id870-Downs League M4 Epsom Downs March 8th 2009 Report

Written by SD   

Here's Susanne's report on a very successful 2008/9 campaign.

Final Surrey Young Athletes’ Downs League Cross Country Match on Sunday 8th March - We did it!

The stakes were high. For the U11s, we were about to slip out of the medal range. The U13s wanted to defend last year’s trophy. And the U15s maybe win the Downs League trophy back after it had gone astray the last 3 years. An anxious team manager was holding her breath. But then…

A ten people strong U11 team stormed out to claim third position on the day and win bronze overall. Unstoppable Joe Lavender brought the team home in fourth place, followed by Harry Robinson with a new PB (12:53) in 10th place, Oliver Phelps 15th, Gabriel Finch 22nd and Nicholas Rilett 27th. Laura Darcey came 29th with a new PB of 14:34, chased by debutants Alfie Clarke in (30th), and Jerene Shaw-Captan (35th). Fine runs by Jason Newell (38th) and Ella Norman (44th) completed the efforts of the team. We finished the season mere 2 points behind silver medallist Epsom & Ewell and 1 point ahead of Hinchley Wood Primary School, the latter helped by K&P members Josh Webb (16th) and Gaby Hobday (36th). With 62 runners competing, this was a tough contest – our team rose to the occasion! Fantastic!

At the start of the U13 race, the athletes looked around bewildered – had the other clubs given up? Two Epsom & Ewell runners against us? Or would this be an embarrassment? Not at all. Nathan Judson-Richardson won this race, ahead of Jenny Miles who pushed her PB to 14:06. Ed Rumbold came home third, followed by Minty Allen with a new PB of 14:15 and Laura Cook (5th). A sprint finish saw Matthew Stevens claim 8th, just ahead of Alex Bartle, equalling her PB of 15:35, and Martin Purkiss (10th). Ed Rumbold took the title for the top U13 boy, having performed best throughout all the four matches. Minty Allen defended the girls’ title. And the team? As clear a winner as could be.

After this U13 K&P clean sweep, the pressure was on for the U15 team. Peter Chambers (Croydon), back from 36th place in the CAU Intercounty Championships, won the race and the boy’s individual’s title. He was followed by three non-scoring U17s representing Epsom & Ewell. Gaby Miles led the team home in 5th place, comprehensively winning the girls’ individual U15 title. Max Williams and Hussain Zarei battled it our for 6th and 7th place, with Max being just a step in front. A strong finish placed Helen Davies 8th, followed by Nikolaj Schubert and Rachel Cook. And the team? Well, the effort of the whole team, having come out through the season, rain our shine, brought success: First on the day and first overall!

So, it’s time to celebrate: team bronze, gold, gold, plus three individual titles! Praise goes out to all athletes who contributed to our success. You all demonstrated that it takes good runners as well as a people working together as a team in order to be at the top. Many thanks also to the parents who gave up their Sundays to provide the invaluable “taxi service” and who cheered for our teams. And thanks also to those who rose at dawn to flag the course, to marshal and to collate the results. Without these volunteers, grass root sports would collapse – and where should the next generation of Olympic athletes come from, then?

But again, my main thank you goes to our athletes. These were the people who contributed:

U11: Joe Lavender, Gabriel Finch, Harry Robinson, Harry Deighton, Oliver Phelps, Nicholas Rilett, Caitlin Dimbleby, Joe Noakes, Jason Newell, Toby Deighton, Laura Darcey, Alfie Clarke, Jerene Shaw-Captan, Ella Norman, Eva Clarke. Josh Webb, Dominic Oldfield and Gaby Hobday started for their school team.

U13: Matthew Broderick, Nathan Judson-Richardson, Ed Rumbold, Jenny Miles, Danni Searle, Minty Allen, Laura Cook, Issy Foster, Matthew Stevens, Martin Purkiss, Alex Bartle, Holly Courtney, Oliver Deighton, Jessica Lavender, Amy Gooch, Katie Miller.

U15: Gaby Miles, Hussain Zarei, Max Williams, Nikolaj Schubert, Michael Christov, Adam Curran, Jessica Tomlinson, Helen Davies, Dominika Wrobel, Rachel Cook, Sam Keay, Stefan Clarke.

Well done everybody!

Susanne Dietrich

Downs League Team Manager

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