Essex Cross Country Championships, Day 1, Colchester Hilly Fields, 1 December 2018

Havering athletes got their championship season off to a flying start with a nine medal haul in damp conditions at the first day of the Essex Championships, for Under 13, Under 15 and Masters Age groups at Colchester's Hilly Fields on Saturday.

Brilliant packing saw the Under 13 Girls win gold with their scoring four placed between fourth and ninth. Ruby Higgins was edged out of the individual medals in the home straight to finish fourth, with Stephanie Okoro a place back in fifth and Tilly Canty (6th) and Freya Long (9th) ensured a four point victory over league leaders Chelmsford. Twins Charlotte & Hannah Evans were an excellent 12th and 13th in their championship debuts and Lucy Bacon (21st) and Kate Ruane (33rd) made up the fourth placed B team, with Ella Poulson (42nd) completing the nine-strong squad.

Alex Ford was five seconds clear of the field in with a front-running performance that won individual gold for the Under 15 Boys and fast-improving Charlie Howell's individual bronze set the scene for team medals. Shane Hart (11th) and Matthew Blacklock's 18th place brought the team silver, just three points short of Southend's gold, while Lewis Edwards was 31st.

Natalie Sewell's strong finish won the battle for the Under 15 Girls bronze ahead of fourth placed Sydney Foley, and Chloe Rand in 9th and Hannah Yexley (20th) earned the team podium silver. Maddie Barker (22nd), Annie Grannell (29th) and Rebecca O'Rourke (36th) also saw championship action.

The inexperienced Under 13 Boys just missed out on team bronze. Ryan Carroll, Toby Johnson, Nathan Hart and Michael Tesi all placed between 14th and 20th but they were five points off a podium place in finishing fifth. Five others competed led home by Daniel Lammas in 24th with Seb Alexandru, Max Robbins, Alex Cordery-Smith (B Team placing 8th) and Finley Wolton all between 30th and 37th.

Havering Veteran Men carried their great league start over Saturday's championship at Hilly Fields. The Vet Men 50 team secured the bronze medal with some fine running, led home by Matt Bland in 7th place with Tony Pecoraro in 14th, Steve Walker 20th and Gary Atkins in 21st made the scoring four and Russ Middleton completing the squad in 47th.

The Vet 40 team emulated their older compatriots with another fine turnout. Steve Rand 5th was followed home by Gavin Maley in 13th. Martin Chester was next in 17th with Rob Trevor not far behind in 22nd completing the Bronze medal winning team. Graham Hogan 45th, Roy James 81st and Tony Collins 87th completed the biggest Vet contingent the club has known for many years.

The Masters ladies were one short of a scoring team as Debbie Appleton’s fine seventh won her W45 age group gold, with Jo Sullivan 34th and Tracy O'Neill 84th..





Under 13 Girls: 4th  Ruby Higgins 11:45; 5th Stephanie Okoro 11:55 6th - Tilly Canty 12:02; 9th - Freya Long 12:13 (Team 1st - 24 pts); 12th Charlotte Evans 12:32; 13th - Hannah Evans 12:35; 21st - Lucy Bacon 12:58; 33rd - Kate Ruane 14:15; (B Team 4th - 79 pts) ; 42nd - Ella Poulson 15:18

Team: 1. Havering 24; 2. Chelmsford 28; 3. Woodford Green & Essex Ladies 37 4. Havering B 79.


Under 15 Girls: 3rd - Natalie Sewell 14:18; 4th - Sydney Foley 14:22 9th - Chloe Ran d 14:56; 20th - Hannah Yexley 16:01; (Team 2nd - 36 pts) 22nd Maddie Barker 16:29; 29th Annie Grannell 17:18; 36th - Rebecca O'Rourke 18:15

Team: 1. Basildon 19; 2. Havering - 36; 3. Basildon  B 75

Masters Women: 7th - Debbie Appleton (1st Gold - W45) 30:19; 34th - Jo Sullivan (W45) 34:17; 84th Tracy O'Neill (W50) 40:28


Under 13 Boys:  14th - Ryan Carroll 11:39; 15th - Toby Johnson 11:42; 19th - Nathan Hart 11:54; 20th Michael Tesi 11:55  (Team 5th - 68 pts) 24th - Daniel Lammas 12:09; 30th - Seb Alexandru 12:21; 32nd Max Robbins 12:28; 34th Alex Cordery-Smith 12:38; (B Team 8th - 120 pts)37th Finley Wolton 12:44;  

Team: 1. Woodford Green  &EL 26; 2. Basildon 59; 3. Chelmsford 63. 4.Colchester & T 64; 5. Havering 68... 8. Havering B 120

Under 15 Boys: 1st - Alex Ford 12:55; 3rd - Charlie Howell 13:01; 11th - Shane Hart 13:49; 18th - Matthew Blacklock 14:19 (Team 2nd -  33 pts) 31st - Lewis Edwards 15:45

Team: 1. Southend 30; 2. Havering 33; 3. Colchester & T 51

Men 40: 5th - Steve Rand M45 26:21; 13th - Gavin Maley M40 26:55; 17th Martin Chester (M45) 27:25; 22nd Rob Trevor 27:36  (Team 3rd – 57 pts); 45th - Graham Hogan (M40) 29:11; 81st - Roy James M45 32:59; 87th - Tony Collins (M40) 34:16

Team: 1. Orion 32; 2. Springfield 53; 3. Havering 57


Men 50: 7th - Matt Bland (M50) 28:09; 14th - Tony Pecoraro (M55)  28:34; 20th -Steve Walker (M50) 29:24; 21st - Gary Atkins 29:25  (Team 3rd  – 69 pts); 47th - Russ Middleton 32:22

Team: 1. Colchester H 32; 2. Orion 43; 3.Havering 69



Photos: Kevin White & others