Essex County Cross Country Relay Championships,

Hockley Saturday 24th September 2016

Havering AC athletes got the winter season off to a flying start at the weekend when they won two gold, two silver and a bronze medal at the Essex Cross Country relays at Hockley on Saturday.

The Under 15 girls look like having a successful season on the country after taking gold in their event. Grace Dukelow ran strongly to bring the squad home with a 10:35 leg on the first leg with Poppy Ellis showing strong form for the B squad a stride back. Lily Bath's 10:38 leg put the A squad in front and Molly Sweetman's scorching anchor leg of 9:25 was the fastest of all the under 15s and brought the trio home over a minute in front. The B team of Poppy Ellis (10:36), Molly Bath (11:32) and Chloe Morter (12:15) were7th, with the C team of Kate Walker (12:07), Jessica James (13:44) and Hannah Panchal (12:32) finished 12th.

The Under 17 women also dominated their race. Sophie Rand's 10:15 opener handed over to Jess Mitchell in runners up spot, and Jess's 9:16 split was the fastest under17 leg and set up Kate O'Neill for victory which she comfortably achieved with her 9:31 anchor, the second fastest overall. Catherine Barker (11:29), Amelia Day (12:33) and Emily James (12:41) came home 5th in the same age group.

There were five club squads contesting the Under 13 girls' race and the A team came away with silver. Alice Brown's first leg of 10:58 handed over to Alice Atkins in fourth, and at the end of the second leg completed in 11:51 the Havering squad were third behind winners Basildon and the Havering B squad after good legs from Chloe Rand (11:04) and Annie Grannell (11:20). Sydney Foley's 10:42 anchor, the third fastest overall, ensured silver for the A team and Rebecca O'Rourke brought the B team home in 5th with her 12:34 anchor. The other three club trios were 9th (Olivia Witton, Maddie Barker & Jess Collier), 10th (Freya Higginbottom, Mary Lammas & Hannah Yexley) and 11th (Rose Mears, Morgan Romain & Hannah Johnson) .

With four full teams and twenty athletes turning out for the first cross country things are looking good for the rest of the season for the Senior men.  The A team got off to a great start with Ben Davis (14.44) giving the squad a chance of a medal with a strong run coming home in second place. Steve Rand (15.22) kept up the pressure overtaking the Colchester runner to bring the team up to first on the second change over. Jamie Buckley Stanton (15.12) held the lead with a good run before handing over to Rob Warner, although Rob ran the fastest leg of the team (14.19) he couldn't hold off the Great Britain International Adam Hickey and brought the team home for a very good silver.

Consistently good running by the B team of Jason Crispin (17.24), Gavin Maley (16.49), Jason Lendon who ran the fastest leg of the B team (15.47) and Martin Chester (16.54), brought the B team up to 10th place. The C team mainly made up of under 20s new to the senior event did very well, with James Stewart running the team's fastest time (17.31). Kieran O'Hara (19.15) and Aidan Elmore (20.53) both performed well and will prove to be an asset to the senior squad.  Tony Collins (19.54) turned in another good run to complete the team in 30th .The D team of Gary Atkins (18.05), Richard Rowe (19.01), Steve Walker (18.05) and Barry Ward (17.48) had a few years on the C team but performed well to finish in 20th place.

The club had enough senior men to help make up a mixed male & female team, led off by Robyn Matson (20.04), Paul Berrett adding his experience to the team (18.07) handing over to Georgia Phillips (23.19) in her first senior cross country, and an injured Russ Middleton (18.55) stepping in at the last minute completed the team which finished ninth.

The Under 13 boys squad earned bronze. Alex Ford's first leg of 9:44 proved to be third fastest in the age group, as he set up the medal challenge and Timi McDaniel (10:45) and Matthew Blacklock (9:58) ensured a podium finish. The B team of Lenny Houston (10:58), Sam Bradley (11:10) and Luke Chester (11:45) were 9th.

Two Under 15 boys
came home empty handed as Henry Lay (11:14), Alex Friend (9:25) and Harry Jones (9:05) placed 11th with Dominic Jarvis (10:10), Louis Berrett (10:25) and Jake Long (11:12) placing 15th while for the Under 17 Men, good legs by Sam Atkins (8:59) and Lewis Debenham (9:12) were to no avail without an anchor runner to complete a scoring trio.

















Pics: Tracy O'Neill, Peter Warner, Emily Brown, Penny Ford & Jo Day