Essex Cross Country Championships, Day 1, Writtle College, 30 November 2019

Havering athletes were celebrating a seven medal haul at the first day of the Essex Championships, for Under 13, Under 15 and Masters Age groups at a cold and icy Writtle College on Saturday.

The Vet 40 Men team took pride of place as they packed together to deliver a fantastic team gold, ahead of local rivals Ilford and Orion. Only 16 seconds covered their first three home led by Barry Smith's eight place closely followed by Steve Rand and Gavin Maley in ninth and tenth. Rob Trevor's 24th place ensured victory with Graham Hogan in 49th and Tony Collins 74th. 

The Vet 50 race saw the evergreen Matthew Bland continue his superb Championship record by winning individual silver, ably supported by Tony Pecoraro 18th, Steve Walker 23rd & Gary Atkins 37th for the fifth place team with Darren Priestley (38th) & Roy James (59th) well placed in the 135 strong field.

The young athlete teams added five more medals - three silvers and two bronze.  Despite an injury-affected run-in to the event Charlie Howell repeated his bronze from last year to lead the Under 15 Boys to team silver. Matthew Blacklock was a fine fifth with 15th placed Shane Hart and Finley Wolton in 20th the scorers with Owen Fisher ( 22nd), Charlie Burgess 32nd and Lewis Edwards 34th providing back up.

The Under 15 Girls also took team silver as Chloe Rand was first home for the squad in fourth while Nicole Langan made the top ten in 8th. Hannah Yexley was 14th, just ahead of 15th placed Ruby Higgins to complete the scoring four with Ruby Guynan 35th. If either last year's bronze medallist Natalie Sewell (resting on health advice) or Tilly Canty (virus) had competed the squad might have challenged Chelmsford closer for team gold. 

There was also silver service from the Under 13 Boys as all four scorers made the top 12. Ryan Carroll & Oliver Taylor-Bush were fifth and seventh and with Nathan Hart and Joseph Oton in 11th and 12th.  Daniel Lammas (15th), Sean Langan (18th) and Zach Higgins (19th) all made the top 20 and Joseph Gray in 39th completed the eight-strong line up. The Under 13 Girls completed the medal roll with team bronze. Charlotte Evans missed out on medals placing fifth in a tight finish for bronze and sister Hannah was one place back in sixth. Lucy Bacon and Ruby Tillson were close together in 16th & 17th, as were Abigail Swan & Rosie Warner in 21st and 22nd with Lucia Ward 34th.

The Masters ladies were one short of a scoring team as Debbie Appleton’s fine fifth and second W45 home with Clare Rudgley 57th and Tracy O'Neill 61st.

Day 2 of the championships sees the Under 17s, Under 20s and seniors going for gold at Basildon's Gloucester Park on 4th January.







Under 13 Girls: 5th - Charlotte Evans 13:31; 6th - Hannah Evans 13:36; 16th - Lucy Bacon 14:14; 17th - Ruby Tillson 14:15; (Team 3rd - 44 pts); 20th Abigail Swan 14:20; 21st Rosie Warner 14:21; 34th Lucia Ward 15:46  

Team: 1. Chelmsford 28; 2. Woodford Green & EL 40; 3.  Havering 44


Under 15 Girls: 4th - Chloe Rand 17:23; 8th - Nicole Langan 17:56; 14th - Hannah Yexley 18:24; 15th - Ruby Higgins 18:25;  (Team 2nd - 43 pts) 35th Ruby Guynan 21:33

Team: 1. Chelmsford 33; 2. Havering - 43; 3. Southend 58

Women 40+: 5th - Debbie Appleton (W45) 37:43; 57th - Clare Rudgley (W45) 47:40; 61st Tracy O'Neill (W55) 48:05


Under 13 Boys:  5th - Ryan Carroll 12:37; 7th Oliver Taylor-Bush 12:40; 11th - Nathan Hart 12:55; 12th Joseph Oton 12:56  (Team 2nd - 35 pts) 15th - Daniel Lammas 13:05; 18th - Sean Langan 13:16; 19th Zach Higgins 13:19; 24th - Lochlan Dyer 13:30; 39th Joseph Gray 14:09;  

Team: 1.  Southend 24; 2. Havering 35; 3.  Chelmsford 69

Under 15 Boys: 3rd - Charlie Howell 15:28; 8th - Matthew Blacklock 15:51; 15th - Shane Hart 16:51; 20th Finley Wolton 17:05; 1 (Team 2nd -  33 pts) 22nd Owen Fisher 17:13; 32nd Charlie Burgess 17:51; 34th - Lewis Edwards 18:23

Team: 1. Southend 30; 2. Havering 43; 3. Woodford G & EL 45

Men 40: 8th - Barry Smith M40 31:52; 9th - Steve Rand M45 31:9; 10th - Gavin Maley M40 32:08; 24th Rob Trevor 33:22  (Team 1st – 51 pts); 49th - Graham Hogan (M40) 37:04;  74th - Tony Collins (M40) 44:32

Team: 1. Havering 51 ; 2. Ilford 61; 3. Orion 64.


Men 50: 2nd - Matt Bland (M50) 32:32; 18th - Tony Pecoraro (M55)  35:26; 23rd -Steve Walker (M50) 35:43; 37th - Gary Atkins 37:15  (Team 5th – 80 pts); 38th Darren Priestley 37:19; 59th - Roy James 39:05

Team: 1. Colchester H 35; 2. Orion 63; 3. Billericay Striders 66; 34. 4. Springfield Striders 75; 5.Havering 80



Photos: Kevin White

Photos: Becky Collier, Jo Day, Scott Bush & Martin Chester

For more pics see Gary Howard's Havering AC Facebook Group post