Written by SD
Susanne's Report on this year's proceedings.
Finally – the long awaited report on the Belton/Holland/Yates Schools races and our young athletes’ Cross Country Club Championships held in Richmond Park on 30th January
The match started just after noon with 45 U11 (school year 5 and 6) girls anxiously awaiting the start signal. A fantastic Molly Allen from St Agatha Primary School stormed round the 2.5km course in 9.45 min just ahead of Lucy Pirkle, Fern Hill PS, Rebecca O’Neil and Tabitha Nutt, both also St. Agatha’s. K&P youngster Mollie O’Sullivan finished 9th on the day and carried the Peter Townsend club trophy home. Sprinter Nina Gibbins showed that she’s got stamina and finished 23rd becoming K&P vice champion. The team trophy was comprehensively won by St. Agatha PS, followed by Unicorn, Christ Church PS Surbiton, The Old Vic, Hinchley Wood, Long Ditton and OLI.
The 36 U11 boys were even more competitive, with Jamie Birds winning the race in 8:53 min, ahead of Joshua Hall (Christ Church) and Thomas Keeley (OLI). Slightly tired from a sleep-over party, Nicholas Rilett still won the club champs finishing 13th; Ben Westerby took the club silver. Unicorn won the team gold, in front of Hinchley Wood, OLI, Christ Church, Latchmere and Long Ditton.
Our U13 K&P girls showed their class in the next race – they absolutely dominated the field! Bridget Langford was a whisker in front of Laura Dunkling, winning the race and the K&P trophy in 9:15 min. The same time was clocked for Laura who took race and club silver. Laura Cook who injured herself on the climb of the first hill nevertheless finished 3rd in 9:27, followed by Naomi Kelly, 1st year U13 Laura Darcey, and, in 7th place Frances Rennie. Bridget, Laura D, Laura C and Naomi self-organised a school team on the day took the team trophy home to Tiffin Girls, ahead of Holy Cross and St Philips.
Next came the U13 boys race, with a superior Phil Bearman smashing the course record in 7.51 min and winning both the race and the Club champs. Nick Hart was not far behind finishing 4th on the day and taking club silver. He was followed by Joe Lavender in 7th and Oliver Deighton in 13th place. The team trophy went to John Fisher School, Tiffin Boys came second.
A bewildered Jenny Miles and Layla Thompson rubbed their eyes when realising that they were the only ones to contest the U15 race. Yet, rather than jogging, they properly raced the longer 3km course. Jenny won in 14.58 min, Layla finished in 15:58 min.
The last race of the day traditionally consists of U15 boys, U17 men and women, U20 men and women, senior and veteran women. U20 K&P athlete Ciaran Costello showed that he’s back, winning the race in 13.10, followed by U15 Chris Carr and Rory Bloom, both John Fisher School. Gaby Miles was 5th and took the Club trophy for the U17 women. She was followed by Nikolaj Schubert who defended his U15 boys’ title, with Matthew Stevens winning silver and Adam Curran bronze. Debbie Raymond took gold for the senior women, and for the vets, Susanne Dietrich was ahead of Avelline Deighton. The U15 boys’ team trophy went to John Fisher, silver to Tiffin Boys.
Over and all, a very satisfying medal haul for K&P and a fantastic new course record hopefully leaves all the K&P activists pleased who since the early morning hours set and marshalled the course, served as hares and as time keepers. Many thanks to all who made it happen. Many thanks to all athletes who came out to compete; you were great. Hopefully, we’ll see a few more secondary schools in action next year – bring your mates!
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