Stoke Park Cross Country Relays 2016: Strong runs, top finishes and medals for our U17 girls.
This report starts with a big thank you to all athletes and families who, despite the school holidays, made themselves available. We had a fantastic team spirit, and I hope we can carry this forward to the 1st Downs League Cross Country match for all aged 8 to school year 10 next Sunday 6th November as well as the subsequent races to come.
My athlete of the match award goes to Gabriel Lewis, who, after we learned that you can make a team count by having an athlete run two legs, indeed doubled-up AND managed to run the 9th fastest time of all. He’s a hero!
Let’s start with our U13 boys. We had four runners, but because Dominic Fellows had come forward too late, he couldn’t get a number. He just ran the 1st leg for a time, and with 8:28 min, he showed that the speed we know he has combines with really good endurance, too. The scoring 1st leg runner was Max Dickson who set up the team nicely in 8:07 15th place. He handed over to Matteo Leforestier who in 8:38 brought the team forward to 13th place. We finished with Jakob Skinner who just has moved up from U11 and, being summer born, was one of the youngest runners in the field. Obviously, he had to hold his own against much older boys and in 9:15, he showed that there will be a lot more to come. The team finished 23rd.
The U13 girls had two complete teams at the outset, but Sophie Doherty had to pull out because of injury, and so team mates Poppy Parry and Daniel Townsend were sent off to run for a time (Poppy: 9:30; Daniella: 10:04). Girls: the slowest time in the day was 11:12, so I hope you take heart from your performances! The second team set off with Evie Wilkinson, who in 8:15 ran the 8th fastest leg and established herself as one of the top Surrey runners. She handed over to Alix Baccardax (9:07) who handed over to Esme Cerilli (9:27), and this gave us a top-ten team finish – exactly 10th place. Well done!
Owing to two unfortunate last-minute withdrawals, the U15 boys were down to 4, Jack Stracey, Jack Dickson, Mack Downey and Olly Wilson, who of course are all really accomplished runners. I released Mack to run with two lads from Croydon in a combined, non-scoring team, and had Jack S., Jack D. and Olly W. run scoring for K&P. Mack, having been down with a cold last week showed that he is absolutely back and on top of his game, running the 12th fastest time on the day in 7:21. Jack S. set up the team in 7:26 and 10th place (17th fastest time), Jack D. in 7:25 (16th fastest) moved the team up to 6th place, and Olly in 7:39 (30th time) held the place for the team to finish a strong 6th. It might have been possible to take 5th place, had I organised the team differently. Yet I am very much looking forward to the Downs League next Sunday, and on to the Surreys in January, where they will ALL score for the same team. Let’s see what we can do…
In absence of our U15G, fast forward to the U17 men. Two runners only, Gabriel Lewis and George Chaplin. I gave away already that Gabriel confirmed the great form from last week’s South of England Cross Country Relays, and had an amazing run in 7:10. George Chaplin in 7:33 made a big, 28 sec improvement from previous times and kept the team in 7th position, and Gabe, who was meant to do an easy cool down run, still pushed, and the team finished in 8th position. This was outstanding!
Yes, and then our U17 women. We started with Annabel Hobday. Smooth and silky on the flats, and full-on attack up the hill, she set the team up in the 14th fastest time on the day, 8:34 and 6th position. Same approach for Rebecca Keddie, a great run in 8:27 (12th fastest time), and the team was 4th. And same approach again for Kathryn Bartle, 13th fastest time (8:33) and 4th place. Yet the 3rd team was non-scoring, so our team won the bronze medal. The air whizzed electrically with pictures (proud parents and supporters) and selfies (pleased athletes, of course) being transmitted to the world, and we all ended the day on a high.
Well done again to you all!
Your TM Susanne Dietrich,
PS. Downs League for athletes aged 8 to school year 10: Match 1 on Sunday 6/11, Epsom Downs horse race corner; start/finish next to the junction Old London Road/ Tattenham Corner Road. Race times: age 8- school year 6 = U11 - 10:45; school years 7-8 = U13 - 11:15 est.; school year 9-10 = U15 - 11:30 est; approximate distance U11 - 2.2km, U13/U15 - 2.5km. Biscuits after the race. Please let me know that you are coming.