The cross country season continued at Somerhill School, Tonbridge on Saturday 28th October a cool but sunny day so ideal conditions particularly for spectators!
After a great start at the first race of the Senior Men’s Kent Cross-Country League, Medway & Maidstone AC weren’t expecting for things to improve as the 2nd race was a home fixture for league leaders Tonbridge. However, the team delivered a magnificent result, winning both the 4-to-score and 12-to-score team positions. In addition to some great packing, the club also had superb back-up with 20 runners completing the hard, hilly 10k course. With 5 finishers in the first 10 places, out of a total of 260 runners, the 4-to-score was comfortably achieved with a team total of just 20 points. Jake Berry was the team’s first runner home in 3rd place, followed by Tewelde Menges in 4th, Robert Meyer in 6th and a resurgent Tom Collins in 7th. Menges is now the overall league leader with Meyer in overall 3rd. Simon Habtom in 10th had a great run to start the 12-to-count scoring team. He was followed by Ben Tyler (19th), Noel Sutton (24th), Mark Wilkins (25th), Harry Collins (38th), Neill Wright (47th), Marley Godden (48th) and Lee McMeekin (49th). The club has only won the 12-to-score twice in the last 4 years and never with such a low overall score – 280. The scoring team runners were closely followed by Andrejs Safars (56th), Jack Crossley (59th), Justin Lane (70th), Barry Royden (74th), Darren Wright (108th), Gareth Williams (135th), Bob Fursey (157th) and Alun Rodgers (159th). This was a very encouraging turn out and considering that Berry, Meyer, Habtom and Godden are all under 20s and Menges just 21, things are starting to look good for future seasons.
The U17s men fielded another strong group of 9 runners. 7 out of the 9 athletes either improved or equalled their position from the first race, improving the overall team score. Unfortunately, even with the athletes improving on their performances the competition in this age group is fierce and saw the team finish 5th on the day and retain their 4th place overall. Ben Hughes led from the front again with a second individual 6th place finish. Quinn Austin 18th, Reegan Archer 28th, Alex Donnelly 37th, Jude Gordon 44th, Reece Perkins 48th, James Grogan 55th, Lewis Jell 64th & Lorcan Rodgers 65th.
The U20s men had their first competitive M&M athlete compete in this age group, this season. Carl Eldred flew the club flag and finished in 16th place.
The U15 boys were again 2nd (scoring 29) behind Tonbridge AC (11). Hamish Reilly ran strongly to finish 3rd in 14:36 (just 11 seconds behind the winner), Dan McGlynn (8th in 15:39) and Ethan Gear (18th in 16:13) closed the team, followed home by Jack Childs (20th in 16:33), Luke Stringer (22nd in 16:34), George Wallace (23rd in 16:48), Finlay MacDonald (28th in 17:13), Ethan Burling (30th in 17:18) and Finn Rodgers (49th in 18:54).
The U13 boys finished in 3rd place (scoring 36) behind Invicta East Kent (11) and Blackheath & Bromley Harriers (27). Alistair Shelley ran another strong race to finish 3rd in a blanket finish (11:59) with 4 seconds covering as many places, Cameron Featherstone (16th in 12:47) and Hayden Gear (17th in 12:50) closed the team of 3 with Kelechi Ryan (23rd In 13:10), Kaz Gogol (28th in 13:14) were close behind with further support from Callum Featherstone (35th in 13:28), Jack Morris (50th in 13:54), Elliot Chamberlain (51st also in 13:54), Jacob Graham (52nd again in 13:54), Toby Hughes (61st in 14:14) and Adam Childs (76th in 15:23).
Liz Weeks led the M&M senior ladies contingent in 8th (19:49) followed by a strong run from U20, Lola Wheeler in 10th (20:15) and Stephanie Hearn in 21st (21:02) finishing the 3 to score and taking 3rd team placing. They were backed up by Jenny Fowler in 36th (21:52), Taryne Mcpherson 51st (22:48) and Bernie Harrop 57th (23:05) to close the 6 to score taking 4th team placing. Other finishers were Mo Fazakerley, 77th (24:11), Claire Wilkins 97th (25:07) and Alison Williams 102 (25:24).
In the Under 17s Abigail Jordan finished in 19th (16:36) and Georgia Williams in 30th (19:58).
There was another strong run In the U15s girls for Charlotte Young in 6th (13:05) followed by Alexandria Baker-Jones 15th (13:56) and Rachel Anderson 18th (14:07) completing the 3-to-score team and finishing in 2nd place. Millie Morris 29th (14:38), Erin Hughes 38th (15:28) and Kerry Dewberry 39th (15:50) finished the M&M placings.
It was great to see 12 M&M girls contesting the U13s girls race. Particularly with some being relatively new to the cross-country scene! Impressive runs for Abigail Royden in 10th (11:05), Anna Palmer in 12th (11:10) followed by Kate Lazarides in 20th (11:37) making up the 3-to-score team and finishing in 4th place. M&M continued to pack well through the rest of the field with Annabel Young 28th (11:55), Emma Ryan 31st (12:03), Sarah Mitchell 33rd (12:08), Lily Crossley 35th (12:12), Abbe Clark 47th (12:51), Grace O’Connell 48th (12:53), Ruby Towler 58th (13:46), Katie Stringer 59th (13:51) and Ciara Harrop 62nd (14:08).
Well done all of you.