Essex Cross Country Championships, Hadleigh Country Park, 5 January 2013

There was a team gold for the senior ladies an individual gold for Hoseah Gikungu and team bronze for the U13 Girls as the Essex Cross Country Championships took place at a treacherous & muddy course Hadleigh Country Park on Saturday.

With eight races on the programme, conditions got progressively worse all day and the senior men's & women's events which ended the day left seasoned club athletes dredging their memories for occasions when they had raced in more difficult conditions.

Despite the difficult conditions the senior ladies team added to their list of county victories, regaining the title they had won on the same course two years ago. The team were boosted by the return of Faye Fullerton, in her first competition since picking up an injury last May, who came home in fifth and Debbie Appleton's excellent form continued one place back. With Vicky Smith placing 12th and Gemma Phillips making her senior county debut in 20th the quartet comfortably finished ahead of Chelmsford and defending champions Colchester Harriers. The B team of Jo Sullivan (35th) Angie Thompson (61st), 62nd placed Jane Hallam and Mo Lear (77th) were 12th.

Hoseah Gikungu took the Under 20 Men's gold medal with another fantastic run. Holding himself back to stay with the leading group for the first lap he powered away on the second half of the race to win by eighteen seconds over last year's winner Alex Short. The only other junior competitor was Jamie Buckley-Stanton who ran well to place 14th.

The Under 13 girls quartet also made the podium with good runs from Katie Mitchell (10th), Kate O'Neill (11th), Sophie Rand (20th) and 26th placed Emily Marshall. Catherine Barker (31st), Emily James (33rd) and 38th positioned Grace Macleod also tested themselves against the quagmire conditions.

Although numbers competing were depleted there were several good individual runs from club athletes.  In the Under 17 Women's Lydia Hallam was an excellent fourth place, with Bella Woods 16th in the same race.

Gemma Archer-Haley was a brilliant fifth in the Under 15 Gilrls' event and could have placed higher had she not slipped approaching the finish. Amy Baggs was 15th, Heidi Surman-Wells 18th & Louise Lear finished 34th, carrying one shoe, to complete the scorers in fourth place with Robbie Nunn 38th and Sarah Wilson back in 40th after falling and a nasty collision.

Rob Warner’s strong run brought him his highest county placing with a great fifth place in the senior men's - the final race of the day which saw several club runners finding it hard to stay on their feet in the treacherous conditions. The rest of the Havering team like so many others found the going very difficult with Ian Anthony next home in 43rd, followed by Matt Bland 52nd with Simon Hart and Sam Jackson both doing exceptionally well in 57th and 65th respectively. Paul Grange 94th completed the scoring team. Tony Collins was 171st while Steve Rand had to drop out after damaging his back on the unforgiving course. 

The boys' age groups all fielded incomplete teams.  The Under 17 men's trio of James Kidd (8th), Andrew Holland (11th) and newcomer Abdulraham Mohamed (15th) gave their best as did Under 15 men Elliott Nunn (21st), Bradley West (29th) and Matt Owers (36th) and the Under 13 boys' duo of Tom Sheldrick (9th) and Lewis Debenham (20th).  

The athletes will have little time to clean their kit & lick their wounds as next Saturday (12th) the fifth and final fixture in the Essex Cross Country League takes place at Epping Forest, hosted by Orion.







Link to Full Results 

Under 13 Girls: 10th Katie Mitchell 14:40; 11th - Kate O'Neill 14:50; 20th Sophie Rand 15:28; 26th - Emily Marshall 16:30; (Team 3rd - 67 pts) 31st - Catherine Barker 16:48; 33rd Emily James 17:02; 38th - Grace Macleod 18:24 Team: 1. Chelmsford 24; 2. Woodford Green 57; 3. HMAC - 67


Under 15 Girls: 5th Gemma Archer-Haley 19:07; 15th - Amy Baggs 21:05; 18th - Heidi Surman-Wells 20:34; 34th - Louise Lear 24:26;  (Team 4th - 80pts); 38th - Robbie Nunn 26:32; 40th Sarah Wilson 27:23;  Team: 1. Chelmsford 35; 2. Woodford Green 42; 3. Basildon 65; 4. HMAC 80 ;


Under 17 Girls:  4th - Lydia Hallam 19:54; 16th - Bella Woods 23:29


Senior Women: 5th Faye Fullerton 37:35; 6th - Debbie Appleton (W40) 37:50; 12th Vicky Smith 38:33;  20th - Gemma Phillips 40:20 (Team 1st - 43 pts) 35th - Jo Sullivan (W35) 42:47; 61st - Angie Thompson 48:46; 62nd - Jane Hallam (W45)  48:53  77th - Mo Lear 52:52; (B Team 12th - 235 pts) Team: 1. HMAC 43; 2. Chelmsford 64; 3. Colchester H - 69.


Under 13 Boys:  9th - Tom Sheldrick 13:04; 20th - Lewis Debenham 14:09

Under 15 Boys: 21st - Elliott Nunn 19:01; 29th - Bradley West 20:12; 36th - Matt Owers 22:20

Under 17 Men:  8th - James Kidd 18:45; 11th - Andrew Holland 19:23; 15th Abdulraham Mohamed 20:14  
Under 20 Men:  1st Hoseah Gikungu 30:56; 14th Jamie Buckley-Stanton 36:55  
Senior Men:  5th - Rob Warner 48:37; 43rd - Ian Anthony 56:09; 52nd - Matt Bland (M45) 57:26; 57th - Simon Hart (M45) 58:02; 65th - Sam Jackson 59:06; 94th - Paul Grange 63:13;  (Team 7th - 316 pts) 171st Tony Collins 78:48

Team: 1. Woodford Green 73; 2. Orion 125; 3. Colchester H - 156..... 7. HMAC 316 


Link to Full Results 

Photos: (Kevin White)