ESM’s young athletes braved driving rain and thick mud in the 2nd North West London League fixture at Harrow’s Bannister Stadium. 5 ESM teams maintained their league position from the first race, with 3 of the teams advancing up the league.
The under 13 boys repeated their success from the Metropolitan league 2 weeks ago and in a tight 3 way contest for 1st place were joint winners with TVH, with Shaftesbury Barnet close behind. John Fielding led home in 4th place, with George Kerry 8th and Marcus Browne 13th completing the scoring team. Bradley Payne completed the line up in 18th place (44 finished). The team move from 5th to 3rd in the league.
Also moving up were the under 11 girls. With only 1 runner (albeit the race winner) in the first race, a full team saw the girls jump from 12th to 8th in the league. Feia Starkey had to settle for 2nd in a strongly fought contest with a TVH rival who had herself finished 2nd last time. Lucy O’Brien ran very well to finish 13th with Natalie Pritchard completing the team in 40th.
Kirk Lebdiri once more flew the under 11 boys flag alone, finishing 51st and earning valuable club points.
The under 13 girls held onto 3rd position in the table, finishing 5th on the day. In a closely packed finish, Maryam Hussain led home in 12th place, 10 metres clear of Emma Purcell in 13th, with Laura Stewart close behind in 15th. Cameron Thomas ran strongly to come home in 28th and bravest athlete of the day was newcomer Beth Neil who ran almost the whole race with only one spike shoe, the other one having buried itself in the mud, to finish 36th.
The under 15 girls finished 3rd on the day & move up from 4th to 3rd in the table.
Courtney Marshall powered home to finish 7th, with Anna Maude close behind in 8th. Another newcomer, Jennie Connelly, made up the scoring team with a strong finish to come in 20th. Emma Starkey was running well but had to pull out of the race with an injury.
The same fate befell under 15 newcomer Eliot Stewart who, until then, had had an excellent debut.
Another debutant Rashid Riyad led the u15 team home in 19th place, with Bradley Pinder 25th and Connor McCarthy 33rd. The team finished 8th and hold that position (in fact joint 7th) in the league.
The under 17 men’s race was an example of quality rather than quantity. Duncan Pinder was ESM’s only runner but he finished a storming 2nd and the team clung on to joint 2nd spot overall.
Under 17 women Olivia Will and Josie Elliott also made up for the lack of a full team with strong runs, finishing 5th & 6th, 2nd on the day and keeping the team in 2nd place overall.
Report by Graham French. Pictures by Jean King, the full set available here.