Written by Richard Vassall
South of England XC Relay Championships, Wormwood Scrubs Park, 22 October 2016
Building on their experience in the recent Southern Road relays championships, the U17W and U15B teams were joined here by teams at U13G and U17M. As far as I’m aware, it has been many a year since Kingston and Polytechnic have fielded road or cross-country relay teams at this level, but they all performed with great distinction against the strongest clubs in Southern England.
The action started with the U17W, led out by Annabel Hobday. Her time of 9.53 was 31st quickest of the 50 runners. Kathryn Bartle at 9.31, was 25th quickest, and Eleanor Bartle completed the team in 10.47, gamely filling in for holiday absences, while training for sprinting. The team finished 10th out of the 12 complete teams.
Next up were the U17M. Zak Wort got them off to a flying start, coming home in 9th. Sam Shaw then gained a couple more places, handing over to Gabriel Lewis in 6th . Despite missing a lot of training over the last few months through injury, he stuck resolutely to the task and brought them home in 7th out of the 16 teams. Zak was 17th quickest of the 55 runners in 11.05, Sam 11.20 and Gabe 11.45.
Although the U13G were missing’ in-form’ Evie Wilkinson, they still finished 22nd out of the 28 teams. The team was bravely led by Alix Baccardax, supported by Freya John, Lucy Atkins and Jojo McLean. Freya was 61st quickest of the 97 runners in 8.46, with Alix 8.55, Lucy 9.14 and Jojo in 9.15.
Last, but by no means least, the U15B completed the afternoon’s action for K&P. The team were led out by Olly Wilson, handing over in 15th of the 30 runners in 7.20. Making light of a heavy cold and missing school in the week, Mack Downey stepped up to the challenge, maintaining Olly’s solid start and handing on to Jack Dickson in 15th (7.35). Jack built on the others efforts to bring the team home in 13th of the 21 complete teams, with the quickest time of 7.18 (33rd quickest overall of the 79 competitors).
Congratulations to all, and thanks to the parents for their support and encouragement. As many of the athletes competing were in the first year of their age group, their performances bode really well for next year and perhaps even challenging for the medals!
Next up are the Surrey XC relays in Stoke Park, Guildford, where experience gained over these championships will stand them in good stead, both in the team competitions and individually, where county selection is up for grabs.
Report by Richard Vassall (team manager).
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