id356-Surrey Womens & Mens Leagues Albury Down January 14th 2006 Reports

Written by DB/RM/DR   

The full results are now on the G&G website - www.ggac.co.uk -- Our Women fought very hard,but improved scoring from Reigate and Epsom & E seems to have thwarted their efforts to escape the drop zone and we lie 13th of 15 teams in Div One with 3 to go down after the final match in Richmond Park on Feb 4th. The men were 3 top scorers short but packed well with our U20s in full force. Sadly they too drifted further away from Reigate & Guildford and remain ensconced in 7th with Walton 8th - both clubs(M & W) will almost certainly return,inextricably entwined yet again,to Division Two for 2006/7. It's probably a reality that K&P's two senior teams have performed out of their socks but that both are still just a couple of leading scorers short of a more permanent slot in the top divisions. Nevertheless,what a real CC course in the wilderness for all - runners,spectators and officials were gravitationally challenged throughout a windy,damp day - well,it is cross country,isn't it! Would you honestly prefer shopping with the 'wife/husband'? Answers on a postcard to George Bush c/o The White House.

Such terrain encountered suits some more than others,not necessarily by build,but Mike Maranzano,still awaiting the whim of politicians for his 'trip East',found it to his liking and comfortably led home the K&P troops in 31st(29.06).It is indicative of the standard of the teams in Div. 1,however,that leaders & race winners,Herne Hill,had already closed in their 10 scorers. Jamie McCullagh was next in at 38th(29.21) and he will surely be more at home on his next outing,which will be indoors in Manchester on the 29th where he has been selected over 800m for London South in the InterCity Challenge. Thereafter,we were into our stride - Ross Shaddick,fully justifying his trip up from Plymouth again,took 46th(29.42);then in rapid succession,Andy Arbour 55th(30.21),not at his best on the surface;Ant Budarkiewicz(M45) 62-30.42;then 3 of our 5-man Under 20 squad - Alex Thomas 63-30.54(confirming his fine run at Croydon last week),Andy Govus 66-31.10 & Michael Huntley 68-31.13;and completing the scoring 10 - Steve Wright 88-33.00 & newcomer Richard Drayton 95-34.04.A further 9 completed as a witness to Bob McD's enthusiasm etc - Humphrey Waddington(U20) 98-34.26,Peter Wilkins 105-35.12,Graeme Horstead 109-35.56,himself(M60) 110-36.10,Ron Taylor(U20) 112-36.29,Simon Croall(M40) 116-38.03,David Greenfield(M45) 121-39.13,David Barrington(M65) 126-43.04 & Geoff Reed(M60) 127-43.24. The 'Tail-of-the-Dog Champs' were abandoned after DB & GR 'destroyed' two HHH tailenders!! (129 fin). Teamwise we scored 562pts for 7th and are 7th overall with 1656pts,some almost certainly irretrievable 172 pts adrift of Reigate Priory.

In the YA race,Edmund Croall ran one of his best in a K&P vest,taking 5th U15(18.54),obviously liking adversity!

In the women's race,Rachel Burbridge ran about her best ever League race,taking the bull by the horns early on and leading into the woods. She was still 5th as they disappeared for the final time and held on superbly for 9th(21.20) in Div One(10th in all). Behind her,and these are overall positions for both divs,came Avelline Deighton(W35) 42nd-23.16, Debbie Raymond 70th-24.25,Nicky Atkins(W40) 106th-25.39,Liz Richardson 146th-27.17 & Johanna Gibbons 169th-28.22(overall 231 fin.of which 133 were Div One). We placed 12th on the day but still are 13th A team overall.

There was much more than usual over which to enthuse in the younger girls events,with 10 braving the elements; which bodes well for the Surrey Schools on Jan 21st and the Stan Belton/Club Champs day the week after in Richmond Park. In the U13s,Molly Renfer(11th-12.53) & Maddy Garner(17th-13.02) again led an almost replica Surrey Champs Four to a splendid 4th team place(of 14 teams) with 95pts(9th overall) - Lucy Clacher was 29th-14.19 & Francesca Currie(a virtual ever-present in all comps this winter -well done,F!) 34th-15.07 of a field of 51.

In the U15s,run in conjunction,Josie Inverdale was well-up in 6th-12.35;she was supported by Surrey League-regular Eleanor Cannon 21st-13.56 and by Kelly(26th-14.32) & Linda(29th-15.31) Randall,both also very committed in the K&P cause this winter,too. Teamwise,we were 4th(of 11 teams) with 78pts(8th overall). And,finally,Harriet Owens brought the Under 17s/Under 20s home in 7th-20.37,ahead of Rhiannon Mehta(13th-24.15),another Surrey League regular. Teamwise,we were 5th of 9 teams and are 5th overall.

As a funnel official for the earlier girls/womens events,and given that the conditions perhaps deteriorated a little later,I was very pleased to observe that,on a tough demanding course, virtually all the youngsters,and not least the K&P runners, finished in good shape - which says much for the coaching/commitment involved and nothing for the pessimistic molly-coddling rubbish frequently bandied about in our sport.(Here endeth the lesson).

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