The third Met League fixture was held just down the road at Hillingdon Farm Sports Ground in Uxbridge. Conditions were mild and dry, though those in the U15 age group and above still had to negotiate the infamous water jump! (Though according to young athlete coach Bridie Lebdiri, the U13s were disappointed not to be able to do it).
We had a great little squad of six athletes in the opening race for U11 boys. Sammy Gibson was first home, battling against the same lead runners as at Welwyn, but on this occasion he improved his third place to second. Mika and Elliot also ran in both races and showed great consistency. (Mika actually lost a spike and went back to get it, but he didn’t let that faze him at all!) The boys finished third team on the day.
The five U13 boys also scored well, with the team finishing second on the day. Sixth-placed Alec Edgar and seventh-placed Isaac Mezey led them in, only a second separating the two on the line. Finlay Vadon made a welcome return, with his first cross country of the season in a club vest.
Sarah Gerrie led the senior women home with a very strong run, nine places higher than at Welwyn and her best Met League finish to date. She was followed a minute and a half later by Team Manager Shona Cowper. Bridie was impressed watching how assertively both Sarah and Shona tackled the river crossing, bounding quickly up the bank on the other side. Shona herself recalls “almost pushing an Eagle into the river as we entered for the second time. Turns out it was a coach at Quit the Gym where I used to do a Tuesday night speed session. Ooops! All’s fair in love and cross country, no? !” In fact, Shona only just held off the fast-finishing Sarah Harris, who was also third W40 in the field. First V60 Fiona Kennedy overhauled Gabija Rasiukeviciute to claim the fourth scoring spot as they emerged from the woods onto the long downhill approach to the “water feature” for the second time. Gabija lost a little ground – and gained a little warpaint – after making “unplanned contact with the river bank”, but she held on well to bring the A team home second on the day. (Spookily, beating local rivals Ealing Eagles by just one point, as they had at Welwyn). Megan Hubbard led the B team home, and experience got the better of youth on this occasion, as V60 Carol Jones overtook the 17 year old Amira Nuseibeh with about 600m to go. With Louise Prince and Barbro Julin on board, it was pleasing to close a full B team.
The senior men couldn’t quite match their fifth and fourth place finishes of the first two matches, and are now ranked fifth in the league. Seventh place on the day is still a respectable outcome, however, and supports their promotion to Division One. There were many fine performances throughout the squad, led by Moe Hashi’s excellent 18th place finish. Second scorer Ben Waterman is also showing good form on the cross country this season, while Elias Ahmed was also well inside the top 50. The A team benefitted from Tom Gifford’s first club appearance in a club vest, as well as a fine run by second-claimer and V50 Andy Bowen. Sean Hanrahan managed to retain his place in the A team despite running a parkrun PB that very morning, while the two Marks were also in the top 12. Further down the field, U20 1500m runner Chauncey Edwards clearly felt more in his comfort zone in the closing stages, sprinting past quite a few competitors in the last field. Conversely, John Falvey was at the receiving end of a quite astonishing sprint finish by Serpentine runner Peter Mackintosh. Cross country gives everyone the chance to shine, in their own way!
ESM results summary:
U11B (2K): 2 Sammy Gibson 08:10; 18 Mika Stripp 08:58; 23 Elliot Edgar 09:18; 35 Noah Levy 09:46; 40 Ashley Thompson 09:59; 53 Francesco Dall’Aglio 13:23
U11G (2K): 20 Matilda Allan 10:00; 37 Diya Siyani 12:13
U13B (3K): 6 Alec Edgar 12:28; 7 Isaac Mezey 12:29; 23 Finley Vadon 13:28; 25 Kevin Prempeh 13:40; 51 Evan Thomson 16:49
U13G (3K): 22 Mia De Vivenot 15:03; 36 Reha Siyani 15:56; 44 Isabela Dussaillant 16:25; 45 Flora Allan 16:27
U15/U17B (4K): 26 Thomas Edgar 16:36; 50 Arun Smith (U15) 17:40; 51 Jonah Mezey (U15) 17:40; 75 Hussein Zaaiter (U15) 20:11
U15/U17G (4K): 33 Katie Hay (U17) 19:42
SW/U20W (8K): 37 Sarah Gerrie 35:06; 50 Shona Cowper 36:36; 51 Sarah Harris (V40) 36:38; 70 Fiona Kennedy (V60) 37:37; 76 Gabija Rasiukeviciute 38:01; 148 Megan Hubbard 43:51; 160 Carol Jones (V60) 44:34; 163 Amira Nuseibeh (U20) 44:47; 166 Louise Prince (V50) 45:07; 181 Barbro Julin (V55) 47:28
SM/U20M (8K): 18 Mohamed Hashi 27:57; 34 Ben Waterman 28:32; 38 Elias Ahmed (U20) 28:42; 73 Christopher Hepworth 29:58; 76 Tom Gifford 30:07; 118 Elliot Jones 31:20; 121 Santosh Rai 31:26; 128 Nick Steel 31:34; 186 Andy Bowen (V50) 32:57; 200 Sean Hanrahan 33:13; 222 Mark Kencroft (V50) 33:47; 227 Mark Delahunty (V45) 33:55; 232 Chauncey Edwards (U20) 34:11; 237 Colin Foster 34:15; 238 Reece Asik 34:16; 312 Martin Daoud (V55) 36:38; 344 Philip York (V55) 38:17; 383 David Foley (V60) 40:16; 387 Steve Plested (V65) 40:23; 433 Simon Turrell (V50) 43:34; 444 John Falvey (V60) 45:39
Full results on power of 10. Any corrections/additions, please email email@example.com.