Written by Suzanne
Since the last match on the Downs, a lot has happened. We saw excellent performances at the Surrey and Middlesex Schools’ XC Champs, and Phoebe Law, and Mollie O’ Sullivan, Zak Wort, and Neil Wellard qualified for the English Schools. We had equally excellent performances at the Surrey Indoor Champs, with Alex and Darren Meaklim, Alex Parkinson, Jack Westley, Will Gwynne and Pippa Early medalling – Pippa broke the 60m hurdles and our own club’s Dominique Blaize’s long jump championship record – for more see our club’s website. But last Sunday, we were back on the Epsom Downs for the 3rd of the 4 Cross Country League matches for young athletes aged 8 to school year 10. Not having rain was good. A biting, icy wind was not. New athletes coming out was definitely good, some stalwarts missing out because of illness of course was not. But as always, all gave their best, and this is how we fared:
In the 2.3km U11 race, with arguably his best run of the season Michael Webb-Bourne was home first, finishing in 19th place and 12:23min – a new PB by 39s. Next was Charlie White in 21st, 12:32 min and a new PB by 31s. Sebastian Chang finished 25th, in 12:48, obliterating his PB by 1:55min! He was closely followed by new runner Elliot Bell who in 27th place and 12:52 had a very fine first outing indeed. Hannah Choudhury was our first girl home, finishing in 13:07 and 31st place, a new PB by 17s. She was closely followed by Daisy Parry in34th and 13:15 and Poppy Parry in 37th and 13:36 – excellent runs, girls! Next came Alfie Westley, 39th, 13:54 and a new PB by 20s. New runner Jackson Claugher also had a very nice first outing, finishing 41st in 14:14. Our team closed with Esme Cerilli in 44th (14:59), new runner Ellen-Ada Barlow in 47th (15:30) and Samuel Hall, who wasn’t well but bravely finished (48th, 15:40). Thanks to this excellent team effort, the team finished 5th, pushing our overall ranking up to 5th place. Well done!
The U13s were out on longer 2.5km course. Our team was brought home by Olly Wilson, with an excellent, confident run to 5th place (12:10). And it was great to see Matt Hall back in action after quite a lengthy injury break. He finished a strong 7th in 12:26. Next was Ben Taplin in 12th and 13:30, followed by Josh Bellamy with a fine run to 17thplace (14:08; new PB by 2s). Louis Orlovac finished 19th in 14:20, followed by Jack Westley in 20th (14:25, new PB by 19s) and Ciara Healy in 27th (16:20, new PB by 18s). Imogen Busa suffered from excruciating knee pains, but finished in 30th place, which was so important because it kept her in bronze medal position in the overall girl’s rankings. The team finished a fine 2nd – the best place we had this season. Owing to this, we are 2nd overall – another well done!
The U15s, also out on the longer course, were brought home by Sam Shaw in 6th position (11:44). Sam said after the race that he felt it was not quite his best. True, but you can’t have a PB in every race. It wasn’t far off the mark either, and we so needed him for the team score!!! Next in was George Chaplin in a fine 8th place (12:42), and a very much improved Tiago Beltrao in 10th (13:12). Isabella Busa’s excellent run brought her home in 13th place (13:24), closely followed by Rebecca Keddie (15th, 13:45), Kathryn Bartle (17th, 14:04), Amy Counihan 19th (14:18; new PB by 12s), Annabel Hobday 20th, 14:20 and Alex Shaw 21st (14:45). Sam has kept his 2nd place in the overall boy’s rankings, Isabella moved up to 2nd, and Rebecca to 3rd, Kathryn to 4th and Alex to 6th place. The team came 2nd on the day, but we held on to 1st place overall. A great thank you to all how contributed to the team score, each and every run was important!
We will have to ask you back for the last match on Sunday 15th March – what better present for Mother’s day than a nice run to round off the season? Please let me know that you are coming. On the day, I am afraid Frank and I will be in Germany for Frank’s father’s 80th birthday, but we will pack you a box with the sail flags, the biscuits and an end-of-season cake for you. Colin Watts and Ann Busa will be there to help you, and I expect all will work as smoothly as it should (U15s: come out to run and you’ll walk away with a trophy!).
Wishing you the best of luck
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