Written by SD
Susanne Dietrich's Report from Guildford
Full results at www.surreyathletics.org.uk
Great start to our young athletes’ cross country season –
report from the Stoke Park Relays on 22nd October
On an unusually mild and sunny end-of-October day, some 282 runners congregated in Stoke Park, Guildford, to have a go at the 2011 Surrey County Young Athlete’s XC Relay Championships. Each runner had a leg of 2.5km to run, with the dreaded uphill finish at the end. There were “nerves” and worries since, after all, these were the Surrey team champs. However, all went very well indeed.
Our four U13 and two just-of-age U11 boys went first. Cameron Brown gave the “A team” a solid start, Ben Paton held nerve and place, and Harry Reynolds, reeling in the runners in front, brought the team home to a fine 10th place. George Chaplin set up the “B” team, handed over to Harry De Rosa, who sent out Sam Shaw for a great run home to 16th place. Times: Harry R. 8:21min and 6th fastest leg on the day, Sam Shaw 9:14, Cameron Brown 9:28, Ben Paton 9:35, George Chaplin 10:22, Harry D.R. 10:47.
The U13 girls’ team was heavily decimated by illness and only two first year U13s and one U11 were left to wear the club colours. Rebecca O’Neil led the team out in 9:52, followed by U11 Eleanor Bartle (11:52) and Rebecca Keddie (10:28). The team finished in 16th place, and given their age, this is also a strong performance.
Our U15 boys were the largest K&P contingency. Phil Bearman did a fantastic opener in 7:46 (13th fastest leg) and handed over to Joe Mallet who in 8:14 knocked 29 sec off last year’s time. Neil Wellard (8:49) completed the “A” team. He somehow got slightly lost on the way, but still brought the team home in 10th place. Matthew W. Stevens started the “B” team off in 8:45, followed by Oliver Phelps (9:53, improved by 27sec) and Tuomas Syyrilä (9:38). The team finished 20th. Younger brother Markus Syyrilä (11:09) ran in a mixed team with South London Harriers which finished 22nd.
What the U15 girls lacked in numbers they made up in class. Nadia Allan set the team up in 8:53 (9th fastest time and improved by 28sec), Ella Shaw kept the team in contention in 9:05 (20th fastest time, improved by 40 sec), and Ellé Butcher (8:56, 10th fastest leg, improved by 19 sec) brought the team home in 5th place. Bridget Langford showed that she’s up with the others in 9:39 (24th fastest leg).
Our U17 men had to succumb to illness and injury of their team mates, and only Nikolaj Schubert and Zain Rawji were left. So in the end, we didn’t have a scoring team. However, Zain and Nikolaj decided to run round regardless, and they finished in 8:58 and 9:00, respectively. They stayed on to support our U17 women, who had a scoring team, thanks to hammer thrower Alex Bartle agreeing to make up the numbers. Layla Thompson went out first and in 8:39, had the 7th fastest time (improved by 12sec). Sister Mae wasn’t much slower in 8:49 (10th fastest leg, improved by 48 sec), and Alex (10:51) brought the team home in 5th place.
Looking back, we ended the day with 4 top-ten team results, 5 top-ten individual performances, and great runs with many new PBs. Quite a number of our youngest athletes came out, and everybody did her or his best to support the teams, as did parents, families and friends. This is a very promising start to the season – well done to all!
For athletes aged 8 and school years 5-10, we will start out Downs League Cross Country campaign on the Epsom Downs Race Course on Sunday 6th November. The course is very manageable (U11-2km, U13/U15 2.5km), and it would be fantastic to have a big team out. U17 can run non-scoring. Please let me know as soon as possible that you will come.
On Tuesday 15th November we will have the Kingston Borough Schools Champs in Richmond Park. Talk to your school sports coordinator and make sure you can run since this race will select the Kingston runners for the Surrey Schools Championships in Reigate on 21st January.
Finally, please consider the next Surrey XC League races (boys/men Saturday 12th November, Lloyd Park; girls/women Saturday 3rd December Petersham) to prepare for the Surrey Champs on 7 January in Dorking and to make a bid for selection for the Intercounties on 10 December in Lloyd Park.
Have a great XC season
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