The last North West London League fixture of the season saw one individual gold medalist, & no less than 5 team 2nd places & one 3rd, but ESM’s teams had to return without any team trophies, although 3 of the 2nd places were by the smallest of margins.
This reflects the improved standard in the 10 team league, & a large post-Olympic influx of talented athletes to all the clubs competing in it.
In cold but dry conditions (quite a change from the blizzard conditions of last week’s National, & the mud-fest that was the Southerns the week before), first up were the under 11 girls.
The under 11 boys fielded a full team of 3, led in by Robbie Connelly, also a club debutant, in 22nd, backed up by Kirk Lebdiri in 31st & Reuben Gifford 33rd. The team finished 7th.
The individual title was to be decided between ESM’s Feia Starkey & TVH’s Charlotte Buckley, each with 2 wins recorded over the previous 4 races. Feia had only one thought in her mind, & by half way round the course had opened up a significant lead, which she never lost, finishing 7 seconds ahead of her rival, to take the league trophy. A strong team performance saw Lucy O’Brien home in 13th place, Delilah Basu running her first club race, in 31st & Rosie Cox in 33rd out of 48 runners. The team were 5th.
The under 13 races provided 2 of the day’s closest contests. The boys’ race was a 3 way contest between ESM, Shaftesbury Barnet & TVH, with ESM 2 points off first place going into the race. A great team performance saw John Fielding 3rd, with Hassan Ismail 6th & George Kerry 7th completing the scoring team. Patrick Owen (12), newcomers Monty Pritchard (30), Alfie Cox (33) and recent recruit Alex Sungtang (35) completed a strong overall team result, but Shaftesbury narrowly took 1st place on the day, winning the trophy with ESM a close second.
John Fielding won the league individual 2nd place, with George Kerry 5th.
The under 13 girls went into the race in 2nd place, 3 points behind Highgate. The only way to win the trophy was to finish 4 points clear of their North London rivals. A fine turnout saw ESM field 3 full teams in this age group. Nicola Ravenhill led home in 4th place with Roisin Lynch not far behind in 8th, closely followed by Maryam Hussein in 9th, Laura Stewart 10th & Emma Purcell 12th. Still the green & yellow shirts kept coming in with Shiva Basu (14), Leah Kelly (17), Cameron Thomas (22) & under 11 Sarah Freegard (26).
ESM’s A team took 2nd place, & the B team 3rd, pushing Highgate into 4th, with ESM’s C team 8th. A magnificent effort but not quite enough to knock Highgate off the top league spot, the trophy going to Highgate by a single point. TVH, the winners on the day, were a single point behind ESM in 3rd.
Laura Stewart (2nd), Emma Purcell (3rd), Roisin Lynch (5th) & Nicola Ravenhill (6th) all won NWLL individual medals.
The under 15 boys recorded another 2nd place team result.
Mukhtar Farah struggled with an ankle injury but still finished 2nd, with Rashid Riyad close behind in 3rd. The scoring team was completed by recent recruit Jamie Cox in 19th. Conor McCarthy was 22nd & Karolis Narvilas 25th. Rashid won 3rd in the individual league medals.
The under 15 girls were also 2nd on the day.
Courtney Marshall led the team home in 4th place, with Erica Wallace 7th, & Millie Atherton completing the scoring in 10th. Emma Starkey completed the overall team in 19th. Courtney took the 5th place league medal.
Yet another team narrowly missing an overall trophy were the under 17 women. Olivia Will ran strongly, finishing 3rd, with Josie Elliott continuing her solid form in 6th & Joanna Vale completing the scoring team in 9th. Katrina Will was 10th & Emelia Newton Jones 12th.
As with the previous week, Malik Ouzia was the club’s sole under 17 man, with a strong run to finish 5th.
Finally, thanks to Brian Fowler for organising the NWLL in its 47th year.
Report by Graham French. Pictures by Jean King. Please find attached the results from the last NWLL league race: NWL Race 5 2012-13