Surrey Ladies League Cross Country – Match 1 Report
Nonsuch Park was blessed with fine weather for the opening league match of the season on Saturday 15th October. Sunny and dry conditions were very welcome, making the gentle 2-lap course quite an appealing prospect.
Senior & Veteran Ladies
Sadly due to injury and prior engagements for some, the Senior team had a lower than usual turnout. With only 5 ladies racing and 5 to score, each knew that every league place and point was vital and finishing the course was a must! In a record league field of 452 athletes running the 4 mile course, our senior team was once again competing in Division 2 this season.
The team was inspired by a superb performance by Phoebe Law (still an U20) in securing a confident outright match win and thereby a fine 1st place in Division 2 in a time of 22 minutes 15. Congratulations, Phoebe!
Sadly, despite valiant effort from the remaining veteran team members, illness and injury unfortunately meant that the team score suffered. Liz Richardson, having been ill in the days leading up to the event, found her strength slightly lacking and faded a little on the 2nd lap to finish in 57th place (29:33). Returning to fitness after their respective injuries Susanne Dietrich (157th – 34:18) and Avelline Deighton (163rd – 34:43) had a close battle, with both hoping to improve as the season progresses. Caroline Jeffcote, also having overcome a recent knee injury, completed the race with a determined sprint finish to finish in 215th place (in a time of 39:28) and complete the team score. A large field of 227 Division 2 athletes finished the course and some strong team performances from the larger clubs meant that our team were only able to finish in 17th place (of 24 clubs) on the day.
Our next match will be held at Mitcham Common on 3rd December, where we will hope to field a larger team and improve our league score. New members to the team would be welcome and anyone wishing to run should please contact Liz Richardson for further information.
The (Junior) highlight of the day was the great turnout from our U13 girls, and we managed to field a complete team. They were led home with a great competitive run over the 3.1km course by Evie Wilkinson (12:14, 8th) who had great support from Alix Baccardax (13:22, 38th), Daniella Townsend (13:45, 44th) and Jojo Mclean (14:17, 53rd out of 73). Unfortunately, our other U13 runner, Freya, sensibly pulled out with breathing problems and will hopefully be back next time.
In the mixed U15/U17 race over the longer 4.5km course, Imogen Busa (23:17, 37th) was our lone U15 representative. Well done, Imogen! The U17s managed 3 runners, who all put in solid performances. First home was Kathryn Bartle (20:32, 8th), followed closely by Rebecca Keddie (20:39, 9th) and Annabel Hobday (21:46, 16th out of 25). Since most other clubs didn’t manage to field complete teams either, the K&P U17 team is currently lying in 3rd place.
Next up for the juniors, the Bruce Judd Relays on 29th October followed by the next Surrey League match on 3rd December at Mitcham.
Liz Richardson & Susanne Mischke