Over 280 athletes from ten different clubs took part in the first North West London Young Athletes League fixture of the season – a very high turnout reflecting the ‘Olympic effect’ influx of new members to many athletics clubs.
The race took place on the first weekend of half term, which meant that at least ten of the ESM team were not available, which did not appear to be a problem affecting other clubs. Best of the day were under-11 Feia Starkey and under-17 Sam Shindler-Glass, who both won their races.
Feia ran a good tactical race, sitting on the shoulder of her nearest rival, outkicking her in the final 100 metres. With several under-11s away, and two late arrivals (who instead ran in the under-13 race), Feia was the only Ealing athlete out of the 48 in the race.
In the under-13 girls – another large field – Roisin Lynch led the team home with a strong run to finish 4th. New recruit Maryam Hussein had an excellent race to finish 10th with Emma Purcell not far behind in 15th. The team finished 3rd, backed up by good runs from Shiva Basu (22nd), Connie Lynch (27th), & under-11s M & N Pritchard (31st & 32nd).
The under-15 team also felt the half term effect, with four regular athletes missing, Despite that, the team finished 4th, Courtney Marshall leading the team home in 6th, with Erica Wallace a second behind in 7th, and Abigail Brown completing the team in 30th.
Katrina Will heads sister Olivia to the finish
A good turnout for the under-17 women saw the team finish second; the Will sisters, Katrina & Olivia, finishing 4th & 5th, a second apart, with Rosie Bell 7thand Josie Elliott 8th.In the under-11 boys we again only had one runner. The largest field of the day saw Kirk Lebdiri finish 48th.
The under-13 boys fared better. With a superb run, relative newcomer John Fielding came in 3rd, the scoring team completed by Patrick Owen (13th) & Matteo Vao (32nd). Completing the line up were Tim Wallace (42nd) and William Coutts (48th). The team finished 5th.
Half term struck again with the under-15 boys. Bradley Pinder (17th) and Karolis Narvilas (36th) ran very well, but without a third team member could only finish 8th team.
The afternoon was rounded off by an excellent run from Sam Shindler–Glass, who led for most of the 5k plus course to finish 50 metres in front of the second-placed runner. Duncan Pinder also had a superb race to finish 5th. With such high placings, despite the absence of a third runner, the team finished second.
Report by Graham French
Photo by Jean King. More of Jean’s NWLL photos can be seen here.