Written by SD
Downs league match 3 on Sunday 20th February – fantastic win for our U11s, 2nd places for our U13s and U15s.
When we gathered for the penultimate young athletes’ Downs League match on a foggy and rather chilly (is it ever not chilly?) Epsom Downs horse race course, we knew anything was possible. With the match taking place in the half-term break, teams end up depleted, and the score lines may easily turn upside down. But speed and strength combined with good fortune was on our side.
Our U11 score line was opened with a smashing run by Gregor Hooke to 2nd place. He clocked 11.55min for the 2km course, the 2nd best time I have recorded for a K&P runner since I have taken over as TM. Darcy Bourne followed suit in 5th place (12.30). She was the 1st girl in, and, after 2 matches, leads the individual girls’ rankings. Next was Finlay Hardwick who, on his debut, ran straight to 8th place in 12.36. Mollie O’Sullivan finished 10th, 3rd girl on the day and 2nd after both matches. A new PB in 13.13 min carried Harry de Rosa to 18th place, 4th in the 2-match rankings. Hot on his heels was Sasha Reed (19th, 6th girl,ranked 5th overall), also in a new PB (13.16), followed by novice George Chaplin (20th, 13.40). Kathryn Bartle finished in 14:07 and 25th place (7th girl), and is 6th in the girls rankings. And very nice runs brought Rebecca Keddie to 30th place (10th girl, 14.48), another novice, Molly Davies, to 31st place (11th girl, 14.51) and Eleanor Bartle, who ran despite an injured ankle, to 40th place (17th girl, 15.30). 55 runners contested the course. So what was this effort worth? A jubilant TM can report that we won the match!!! Not only that – we are in 2nd place, 1 single point behind the leader Epsom & Ewell and 20 points ahead of Sutton & District. Guys – are you aware of what this means? 1 point is northing - we can win the League!
Next the U13s. Neil Wellard dominated the 2.5km race and finished 1st place in a new PB of 12.19minhe's now ranked 3rd overall. Next was Ellé Butcher in 8th place (1st girl) who will be pleased to hear that with her time of 13.41, she is a very worthy replacement of Nadia Allan (2nd girl in the last race in 13.42). Joe Lavender, this time not held back by a broken toe, came 9th in 13.51. Laura Darcey finished with a new PB of 14.07 in 13th place (5th girl), and after 2 matches, is 2nd in the girls’ rankings. Oliver Phelps’ new training regime of pre-race sleep-overs miraculously brought him close to his previous PB and in 14.49, he came 19th. Caitlin Dimbleby finished 21st (8th girl) in 15.02 and she’s 5th in the 2-match rankings. Finally, Frances Rennie closed our score with a new PB of 15.59 in 23rd place (10th girl, 7th in the overall rankings). The team finished in a very strong 2nd place; overall we are 2nd, 30 points behind leader Sutton & District and 29 points clear of Epsom & Ewell, with Holland Sports, Croydon and TTT further behind. Another good effort, and we will finish the 2011 League in 2nd place!
The U15s for the first time in years, were seriously challenged when other clubs brought a larger contingent of their runners out. It is the more admirable that Phil Bearman, feeling somewhat under the weather and nurturing growing pains, still sailed close to his previous PB and, covering the 2.5km in 12.09, led the team home in 4th place. After both matches, he is ranked 3rd. He was followed by Joe Mallet who in 12.39 came 5th, 4th boy in the overall rankings. With a new PB in 14.01, Ella Shaw finished 11th (4th girl), and she is 2nd in the rankings. Matthew Stevens (the thrower) finished 15th in 16:06, ahead of novice Marlie Carter-Edwards (16th/5th girl, 16.18) and Alex Bartle 17th/ 6th girl, 16.39). And finally, sprinter Tuomas Syyrilä tried whether he could master the distance, and indeed, he did so in 18th place and 16.52. Unfortunately, with some of our distance running specialists away, we came 2nd in the match and slipped to 2nd place overall. Good news is that we are only 3 points behind the new leader Croydon, but 41 points ahead of Holland Sports. So in the last match it will be all to play for – folks, if you come out we will win this!
A “very well done” to all our runners, you were terrific! And a great thank you to all parents, families and friends, who supported our K&P team today. You made sure that all and every athlete realised that they are needed and contribute to the success of the team. I hope we can keep this spirit alive for our last match on Sunday 6th March 2011. Same venue and race times (10:45 – U11 = age 8 to current school years 5/6; 11:05 – U13 = current school years 7/8, 11:25 – U15 = current school years 9/10).
If you fancy more running before the next Downs League: Next Saturday, 22nd February, there will be the Kingston Minimarathon trials in Bushy Park. This race it to test young athletes in the Borough over a fairly long distance (4.2km). Moreover, those who will be 11 or older on the day of the London Marathon (17th April) can make a bid for selection to represent the Borough in the London Minimarathon on 17th April. The girls' race starts at 10:15, registration is at 9:45 at the car park next to Diana Fountain; boys’ race at 10:45, registration at 10:15. Usually, athletes have to pre-register, but in my experience, one can show up on the day and run the race.
My very best wishes to you all, and I am looking forward to seeing you on March 6th.
Your Young Athletes’ Cross Country team manager Susanne Dietrich (susanne.dietrich @ live.com; 020 8399 7084)
We are one of the biggest and friendliest athletics clubs in London and compete across a huge array of leagues, events and championships and have athletes of literally all standards and ages and across all events.
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