Essex County Cross Country Relay Championships,

Hockley Woods Saturday 27th September 2014

The cross country season got off to a promising start when club teams racked up an impressive seven medal tally at the Essex County Cross Country Relays at Hockley Woods on Saturday. 

The Under 15 Boys boys squad came home well clear of runners up Benfleet to earn a well deserved gold medal. Oliver Morter (11:41) handed over just behind the Benfleet competitor and Lewis Debenham's 11:48 leg put them in front and Oliver Bath's 12:29 anchor ensured gold. The B team of Jack Rice (12:03), Sam Atkins (12:43) & Tom Sheldrick (12:18) were always in medal contention and added bronze.

The senior ladies trio of Debbie Appleton, Lydia Hallam & Vicky Smith took silver medals.  Veteran Debbie's opener of 17:22 was the trio's fastest split and brought them in second behind Colchester and Lydia Hallam's 17:47 leg gave the squad a narrow lead. Despite a fine 17:27 anchor Vicky Smith was unable to hold off Colchester's Sarah Stradling as the team had to settle for silver. Jane Hallam (23:02), Tracy O'Neill l(24:38) & Mo Lear (22:49) were 27th. 

The Under 15 Girls team added another silver with the B team taking bronze. Sophie Rand (12:58) handed over third and Kate O'Neill (12:50) clawed back a place and Katie Mitchell's last leg of 12:54 confirmed silver. Becca Brown (13:39), Emily Marshall (13:45) & Jess Mitchell (13:42) were clear in third to add a fine bronze. The C Team of Emily Crane, Amba Coombe & Millie Redgrave were 11th.

A third silver came from the Under 13 boys team.  Oliver Woods (13:01) led off for fourth and Ellis Osborne's 113:38 second leg pulled back a place before Harry Jones' sizzling anchor of 12:32 claimed silver. Henry Lay (14:10), Dominic Jarvis (14:00) & Alex Ford (14:06) were 8th and the C team of Reece Debenham, Denny Hughes & Ben Naish 11th.

The Under 13 girls completed the medal haul. Molly Sweetman's fast opener of 13:48 handed over in third, and Molly Bath (14:34) and Grace Dukelow (14:22) kept the team in bronze medal position and were not far off silver.  There were good results & strength in depth from the sixth & seventh placed B & C teams of Kate walker (15:15), Chloe Morter (15:48) & Lily Bath (15:02) and Rosie Brown (15:25), Milli Lewis (also 15:25) & Sydney Foley (15:37)

The Senior Men were hit by injuries & late withdrawals which required a late reshuffle but still finished a creditable seventh and almost had three full teams. Jason Lendon (16.05) led off the A team with good run to bring them home in 9th place. Rob Warner (14.50) ran the fastest Havering leg of the day bringing the team up to 3rd, Matt Bland (16.41) ran well to bring the team home in 6th.  Abdul Mohamed (17.03) stepped into the breech at the last minute and did very well in his first senior race to bring the team home in 7th.  The B team were 15th thanks to good legs from Jason Crispin (17.27), Luke Jackson (18.07), and strong runs from Gavin Maley (16.57) and Paul Grange (16.44). The incomplete C team did themselves justice with useful runs from Russ Middleton (17.56), Tony Collins (20.02) and Paul Berrett (19.57).

The Under 17 Men were 10th thanks to the efforts of Zack Killoran (12:32), Bradley West (12:28) & Matt Braybrook (11:46).

Many of the younger runners were in their first outings in club colours and will know what to expect when the Essex Cross Country League action gets under way on 18th October.


Pics:  Nicola Brown, Vicky Smith & Deborah Morter