Essex Cross Country League, Round 5, Basildon, 10 February 2018

Havering athletes ended the Essex Cross Country League season on a high at a muddy Basildon course on Saturday bringing home three team and five individual titles.

The Senior Men had to finish in the top two to win the league title but made no mistake with a dominant victory. A magnificent run by Ben Davis saw him lead from start to finish to became only the second Havering athlete to win an Essex league in twenty seven years. Hot on his heels was Grant Twist with another impressive run to claim second place while round 4 winner Rob Warner had to settle for fourth but it was enough for him to claim the league title for the second year in succession. Another good run by Paul Grange saw him take ninth to  place third in the individual standings. James Stewart with another fine run in 10th made it five Havering runners in the top ten, a feat never seen before.

Havering were also riding high in the Veteran's league and a second successive victory saw them edge out Colchester to lift the crown. Steve Rand led home the vets in a good 20th place with Alfie Waithaka just behind him in 22nd, Jason Lendon 26th and Matt Bland 27th place ensured he won the Vet 50 title. They were followed home by a much improved John Whitehead in 28th and Barry Smith 33rd - as Havering athletes made up 10 of the top 30. A group of younger runners Euan Harlow 58th, Kieran O'Hara 64th, Lewis Debenham 68th and Freddie Keefe 71st showed commitment on the slippery hills. Martin Chester although suffering from the flu brought home the Vets team in 88th for victory on the day and over the season. The 20 string Havering line up was completed by Steve Walker in 101st , Roy James 116th, Tony Collins 146th and Aidan Elmore 170th.

Kate O'Neill's win in the Under 17/20 Women's event also brought her the individual title and although again missing three of the usual four scorers absent the team did enough to win the league title, thanks to Catherine Barker in 11th and Angelica Thomson in 16th

The Under 13 girls had a chance of the league title but a third successive win from Chelmsford saw off their challenge and they placed runners up on the day and in the league table. County champion Natalie Sewell won in style but was chased by Chloe Rand who recorded her highest position in second, to place her third in the individual table. Maddie Barker in 12th and Freya Long in 14th completed the scorers but Stephanie Okoro dropped out with breathing trouble when well placed. Ava Haythorn (21st), Heidi Aylen (27th), Sophia Stephanou (37th) and May lee (328th) competed  the line up.

Sydney Foley's runners up spot in the Under 15 girls' standings brought her the individual title. Alice Brown (11th) and Annie Grannell and  Morgan Romain in 22nd & 23rd Alice Brown (11th) and Annie Grannell and Morgan Romain in 22nd & 23rd made up the third placed quartet.  Alice Atkins (27th) and Rebecca O'Rourke (30th) also competed.

Matthew Blacklock's 26 second victory maintained his unbeaten record in the league this season to win the Under 13 boys' title. Shane Hart returned to his early season form in fifth and 23rd for Alex Kerr and 26th for Ryan McCarthy placed the team second, and also confirmed runners up spot in the league table. Jonathan Pearson was 31st on his debut and Joshua Lee-Prime, Max Robbins and James Tudor finished between 35th and 39th.

Ginte Bailey's 7th place finish for Senior Women improved her best was her best to date. Debbie Appleton was one place back to earn her the W45 league runners up spot 's 16th taking her to second in the individual W45 stakes. Bella Woods and Clare Davies were 19th & 20th to complete the scoring four and place third in the table. Team manager Jane Hallam (71st) and Juliet Ward and Clare Rudgley , 73rd and93rd, completed the senior line up.

Alex Ford was the first finisher for the Under 15 boys in 10th with an improved Henry Lay 15th and Luke Chester (24th) and 27th placed  Samuel Odotei completing the scorers. Timi McDaniel 28th and James Bartlett 30th were the other squad members. The Under 17 Men have been short-handed all season and Alex Friend's 14th place maintained a club presence.  

With the league season over the remaining cross country fixtures are all national competitions. The National Championships are at Parliament Hill in two weeks (24th) while those selected for Essex teams will also contest the Inter Counties Championships and the English Schools Championships. 



Link to Full Results League Tables Individual Tables to follow


Under 13 Girls: 1st - Natalie Sewell 12:32; 2nd - Chloe Rand 12:42; 12th – Maddie Barker 13:25; 14th - Freya Long (Team 2nd - 29 pts); 21st Ava Haythorn 15:14;  27th Heidi Aylen 15:16;  37th - Sophia Stephanou 17:04; 39th - May Lee 17:53

Team: 1.. Chelmsford 26; 2. Havering 29; 3. Basildon 50

League: 1. Chelmsford 3; 2. Havering 5; 3. Basildon 9.


