Essex Young Athletes Cross Country
Championships, Basildon, 3 January 2004
Four individual victories and three team wins marked a golden start to 2004 as HMAC athletes starred at the Essex Young Athletes Cross Country Championships at Basildon on Saturday.
A sharp frost overnight made underfoot conditions a little slippery but Havering Mayesbrook's U13 & U15 Boys' teams were determined not to slip up in the individual and team championships.
In the u13 boys' race Matt Bloy showed great tactical awareness to win clearly by 10 seconds. He led from the off, with Grant Twist in close order throughout. In contrast Steve MacLachlan did not go with the early pace and was still seventh around half way on the 3.1km circuit. By 400m left Steve had moved up to fifth and seemed to be out of the medal hunt but with a tremendous finish reeled in not only the two opponents ahead of him but also overhauled the unlucky Grant Twist on the line to claim silver, making it a HMAC 1-2-3. Closing the team in 8th place with his best run of the season was Daniel Winters to give the foursome the team prize with an unbeatable 14 points. The scoring four had excellent support with Joe Webster & Jamie Harrington also in the first 12, with Simon Brown & Steve Payne not far behind
Ashley Reece and Ross Clarke set off at a furious pace in the u15 boys' race with only Paul Bumpstead of Thurrock for company. Ashley pulled away for a clear victory, 30 secs in front, looking back to his best, but Ross suffered in mid race and had to settle for bronze, as he was overhauled by the Thurrock lad with the finishing tunnel in sight. Not far behind Matt Watkins looked set to improve to fourth until a slip on the last downhill stretch meant he had to settle for an excellent fifth place. There was a tremendous battle for the fourth scoring position in the team finally won by a determined Bradley Tungatt in 9th from Chris MacLachlan running his best race for the club in 10th with Scott Tungatt in 12th, followed by Liam Gildea. With the team totaling 18 points there was no question about the team prize.
Unfortunate late withdrawals meant Havering only had two competitors in the u17 men's age group with David Nefs finding the 6.2km course very tough with a 19th place, while Christian Newton managed 26th. HMAC's sole competitor in the u20 men's race Martin Heys was unlucky to miss out on a medal, as he was just run out of 3rd place at the end.
Two more excellent individual golds and a team gold went to HMAC girls.
13 girls got the day off and running. We started the race with five
girls and looked set to place well in the team
event. But as the race went on we lost Ingrid Deane due to a fall and then lost Rebecca Luck to illness. With only three girls left running we could not have a scoring team. But we still had some brave and gutsy results. Michaela Roberts dug in hard and gave it her all on the frozen course to finish 11th. Next to cross the line was Georgina Davis, who was also unwell but still ran, coming home in 31st. Completing the trio was the ever-present Rachael Kerr who run well to gain 34th place.
The under 15 girls like the under 13 girls started the race looking good to finish in the top three teams, again we started the race with six strong runners. But once again we lost Hayley Thomas and Rachael Newman to illness then Amie Adams to a fall. Once again we were left with just three runners and could not make up a scoring team. But not to be down beat we still had three brilliant individual performances. Katie Richardson lead the race from start to finish destroying the field of runners showing she is ready to take on the National Cross Country Championships in February. Next to cross the line was Lauren Clark showing she can be up there with the best of them to finisher seventh. Claire Robinson was next home, starting the race well, and picking up the pace to come home in 11th.
The under 17 girls was the next race to go off. Megan Foley who has just come back from injury nearly had to miss the race because of a injury scare five days earlier, but rested the injury and was able to run. By doing so Megan destroyed the field that had both under 17s and junior women running with a front-running performance to take first place overall. Sara Luck also put in a brave performance to come home in a well run sixth spot. Robyn Matson dug in hard for the whole race and it paid off by finishing 10th. The fourth and final athlete to make the scoring team was Helen Roche who gave the race her all to come home in 13th. Robyn Delivett run the best race of her season to finish in 20th.
With the top six gaining automatic Essex selection for the Inter Counties champs in February HMAC will be well represented with Matt, Steve and Grant in the u13 boys, Ashley, Ross and Matt in the u15 boys, Katie in the u15 girls, and Megan and Sara in the u17 girls. Bradley Tungatt, Lauren Clark and others awaits the selectors' verdict - they will take account of both today's result and other performances before selecting the 7th & 8th county team members.
Under 13 Boys:
1st - Matt Bloy 13:00; 2nd - Steve MacLachlan 13:10; 3rd – Grant Twist 13:11; 8th - Daniel Winters - 13:14 (Team 1st - 14 points). ?? Jamie Harrington & Joe Webster; Simon Brown; Steve Payne
Team: Havering Mayesbrook A 14 pts (1, 2, 3 & 8); 2.Orion 60 pts; 3 Basildon 62 pts; 4 Woodford 70 pts; 5 Havering Mayesbrook B 90 pts
Under 15 Boys:
1st - Ashley Reece 14:31; 3rd - Ross Clarke 15:07: 5th - Matthew Watkins 15:25; 9th - Bradley Tungatt 16:11; (Team 1st - 18 points)10th - Chris MacLachlan - 16:27; 12th - Scott Tungatt; ??th - Liam Gildea
Team: 1. Havering Mayesbrook 18 pts (1. 3, 5 & 9); 2 Basildon 53 pts; 3. Southend 66 pts.
Under 17 Boys:
19th David Nefs 26th Christian Newton
Under 20 Men:
4th - Martin Heys;
Under 13 Girls:
11th - Michaela Roberts; 31st - Georgia Davis; 34th - Rachel Kerr
Under 15 Girls:
1st - Katie Richardson 7th- Lauren Clark, 11th - Clare Robinson
Under 17 Girls
1st - Megan Foley; 6th - Sara Luck; 10th - Robyn Matson; 13th - Helen Roche; (Team 1st - 30 points) 20th - Robyn Delivett