Ealing competed at the county cross country champs, hosted by TVH. The day belonged to our Young Athletes who turned out in force and came away with plenty to show for it. 43 of ESM’s young/junior athletes made the short trip to Wormwood Scrubs to take part on this year’s County Championship. ESM recorded two team wins, three team silvers, one team bronze and six other top five individual placings.
Winter bugs and injuries meant that a few of our athletes were disappointed with their performances, and some key athletes were missing, but overall Ealing performed very well across all age groups.
The unremitting rain of 2012 meant that the course was much muddier than usual, and in places athletes had to battle through standing water.
Best individual result of the day was Mukhtar Farah’s win in the Under 15 boys race (photo left). In a closely contested race he out-sprinted his rivals at the finish to take the individual trophy.
Rashid Riyad in 10th and Bradley Pinder in 18th, ably backed up by debutant Sam Loveless in 32nd, meant silver medals for the team, missing out on the trophy by one solitary point.
In the Under 13 boys, John Fielding led for much of the way but lost out in the final 400 metres and had to settle for a nonetheless very impressive 2nd place.
George Kerry in 14th and Marcus Brown in 18th completed the scoring team who also won silver. An excellent turn out in this age group meant that six other athletes also played their part in the team success with Patrick Owen 21st, Freddy Scarborough 23rd, Maateo Vao 29th, Bradley Payne 41st, Luke Adar 48th and Mark Simons 53rd.
Biggest junior turn out of the day were ESM’s Under 13 girls. Feia Starkey, running her first race in this age group, had a magnificent race to finish 4th. Nicola Ravenhill also ran very strongly to come in 13th in the closely fought race. Roisin Lynch completed the scoring team in 21st. ESM young athletes continued streaming in with Maryam Husan in 25th, Laura Stewart 28th, Cameron Thomas 30th, Leah Kelly 36th, Shiva Basu 42nd, Connie Lynch 46th and Beth Neal 47th.
This was the largest team turn out in any of the young athletes age groups and the team took bronze, missing out on silver (as they had equal points with second placed Highgate) on a count back.
In the Under 15 girls race, four key athletes were missing. Best of the day was Erica Wallace (right) who stormed home in 7th place. Courtney Marshall was 12th with the scoring team completed by Besirat Tesfu in 40th backed up by Emma Starkey in 41st. Abigail Brown started the race but had to pull out due to injury.
The Under 17 men also won team silver. Sam Shindler-Glass, with a fine run, led the team in in 5th place with Malik Ouzia, Zephon Allen and Duncan Pinder closely packed in 11th, 12th and 13th, with Sam McGonigle (below) in 19th. The team also took silver.
The Under 20 women won the title for the third successive year. Rebecca Walford in 8th, Nicola Shelley in 11th and Rachel Walsh 13th recorded another team win for the club. Nikki is pictured below centre, with Rebecca on the right.
At least 12 ESM athletes are likely to be selected to run for the County in March, with several others as County team reserves.
In the senior races, we did not fare as well as in the young athletes races. Our individual performance was best in the mens race, with Rob Wilson coming 4th. The women managed a sterling team effort to come 4th.
The senior womens race was won by Tish Jones (Belgrave), followed by Becky Penty & Katie Meredith (Highgate). Our women had the biggest turn out of the day with record 13 runners. They were led home by Hannah Pollak, who finished in 10th place, with Alison Hopkins in 13th, Fiona Kennedy in 18th and Sarah Richardson in 34th completing the scoring team. Also we had Christine Meek who came 45th, Claudia Manera in 47th, Patricia Thomas in 50th, Carol Jones in 50th, Simonetta Taccuso in 56th, Jane Ruhland in 57th,
Nikki Baker in 61st, Mary Walsh in 71st and Helena French in 88th.
In the womens team stakes, Highgate came first (taking 3 of the top 5 places), followed by Heathside and Serpentine. We lost out on bronze medals to Serpentine by just one point but picked up the Corlin Cup for the best improvers..
In the mens race, individual honours went to Chris Smith (TVH), Robert Thompson (Hillingdon) and Tom Aldred (London Heathside). Robert Wilson finished in 4th, with Jonathan Lane in 39th, Mark Delahunty in 57th, Robert Brown in 69th, Tom Yates (with bow tie) in 96th, Peter Drew in 105th, Eamon Bradley in 115th, Ian Leslie in 120th and Robert Howells in 130th.
Hillingdon picked up the team trophy, with Highgate 2nd and TVH 3rd. ESM were 7th. London Heathside picked up the 12 to score trophy.
Pictures by Andy Dodd, Lynn Wilson & Steve Treanor (several albums) available on the ESM Facebook page.
Young athletes’ report by Graham French and seniors by Steve Treanor.