A strong start to the cross country season for Medway & Maidstone athletes. The Kent Cross-country League is contested by the top distance runners in the county and the first race of the season was held at Stanhill Farm, Wilmington. The 300 runners and 21 teams taking place was the highest recorded for many years.
In the Senior Men’s 10K race, Medway & Maidstone AC fought hard with Tonbridge AC to take 2nd place in the 4-to-score team by a margin of 30 to 24 points. Tewelde Menges had a great race and took his first league victory. Another fine performance from Robert Meyer with 3rd place recording his highest race position to date. Tom Collins in 12th and Ben Tyler in 14th made up the 4-to-score team. The 12-to score team (3rd out of 12 finishing teams) was completed by Noel Sutton 24th, Mark Wilkins 27th, Andrejs Safars, 49th, Lee McMeekin 50th, Adam Featherstone 71st, Marley Godden 72nd, Justin Lane 73rd and Bob Fursey 140th. Further good support was provided by Darren Wright 144th, Alun Rogers 151st and Stephen McGlynn 163rd. The 12-to-score team finished 3rd.
The under 17 men’s team were looking to improve on a team overall place of 5th from last year. Medway and Maidstone A.C. fielded a team of 10 athletes, the second largest club team fielded in the age group. The team finished 4th with Ben Hughes leading the team with an impressive individual 6th place.
The U15 boys went one better by finishing 2nd (scoring 25) behind Tonbridge AC (10). Hamish Reilly had a great race to finish 2nd (just 17 seconds behind the winner) with great packing from Dan McGlynn (11th) and Luke Stringer (12th) to close the team. There was a change of scenery for race walker Jack Childs who was close behind (20th, followed by Ethan Gear (28th), George Dadd (29th) and Finn Rodgers (55th).
The U13 boys finished in 3rd place (scoring 43) behind Blackheath & Bromley Harriers (17) and Invicta East Kent (32). Alistair Shelley ran a strong second lap on his debut to finish 4th (16 seconds behind the winner), ably supported by Kelechi Ryan (19th) and Callum Featherstone (20th) to close the team of 3. Kaz Gogol (21st) and Hayden Gear (23rd) were close behind with good supporting runs from Jack Morris (54th), Elliot Chamberlain (62nd), Jacob Graham (63rd), Cameron Featherstone (67th), Toby Hughes (69th), Adam Childs (82nd) and Lewis Thackeray (94th), sadly Kyle Buckley was forced to pull out with an injury.
The senior ladies made a strong start to the cross country season. Liz Weeks led the way in 6th place followed by Stephanie Hearn in 13th, Lola Wheeler, 18th, Jenny Fowler 24th, Kerrie Clarke 26th, Taryne McPherson 44th, Bernadette Harrop 65th, Mo Fazakerley 78th, Claire Wilkins 89th and Kat Ford 151st. After this first meeting, M&M ladies are placed in 4th in the 3 to score and in 2nd place in the 6 to score.
In the U20s Emily Hale finished in 3rd place and in the U17s Abigail Jordan finishing in 19th place.
Five girls competed for the U15’s, with Charlotte Young (6th), Rachel Anderson (32nd) and Erin Hughes (36th) in the points. They were closely followed by Millie Morris (42) and Kerry Dewberry (46). The U15 girls were 5th in the team event.
Eleven girls competed for the U13’s and were led home by Anna Palmer in 15th place, followed by Abigail Royden in 17th, Sarah Mitchell in 19th, Kate Lazarides (21), Lily Crossley (26) Fern Curran (28), Emma Ryan (30), Grace O’Connell (51), Abbe Clark (56), Ruby Towler (61) and Ciara Harrop (65). The U13 girls finished 4th in the team event on the day.
The next Kent league meeting will take place on Saturday 28th October at Somerhill School, Tonbridge.
With thanks to Team Managers for their reports.
Full results can be found here