Essex Cross Country Championships, Claybury, 7 January 2017

Five individual medals and two team podium places made for a successful day at the Essex Cross Country Championships for the Under 17 and older age groups at Claybury on Saturday.

The Under 17 Women's squad were again the cream of the crop with two individual medals and team victory. In form Jess Mitchell finished strongly to claim Under 17 gold and finish close to Under 20 winner and English Schools' 1500m gold medallist Jodie Judd. Kate O'Neill was under 30 seconds behind to win silver, and these individual medals were backed up by good runs by Sophie Rand (8th) & Catherine Barker (14th) ensured gold for the team, who are also poised to lift the league title. 

The Under 17 Men's bronze came courtesy of good runs from Sam Atkins in 10th, Lewis Debenham (16th), 24th placed Oliver Bath and Oliver Morter who completed the scoring four in 28th to repeat the podium place that almost the squad achieved last year - Atkins replacing  Ben Davis who moved up effortlessly to the Under 20s.

Sarah Wilson repeated her bronze medal from last year in the Under 20 women's event and also automatic Essex selection for the Inter Counties Championships. Amu Baggs placed a fine 5th with Georgia Phillips in 10th but the squad lacked a fourth runner to win a podium place.

It's a very long time since the Junior and Senior men have both medalled at the same County Championships but Ben Davis & Rob Warner both came home with bronze from their respective races..

A strong determined run earned Ben Davis a very good 3rd place in the Under 20 Men's race. Vying for the lead during the first lap, Ben fell back slightly in the following two laps but had enough of a lead over fourth place to come home a brilliant third. James Stewart ran well to take 13th with Kieran O'Hara pushing hard to come home in 17th.but the squad missed out on team medals as they were one short for a scoring team.

Rob Warner's great season goes on and on thanks to bronze in the Senior Men's race. Running with the leading group for the first lap Warner held on as the pace quickened, forcing his his way up to third and nearly catching second but eventually settling for a fantastic bronze medal place. Martin Chester was next home in 83rd with the ever improving Gary Atkins in 97th. Steve Walker ran well in 116th with Richard Rowe 141st and Tony Collins 152nd completing the team.

The Senior Women  finished seventh after runs by Lydia Hallam seventh in her first senior championships, Vicky Smith (17th) with Debbie Appleton seeing club action for the first time this winter in 23rd, with sister Jo Sullivan (52nd) completing the scorers and Tracy O'Neill in 104th.

The latest seven medal haul when added to the earlier Under 13 & Under 15 medals, brought the club's tally across the two days of the championship to an impressive 13 - four gold, five silver and four bronze - the best at county level for a few years.



Link to Full Results

Under 17 Girls:  1st Jessica Mitchell 20:12; 2nd. Kate O'Neill 20:41; 8th - Sophie Rand 22:22; 14th - Catherine Barker 25:29 Team 1st - 25pts) 


Under 20 women:  3rd - Sarah Wilson 24:03; 5th - Amy Baggs - 25:12; 10th - Georgia Phillips 28:12


Senior Women:  7th - Lydia Hallam 31:50; 17th - Vicky Smith - 34:58; 23rd Debbie Appleton 36:05; 52nd - Jo Sullivan 40:43  (Team 7th - 99pts) 52nd Tracy O'Neill 48:33 

Team: 1. Basildon 49; 2. Chelmsford AC 59; 3. Orion 77; .. 7. Havering 99


Under 17 Men: 10th Sam Atkins 19:31; 16th - Lewis Debenham 20:23; 22nd Oliver Bath 21:17; 28th Oliver Morter 21:40 (Team 3rd - 78pts) 

Team: 1. Chelmsford 24; 2. Southend 72; 3. Havering 78

Under 20 Men: 3rd - Ben Davis 28:21; 13th James Stewart 31:03; 17th - Kieran O'Hara 33:35

Senior Men: 3rd - Rob Warner 38:33; 83rd - Martin Chester (M40) 46:57; 97th - Gary Atkins 48:02; 116th - Steve Walker 49:20; 141st - Richard Rowe 52:50 152nd Tony Collins 54:14 (Team 18th - 592pts) -  

Link to Full Results

Photos (Gary Howard, Jane Hallam & Maria Rand)