mate Nicola, Martha at least had the consolation of a fastest-leg medal, as did Laura Stewart of their B team, who ran the second fastest time overall. The photo above shows the victorious team from Notting Hill.
It was a high quality race, with 15 girls running the course in under 6:30 minutes. Only six girls managed this last year.If Notting Hill dominated the girls’ race, it was a much less clear-cut result for the boys. George Koutas led off Twyford with the fastest opening time, though Joshua Humbles of Elthorne Park was just seconds behind.
It was all change on leg 2, with a speedy run from Ilyas Iman bringing Drayton Manor into the lead by one second, despite a strong effort from Jake Stokes of Twyford. Kyle Wilson also put in a competitive leg to bring Cardinal Wiseman into third.
Drayton Manor achieved the fastest time again on leg 3, with Maateo Vao opening up a 10-second lead over Tom Bagnell of Twyford. Cardinal Wiseman were now well adrift, with only a 9-second advantage over Elthorne Park.
The penultimate leg saw the fastest time of the day, with George Kerry of Drayton Manor being the only one to dip under 5 minutes. Callum Lambert put in a swift run for Twyford, but the deficit had grown to 25 seconds. A quick run from Luke Adar put Elthorne Park back into third – which Alex Miller retained on leg 5, with the third fastest time overall.
Drayton Manor seemed to have the race stitched up at the start of the final leg, but Bill Kelly of Twyford had other ideas. With the second fastest time of the day, he stormed past Daniel Wilks to take the title.
Why is this event called the Derek Hebbes relays? Derek (Del) was a much-loved member of ESM for many years. He was responsible for setting up the Ealing schools cross country league and made an outstanding contribution to the development of local young people in middle distance, road and cross country running over many years.
Mike Barratt, after whom the boys’ trophy is named, was the ESM club chairman and cross country team manager for many years. An outstanding cross country runner himself, he competed at the highest level as a junior, senior and veteran, and was a role model for many aspiring young athletes.
It was a great afternoon’s racing with some really competitive running, and we hope everyone enjoyed themselves. Look out for news of next year’s event and make sure you put it in your diary!
Boys Teams: Twyford 27:10 (TW); Drayton Manor (DM) 27:30; Elthorne Park (EP) 27:42
Fastest legs: A George Koutas (TW) 5:56; B Ilyas Iman (DM) 5:16; C Maateo Vao (DM) 5:11; D George Kerry (DM) 4:58; E Bill Kelly (TW) 5:03
Fastest times overall: George Kerry; Bill Kelly; Alex Miller (EP) 5:04
Girls Teams: Notting Hill 30:23 (NH) Elthorne Park 31:01; Drayton Manor 32:50
Fastest legs: A Vikki Newton (NH) 6:02; B Feia Starkey (EW) 5:50; C Cameron Thomas (NH) 5:52; D Nicola Ravenhill (EP) 5:20; E Martha Hayward (EP)/Jessica Harbert (NH) 6:13
Fastest times overall: Nicola Ravenhill; Laura Stewart (EP) 5:21; Feia Starkey
The full results are below.