It was a sunny but cold day at Kingsbury for the second NWLL fixture, reports Bridie Lebdiri. Despite it being half term week we had a pretty good turnout of young athletes.
Although we have large numbers turning up at training, it is not yet translating into numbers competing. (They seem to favour the lure of track and field!) Coach Annick is encouraging the girls, so hopefully we will see a few more next time.
The very promising Kara Larkham did very well to finish 10th out of a field of 54! Arriving close to the start time, she didn’t get a proper warm-up and didn’t know the course, so was a little apprehensive lining up. I stood at the halfway point and so was able to give her an idea of the distance left.
It was lovely to have five boys in this age group. Annick’s U11 group is growing, with some of the stronger athletes now doing an odd session with the U13s, so it augurs well for the future.
Finlay again ran a very competitive race to finish a very good fourth. Newcomer Kevin Prempeh impressed in 14th position. Kevin was encouraged by his school to join us after the schools cross country. Roger Robles and Evan Thomson ran solidly and young Elliot Edgar (third of the Edgar brothers) enjoyed his taste of cross country. He then joined us running the course again, cheering on his older brothers. The boys were rewarded with third team place.
We are a bit short in this age group. Alec Edgar, a first year U13, stuck close to Lucy in the combined race and finished strongly to take 18th place out of a field of 49.
We had a very good turnout in this age group, a mix of older and younger athletes. Seweryn went with the very fast pace and by the time that we got to the vantage point they were already coming back around. He maintained second position with the plan being to kick at the end but he couldn’t quite overtake the leader and settled for second this time. Nevertheless he was pleased with his performance.
First year U15 Finn Combe was very impressive and put in a strong performance, finishing in 11th.
Coach Graham French notes that Thomas Edgar’s hard work in (and regular attendance at) training is paying off, with a strong run following his excellent performance two weeks before at Claybury.
Maxi’s continuing growth spurts affect his ankles and heels, continues Bridie, and so he is doing well considering the low training volume. Mohamed Ibrahim wasn’t far behind in 39th, followed by Marco Lamagna and Hussein Zaaiter in 43rd and 45th respectively. Hats off to Marco and Hussein; with no mini bus they made their own way via two or three buses.
The team finished second.
Arun Manget ran a good steady tactical race to lead in our somewhat depleted under 17 team, comments Graham, backed up by a strongly finishing Matteo Lamagna. Matteo is in his first year in this age group and, like Thomas, showing the benefits of regular training. The team finished fifth.
After getting bumped and pushed at the first NW race, 11 year Mia de Vivenot took no chances and got a good clean start, finishing a very respectable 12th out of a very large field of 50 girls. Olivia Grigg always runs a determined race and was going well until her shoe came off. Not wanting to lose it she went back to pick it up, losing a good 10 places. To her credit she managed to close down one or two, eventually finishing in 32nd place. It was Catherine Gallagher’s first race and although she was quite tired immediately afterwards, she did recover and admitted to enjoying the experience!
With some on holidays, Josie Booker out with broken wrist and Anna Ilchenko with an injury, our team of five was whittled down to just one. At the beginning of the season 13 year old Lucy Henson was concerned that her QPR training and matches might affect her cross country training/racing. In fact it has been a positive. Lucy’s agility/speed has improved greatly and combined with carefully planned athletics training/rest days, means she is running very strongly. In third position going into the final stretch she put in an impressive burst of speed to gain the second spot. Coach Denise remarked on the determined look of “I’m going to get you”. Lucy finished ahead of some strong county athletes and so was very pleased with herself.
It’s good to see Lucy O’Brien back racing, after taking some time out in the summer to focus on her studies. Competition was strong and she did very well to finish seventh. Anisa Ibrahim also put in a good performance and was close behind in ninth position.
ESM results summary:
U11: 4 Finlay Vadon 9:11; 14 Kevin Prempeh 9:54; 22 Roger Robles 10:14; 35 Elliot Edgar 11:05; 42 Evan Thomson 11:49
U13: 18 Alec Edgar 12:39
U15: 2 Seweryn Czapka 13:02; 11 Finn Combe 13:45; 15 Thomas Edgar 13:54; 32 Maxi Steel 15:01; 39 Mohamed Ibrahim 16:08; 43 Marco Lamagna 16:54; 45 Hussein Zaaiter 17:06
U17: 9 Arun Manget 17:02; 14 Matteo Lamagna 18:02
U11: 10 Kara Larkham 6:21
U13: 12 Mia De Vivenot 9:45; 32 Olivia Grigg 10:35; 44 Catherine Gallagher 11:28
U15: 2 Lucy Henson 12:25
U17: 7 Lucy O’Brien 15:56; 9 Anisa Ibrahim 16:21
Full results to follow in power of 10