Written by SD & Editor
1 Our Young Athletes successsful excursion to Croydon by Susanne
2 The Announcer's words,by permission of Debbie and Matt, on our Senior Mens' & Womens' Championship races and Middx Champs,plus Editorial Comment
Full detailed results are on the County website - www.surreyathletics.org.uk
Surrey County XC Champs 2013 – featuring our fantastic young runners
Saturday 5th January, Llyod Park Croydon. It was a mud bath. No – it actually wasn’t. It was like in those beauty parlours where you apparently can spend significant amounts of money to get this “Fango Active Mud for Face and Body” slapped all over in order to have an eternally wrinkle free skin. Just that at Lloyd Park, it came totally for free - what a treat! The small price to pay was to conquer a hill that is on the short list for the most slippery hill in XC history, have your shoes sucked off your feet, and to have your formerly pristine running gear ruined once and for all.
Was is worth it? I shall report, in ascending order of excitement.
Unfortunately, both our U15 teams were severely depleted due to injury and illness and in the end, we were a runner short in each. So the runners had their pride to run for - and they did well. In the boys race Joshua Hall came a very strong 16th, having covered the 4km course in 16:06 min. George King finished 41st in 17:10 and Joe Lavender, battling against excruciating knee pains, finished 58th in 19:19. In the girls’ race, also battling knee pains, Lucy Fletcher held on to 29th place in 19:20. Ellie Arnfield, possibly with her strongest run this season came 32nd in 19:32, and Gaby James finished 47th in 22:10. With Joshua, George, Lucy and Gaby being 1st year in this age group, these are very good results indeed.
Like our U15s, our U17 men were a runner short, but equally ran excellent individual races. Matt Stevens was the strongest on the 6.5km course, coming home 24th in 31:29. Sam Vassall finished 34th (33:22) and Matt Lester 38th (34:59). Again, both Matts are 1st year in this age group. Our U17 women had a scoring team. But the rules allow U17 and U20 women to score together for their team, and with all our U17s being 1st year in this age group, it didn’t come as unexpected that we couldn’t fare better than 6th team place. Yet in individual U17 rankings, Laura Dunkling finished in a fine 25th place (24:55; distance 4.8km) closely followed by Bridget Langford in 27th position (24:55). And Phoebe Law with a blistering sprint finish won individual bronze in a time of 20:24 - a fantastic result! Phoebe said later that she had walked the course and planned for her moves in the race – and this really paid off.(And that's an A plus for diligence and commitment in anybody's book. Ed)
And now let’s open the curtain for our U13s, contesting a 3.25 km course. They actually were in the first two races on the day, with the boys to start. Sam Shaw had a great run and led the team home in 10th place (15:14). Jorge Beltrao followed in 18th place (15:56); Aaron Bruce, despite a barking cough came 24th (16:08), Michael Brazil 35th (17:01), and Finlay Hardwick 44th (17:37). George Chaplin lost his shoes twice and took his time to put them on again, and he still made it to 45th place (17:39). Finally, Gregor Hooke and Morrison Cleaver closed our score in 56th (18:36) and 57th place (18:37). In the girls’ race, Pippa Earley gave her all and finished a superb 7th (15:55). Mollie O’Sullivan and Darcy Bourne, the latter nurturing a cold, flew past the runners ahead for their finish, soaring to 10th (Mollie, 16:26) and 11th (Darcy, 16:28) places. Rebecca Keddie, with an equally strong finish, came 20th, followed by Mica Powell (31st, 18:33), Sophia Free (32nd, 18:44), Kathryn Bartle (34th, 18:50) and Hannah Lester (42nd, 20:03); unfortunately Annabel Hobday had to pull out with an ankle injury.
All had done really well, and as TM, I expected the girls’ team to be anywhere between 3rd and 5th place, but didn’t give it too much thought while all were busy scraping the mud off and the boys started to pack up and go home. Then suddenly the race announcer called for the Kingston team. Yet, it was for the boys! Their fantastic efforts had earned the team bronze, with medals for the top 4 scorers! Now we started wondering whether there was a chance for the girls… But the announcer was busy commenting in the ongoing senior women’s race… This was an impatient wait! Could the seniors please finish a bit quicker such that we may find out…? Finally, the announcement came, and Kingston was indeed called up - for silver!!!
Senior Womens'(8k) and Mens'(12k) Reports
Solid but not spectacular is probably a fair description of both our squads' performances
Debbie Raymond's team missed a couple but the leading three had a fair old tussle mid-field with Jo Bourne,coming back gently from achilles trouble,prevailing in 73rd(41.31)just ahead of Nicky Atkins,favouring the distance and surface,in 74th(41.44),with Debbie herself 76th in 42.06. Caroline Jeffcote completed well under the cut-off time,to her great pleasure,taking 111th in 54.08. That gave us a complete team,which was 11th with 334 pts.
Matt Hyett's men had last 'pick' of Lloyd Park's inherent mud,over 3 full laps. Not enough members accepted Matt's invite to this 12k race,so we were a couple short of the required 6 for a team. Nevertheless,Richard Mathie pressed on regardless,ending up a useful 42nd in a finishing total of 173(48.44). The rejuvenated Michael Huntley just turned the tables on Captain Matt in anorher episode of their ding-dong tussles this winter(57th to 60th and 50.16 to 50.24). Our 4th placer,Mike Maranzano,has fine memories(as does your Ed) of Lloyd Park,having crossed the line first for a rare K&P Mens Surrey League victory(a year or two back!) but he was content to have a satisfactory race in 95th with 53.31.
At the Middlesex Champs,M50 Ant Budarkiewicz completed the Wormwood Scrubs course in 90th place/148 in the Senior race(also in 53.31!) - in 40plus years with the Club,he has very rarely missed these Champs,racing first as an Under 13.
Of others at the Surreys,Nikolaj Schubert,in his role of Tiffins CC Captain,and his threesome,just failed to wrest the bronze medals in the U20 mens race - Nikolaj finishing 19th,whilst summer track member,Gordon Pearce(in Thames H&H coloiurs),ran into a pretty handy 21st in the SM race,having just about recovered from an ankle injury.
Both teams will be back in action next Saturday in their 3rd Round Surrey Leagues on unfamiliar ground on Mitcham Common,courtesy of debutant hosts,Clapham Chasers. You are Invited!.
Postscript from The Announcer - The bonhomie,esprit de corps, and generosity of spirit between all the County clubs at all levels,and all the Officials, which abounded,should be bottled and sent to those who call themselves guardians of our sport in so-called higher places.They should be made to eat,savour and digest the taste,and smell the aroma for ever,and come down off their high horses and wring out their overbearing bureaucracy - and see what is part of the best of the sport - friendly,but competitive competition(that's alliteration for you!) with a total absence of pompous arrogance and threat - here endeth the lesson….for the moment.
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