NWLL – Trent Park – Sat 29 Nov 2014

Some of the club’s top juniors travelled up to Liverpool for the British Athletics Cross Challenge. Congratulations to Mukhtar Farah (54th) and Charlie Sillett (94th) who competed in the Under 17 men’s race, George Kerry (41st in the U15 boys) and Nicola Ravenhill (22nd in the U15 girls).

Despite that, we had a good turnout of 22 young athletes at the third NWLL fixture at Trent Park last Saturday, where the weather was unseasonably kind but the going was soft and tricky in places.

After this third fixture in the League, coach Graham believes that the Under 15 boys have moved up to joint first place with London Heathside, the Under 15 girls are joint second with TVH, and the Under 17 men now stand in third place. The U11/U13 are all doing well but ranked outside the top three.

Looking at Saturday’s match specifically, the U11 boys finished seventh overall, one place higher than the first two matches. There were five club representatives who all packed well, less than 20 seconds separating the lot. Once again Daniel Rice was first home, though further down the field this time in 26th, followed by Masaki Kanai in 30th, Maxi Steel in 32nd, Rafferty Owen in 35th and Najiib Hersi just a second later in 36th. There were no U11 girls from the club on this occasion.

The U13 boys also finished seventh. Milo Choudhry had an excellent club cross-country debut, grabbing a top ten spot (10th), while Mikey Kouwiloyan (31st) seems to be improving with each race, crossing the line 12 seconds ahead of Mahiis Hersi (34th) this time around.

Lucy O’Brien delivered another strong and confident run, finishing third for the U13 girls. Anisa Ibrahim (14th) also improved on her 21st place from the previous week. Nicole Goolab (17th) ran very well in only her second race for the club, while stalwart Sarah Freegard (28th) completed the line-up.

Luke Adar had his best race of the season in the U15 boys’ race (9th), producing a fierce finish to overtake a Highgate rival in the last 50m. Callum Lambert (11th) showed tremendous promise on his ESM debut, though Naoki Kanai was hard on his heels (13th). William Coutts (17th) was not his usual self and ran bravely despite illness. The team finished second, just one point behind Heathside.

For the U15 girls, Laura Stewart had her best race of the season, strongly outsprinting one rival on the final hill to finish fourth and turning the tables on a Shaftesbury athlete who had narrowly beaten her the week before. Maryam Hussain (17th) also produced a very strong finish, while Roisin Lynch (25th) completed the scoring team. Backed up by Leah Kelly in 27th and the return of Elsa Stocking (33rd), the age group was well represented.

With Mukhtar and Charlie competing in Liverpool, it was left to Conor McCarthy (15th) to represent the club in the U17 men’s race. None of our U17 women competed, which probably means the team has dropped from a close second overall to a distant third in the League.

Full results here