Under 15 Girls: 2nd - Sydney Foley 15:42; 11th - Alice Brown 17:10; 22nd - Annie Grannell 18:35; 23rd - Morgan Romain 18:35  (Team 3rd - 58 pts) 27th - Alice Atkins 18:49; 30th - Rebecca O'Rourke 19:22;

Team: 1. Basildon 24; 2. Chelmsford 39; 3. Havering - 58

League: 1. Basildon 3; 2. Chelmsford 6; 3. Cambridge & Coleridge - 8; 4. Havering - 9


Under 17 Girls / Under 20 women:  1st - Kate O'Neill 19:40; 11th - Catherine Barker 25:12; 16th - Angelica Thomson 28:19 (Team 3rd - 28 (3)

Team: 1   Basildon 40 2. Benfleet 23 (3) 3. Havering 28 (3);

League:1  Havering 5; 2= Basildon & Southend - 7


Senior Women: 7th - Ginte Bailey 24:33; 8th - Debbie Appleton (W45) 25:01; 19th - Bella Woods 26:00; 20th - Clare Davies 26:39  (Team 3rd - 54 pts) 71st -  Jane Hallam (W50) 32:06; 74th - Juliet Ward 32:06; 93rd - Clare Rudgley (W40) 34:52

Team : 1. Orion 29; 2. Chelmsford 33; 3. Havering 54. (Veterans: 10th)

League: 1 Basildon  4; 2. Chelmsford 5; 3. Havering 9 (Veterans: 7th)


Under 13 Boys:  1st - Matthew Blacklock 11:37; 6th - Shane Hart 12:23; 23rd Alex Kerr 14:01; 26th - Ryan McCarthy 14:08; (Team 2nd - 56 pts) 31st Jonathan Pearson 14:24; 35th Joshua Lee-Prime 14:37; 38th - Max Robbins 14:43; 39th - James Tudor 14:43

Team: 1. Basildon 41; 2. Havering 56; 3. Chelmsford  68

League 1. Chelmsford 5; 2. Havering 6; 3. Basildon 7

Under 15 Boys: 10th -  Alex Ford 15:34; 15th - Henry Lay 16:06; 24th - Luke Chester 17:10; 27th - Samuel Odotei 18:03 (Team 4th - 76 pts) 28th Timi McDaniel 18:10; 30th - James Bartlett 18:35

Team: 1. Chelmsford  25; 2. Basildon 38; 3. Southend 67; 4. Havering 76

League: 1. Basildon 5; 2=. Chelmsford & Southend 6; 4. Cambridge & Coleridge 11; 5  Havering 12

Under 17 Men: 14th - Alex Friend 23:08  

Team: 1. Thurrock 29; 2. East Essex 35; 3.Basildon 56

League: 1. Thurrock 3; 2. Southend 8; 3. Basildon 9 ...7th Havering 16

Senior Men: 1st - Ben Davis (U20) 27:54; 2nd. Grant Twist 28:10; 4th Rob Warner (M35) 28:38; 9th - Paul Grange (M35) 29:59; 10th - James Stewart (U20) 29:57; 20th - Steve Rand 30:39; (Team 1st – 46 pts); 26th - Jason Lendon (M40) 31:05; 27th - Matt Bland (M50) 31:12; 28th - John Whitehead 31:18; 33rd Barry Smith 31:38; 58th Euan Harlow 33:12; 64th - Kieran O'Hara (U20) 33:39; 68th - Lewis Debenham (U20) 33:47; 71st - Freddy Keefe 33:57; 88th - Martin Chester (M45) 32:27; 101st - Steve Walker (M40) 37:03; 116th - Roy James (M45) 38:33; 146th - Tony Collins (M35) 41:18; 170th - Aidan Elmore (U20) 44:25

Team: Team: 1. Havering 46; 2. Orion 139; 3. Ilford 225. (Veterans: 1st)

League: Team: 1. Havering 3; 2. Orion 5; 3. Colchester 10  (Veterans: 1st)


Link to Full Results League Tables Individual Tables to follow

Photos: Gary Howard

Photos: Kevin White