With Frank and I being away, we had to leave the races to our long-time hero David Barrington, who had organised the League for countless years, and parents Colin Watts, Ann Busa, Susanne Mischke and many more, who stepped in for us and ensured that the day went smoothly. Thank you all very much! I hope you felt it was worth it since our athletes finished on a high.
Our U11s were brought home by Tom McChesney who with a new PB of 11:23 (improved by 19s) came 6th. He is also 6th in my all-times K&P rankings – well done! Next was Michael Webb-Bourne who in 12:35 was close to his previous best. He finished 20th. Next were Daisy Parry in 12:38 and 22nd place (9th girl, new PB by a massive 25s), Elliot Bell in 12:47 and 23rd place (new PB by 5s) and Hannah Choudhury in 12:50 and 24th place (10th girl, new PB by 17s). Close on their heels were Poppy Parry (27th place, 13:00 and a very nice new PB by 21s), Sebastian Chang in 28th place and 13:13, and we closed with a very much improved Ellen-Ada Barlow (34th/16th girl, 14:11 and a new PB by an enormous 1:19 min), Esme Cerilli (35th/17th girl, 14:12 and a nice new PB by 23s ) and Jonny Schafer (38th, 14:42 and a new PB by a great 52s). The team came 4th on the day, the best result of the season. Overall we finished 5th, much better than we thought we would back in November. Many thanks to all who contributed – you were great!
Olly Wilson was the athlete of the day for our U13s. He won the race well in front, with a time of 11:40. This is not only a PB by 22s, but the best time I ever (!) recorded for a K&P athlete on the longer U13 course. Next was Ben Taplin with fine run in 13:56 to 14th place, pipping Louis Orlovac with 13:57 in 15th. Then came Imogen Busa who after last time’s knee-pains was finally was able to show what’s in her. She finished 19th (4th girl) in 14:36 and new PB by 26s, and this secured her the bronze medal for all four races. We closed with sprinter Amelia Bell who kept her promise to support the team in the last race - 21 place (5th girl) and a time of 15:06, Ciara Healy (24th place/ 8th girl, 16:29) and Aaron Marlow (25th, 17:17). This effort secured our team a very strong 2nd place on the day and overall – well done indeed!
Our U15s finally showed that a persistent team effort can bring the crown. It was closer than we liked, but the team did come out on top and won themselves the 2015 trophy – congratulations! The infallible Sam Shaw, after his courageous efforts at the English Schools’ the day before, brought the team home in 4th place and a time of 11:30; this effort also won him the individual silver. It was great to have Charlie Heaton back in action who in 12:08 and a fine PB by 31s came 6th. Close behind and close to his PB came George Chaplin in 12:28 (7th place). Isabella Busa led our girls home. She came 9th overall, was 2nd girl in 13.03 (new PB by 3s) and won a fine silver medal, too. Next was Kathryn Bartle in 10th place (3rd girl) who must have sprinted it out with Scarlett Walker in 10th (4th girl) since both have been allocated the time of 13:22. For Kathryn this was a new PB by 9s. Next came Rebecca Keddie in 12th place (5th girl); yet with her strong runs at the start of the season she held on to a bronze medal just ahead of Kathryn. We finished with Annabel Hobday in 14th place (7th girl) who after a battle with injuries ended on a season’s best – well done!
The Epsom Downs races are also the battle ground for our own K&P club champs: runners had to contest at least two races, and they were ranked on the best time achieved. We will have to check against our K&P membership database who is eligible – if you are not yet a member or haven’t renewed, now is the time… Rankings are: U11B: Theo McChesney, Michael Webb-Bourne, Charlie White, Elliot Bell, Sebastian Chang, Samuel Hall, Alfie Westley, Jonny Schafer; U11G: Daisy Parry, Hannah Choudhury, Poppy Parry, Ellen-Ada Barlow, Esme Cerilli. U13G: Gemma Watts, Imogen Busa, Hannah Lester, Amelia Bell, Zoe Shepherd, Ciara Healy; U13B: Olly Wilson, Jorge Beltrao, Ben Taplin, Louis Orlovac, Josh Bellamy, Jack Westley, Aaron Marlow. U15B: Zak Wort, Sam Shaw, Charlie Heaton, George Chaplin; U15G: Isabella Busa, Scarlett Walker, Kathryn Bartle, Rebecca Keddie, Annabel Hobday, Amy Counihan, Alex Shaw. Results and eligibility will be checked soon, and a medal ceremony will be held at Kingsmeadow thereafter.
This brings me to thank all athletes, families and supporters for their tremendous efforts out on the ever-hostile Downs, David Barrington for coming back from retirement to take care of the match, and of course Horton Dental Practice who generously covers all costs for the League, from the course hire to the medals. Many thanks to you all!
I am looking forward to seeing you in full swing when the summer season starts on the track. Until then: best wishes
Level2 Coach and Young Athletes' Cross Country Team Manager