id1785-Sunday 6 December – Match 2 of the Downs Cross Country League for young athletes

Written by Susanne   

A very, very pleased team manager saw that after many e-mails (I would like to cut down on reminders, if possible, please… J), many more athletes followed my call, and we had a much improved turnout. This immediately led to a boost of the team result for all three age groups. Conditions were tricky though, with a hearty wind blowing into the face of the runners ascending the hill, making it a very cumbersome climb. Nevertheless, most of our runners still operated at or just below PB levels, some actually managed to push their PBs! Here are the details:

U11s: Very clearly, Charlie White meant business when he led the team home with a strong run in 12:25min, improving his PB by 5s. He came 10th, and in the boys’ rankings (must do all matches), he rose to 9th. Also Jacob Skinner was a man with a mission, coming home 19th in 12:55min. He improved his PB by 16s and is now ranked 14th of the boys. With another formidable run in 12:58, Hannah Chowdhury followed in 20th place- 3rd girl. She rose in the girls’ rankings to bronze medal position. Next came novice runner Finnian Chang. Given that he is our youngest, his 33rd place and time of 13:48 was very impressive indeed. He was followed in 36th place (14:11, 8th girl) by Daisy Parry who now is 6th in the girls’ rankings. It was great to have Ellen-Ada Barlow back; she came 41st/12th girl in 14:57. And we finished with Jamie McDaid, also a new runner in 42nd place and 15:04. He had never done XC running before, and he coped brilliantly! Last time, the team was 5th. This time, we came 3rd! Combining the scores from both matches, we rose to 4th place, with only 12 points distance to 3rd-placed Holland Sports. I’d say: a 3rd place in this seasons’ campaign is achievable.

U13s: In this age group, the improved turnout in particular of athletes who are second year in this age group made a huge difference. Olly Wilson is back in business; he led the team home in 2nd place and 11:46. A superbly paced run saw Mack Downey finish 8th in a time of 12:14. This is a new PB by 26s and earned him a promotion to 7th position in the boys’ rankings. Not far behind was Jack Dickson in 11th place and 12:43, followed by Benjamin Taplin in 18th place and 13:15, which equals his previous PB. Hot on Ben’s heels was Matteo Leforestier in 13:17 and 19th place/16th boy – he is now 10th in the overall boy’s rankings. Then came Josh Bellamy in 21st place /18th boy and 13:33 (now 12th the rankings) and Michael Webb-Bourne in 22nd place/ 19th boy and 13:42 (now ranked 13th). We closed with Sebastian Chang who improved his PB by 2s to come 37th/27th boy (now ranked 17th), Esme Cerilli (16:12, 45th/18th girl -8th in the girls rankings), and multi-eventers Zoe Shepherd (47th/19th girl, 16:49) and Aaron Marlow (49th/29th boy, 17:34). Last match, the team had finished 3rd; this time we came 2nd! Overall we are still in 3rd place, but we very much closed the gap to the Herne Hill B team. Only six points difference – come on, we can do this!

U15s: The U15 team was still depleted with two of our experienced runners not yet fit to race. And it was a bit intimidating to see Mohamed Muhamud, bronze medallist in the English Schools 1500m this summer, lining up at the start – but this just goes to show that other clubs take the Downs League serious, and we’ll have to rise to the occasion. Yet this has been achieved. Sam Shaw led the team home in 2nd place and 11:33 and, since Mohamed hadn’t done the 1st match, Sam is still leading the rankings. Jorge Beltrao was a real reinforcement of the team as in his time of 12:25 he finished 8th. Kathryn Bartle had just another gear for the home straight, leaving her somewhat stunned opponent behind and finishing in 13:26. She was 13th/4th girl, and now is 3rd in the girls’ rankings. Imogen Busa smashed last season’s PB by a full 43s which earned her 17th place/5th girl. Lucy Horler was next in 14:40 and 23rd place/9th girl; she is now ranked 5th girl. And Charlie Jeffrey had a fine debut, finishing 24th/15th boy in 15:05. Last time, the team was 3rd. Now we finished 2nd, and moved up to 2nd place overall, 19 points behind Herne Hill but also just 2 points ahead of Croydon. This means that both quality and quantity of runners will be crucial for the remaining two matches on 21st February and 13th March. Please put this into your diaries JJJ.

What’s next: The next really important event will be the Surrey County XC Champs at Denbies in Dorking, this year on a Sunday: 10th January 2016. All runners who are 11 on the day or older, and were born or are living in Surrey, are eligible, runners from other counties can run as guests. The club is prepared to pay the entry fee (£5 per athlete) and register you, but note: the deadline is 3rd January. Let me know as soon as possible if you wish to be entered. And please ensure that you are up-to-date with your K&P club subscription and England Athletics registration.

I am looking forward to hearing from you. Your TM Susanne Dietrich ( [ This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ](mailto:

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) , 02083997084)

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