We had only a short trip down to Wormwood Scrubs for the third fixture of the Metropolitan cross country league on Saturday 5th. This yielded a good turnout from the club, and there were top-three finishes for two of the junior teams, but the club’s seniors continue to have a poor season in the league.
The weather continued mild and the going was firm underfoot, but there was a testing wind whistling across the exposed site. This didn’t deter our U17/U15 women’s team, whose efforts once again boosted club morale. Just one point denied them second place on the day, but it was enough to bring them up into second place cumulatively in the league. Erica Wallace was first to finish in fifth, with Nicola Ravenhill hard on her heels in seventh. U15s Lucy O’Brien and Anisa Ibrahim completed the full scoring team, but as ever, the squad showed strength in depth, with Cameron Thomas, Maryam Hussain and Roisin Lynch also performing well.
The U13 boys’ team also finished third, their best placing so far. They were boosted by a fine run in 15th by Matteo Lamagna, followed a second later by Felix Mountford in his first cross country appearance for the club. Further down the field, Mikey Kouwiloyan and Mahiis Hersi resumed battle, with Mahiis having the edge on Mikey this time, while Masaki Kanai completed his first race in the U13 age group. This just left Najiib Hersi in the mixed development race for Under 11s, but he showed consistency with another 15th place.
The U17/U15 men’s team finished eighth on the day, leaving them comfortably in the top half of the league. George Kerry led them home in 20th, with the ever-present Luke Adar just a minute behind. Naoki Kanai and Kane Foster were also through in the space of 20 seconds. Jonathan Martin, Jack Whittaker, Davide Lamagna and Chauncey Edwards completed the line-up.
After a respectable result at the second fixture, the women failed to field a full team of six on this occasion. Despite the welcome return of Sarah Richardson, who led the team home in 51st, the team finished the day bottom of Division One. There was a strong W55 presence in the shape of Fiona Kennedy, Carol Jones and Lynn Wilson, and a gutsy run from newcomer Katie di Paolo, but the women need more participation from its younger and faster athletes in the final two fixtures if they are to avoid relegation.
By contrast, the men turned out in good numbers, with 22 toeing the line, but again too many of the faster athletes were absent. U20 Mukhtar Farah had another impressive run, this time leading the team home in 58th after a tough battle with team-mate Mo Hashi in 60th. Simon Shaw was third man home, and the only other in the top 100. There was a gap of some two and a half minutes to the fourth finisher, Mark Kencroft, who led home a cluster including Charlie Sillett, Abraham Brown and Angelo John. The scoring team was completed by Raunak Mainali, Santosh Rai, Rob Brown, James Steel and Mark Delahunty. Like the women, the men finished the day bottom of Division One.
Despite a better turnout of close to 50 athletes, compared to 41 at Stevenage and 42 at Claybury, the Met League is not going well for us so far and our chances of remaining in Division One are slim. It will require both a major effort on our part for the next two fixtures, and the collapse of other teams near the relegation zone.
ESM results summary
U11: 15 Najiib Hersi 7:30
U13B: 15 Matteo Lamagna 13:07; 16 Felix Mountford 13:08; 30 Mahiis Hersi 14:10; 31 Mikey Kouwiloyan; 14:19; 44 Masaki Kanai 15:13
U17M: 20 George Kerry 13:36; 44 Luke Adar 14:35; 48 Naoki Kanai (U15) 14:42; 53 Kane Foster (U15) 14:55; 62 Jonathan Martin (U15) 15:21; 66 A N Other 15:33; 75 Davide Lamagna (U15) 16:48; 78 Chauncey Edwards (U15) 18:42
U17W: 5 Erica Wallace 15:06; 7 Nicola Ravenhill 15:10; 12 Lucy O’Brien (U15) 15:38; 21 Anisa Ibrahim (U15) 16:22; 32 Cameron Thomas (U15) 16:57; 40 Maryam Hussain (U15) 17:43; 53 Roisin Lynch 19:18
Women: 51 Sarah Richardson (V40) 28:22; 73 Fiona Kennedy (V55) 29:37; 102 Carol Jones (V55) 31:25; 111 Lynn Wilson (W55) 31:57; 125 Katie Di Paolo 32:58
Men: 58 Mukhtar Farah (U20) 26:39; 60 Mo Hashi 26:42; 71 Simon Shaw (V40) 27:05; 176 Mark Kencroft (V45) 29:34; 181 Charlie Sillett (U20) 29:40; 189 Abraham Brown 29:46; 191 Angelo John (V40) 29:49; 208 Raunak Mainali (U20) 30:16; 232 Santosh Rai 30:48; 236 Rob Brown (V45) 30:57; 244 James Steel (V45) 31:17; 248 Mark Delahunty (V40) 31:22; 268 Martin Shelley 32:06; 306 Ian Leslie (V55) 33:20; 321 Dave Foley (V55) 33:57; 331 Clive Richardson (V40) 34:09; 336 Phil York (V50) 34:13; 339 Steve Plested (V60) 34:22; 419 John Falvey (V55) 39:36; 424 Martin Wilson (V60) 39:55; 426 Graham French (V55) 40:04; 436 Rob Howells (V60) 42:07
Full results here