The 3rd race of the Kent League Cross Country season took place at a wet and cold (perfect cross country weather) Footscray Meadows on Saturday 11th November. With no senior women at this event and some athletes missing due to other competition, it was fantastic to see high numbers from the Medway & Maidstone team. It was also great to see Dartford’s Jake Wightman, 1500 semi-finalist at the IAAF World Championships in the summer and also winner of the Oslo Diamond League meeting in June toeing the line! Something for the youngsters to aspire to!
Following their great success at the last cross-country race in the Senior Men’s Kent Cross-country League, M&M were hoping for another win. However, with Tonbridge putting out a very strong team, the race was a very close contest with Tonbridge just edging it in the 4-to-score team by 27 points to 23. Second place out of 22 competing teams is still a great result. The club were also second in the 12-to-score race with another low score of 323. The club had 22 runners, the most for at least 10 years and possibly ever in this league. The first home in 4-to-score team was Tewelde Menges in 3rd and is still the overall league leader. Robert Meyer in 6th was closely followed by the improving Tom Collins in 7th. Meyer now lies 3rd in the league and Collins 4th. The 4-to-score was completed by Ben Tyler in 10th, his best result this season. Simon Habtom in 12th had another great run to start the 12-to-count scoring team. He was followed by Noel Sutton (24th and top M45 runner), Mark Wilkins (31st), Richard Tomlinson (37th), Harry Collins (40th), Lee McMeekin (47th), Andrejs Safars (51st) and Marley Godden (54th). The scoring team runners were closely followed by Neill Wright (55th), Jack Crossley (64th), Jacques Cunningham-Marsh (67th), Justin Lane (69th), Adam Featherstone (90th) Darren Wright (113th), Simon Hesketh (142nd), Stephen McGlnn (146th) Alun Rodgers (152nd) and Gareth Williams (156th).
This was a very encouraging result and turn out. The final race of the season is in February and a win in the 4-to-score team race will give the club the league title.
The Under 20 Men’s were represented by a loan athlete. Ryan Mugera in his first race for the club finished a very impressive third place.
The Under 17 Men’s fielded another strong team of 10 athletes. 5 of the team improved their individual place finishes which resulted in the team improving on their 5th place finish from the last meeting 2 weeks ago. The team finished in 3rd place and cemented their overall 4th place in the competition. Individual race placings; Ben Hughes 14th, Quinn Austin 19th, Reegan Archer 21st, Johannes Sadler 40th, Alex Donnelly 42nd, Jude Gordon 43rd, Reece Perkins 46th, Lewis Jell 50th, James Grogan 52nd, Lorcan Rodgers 58th.
The U13 boys once again finished in 3rd place (scoring 29) behind Invicta East Kent (12) and Blackheath & Bromley Harriers (23). Alistair Shelley narrowly missed out on 2nd place in a sprint to the line, finishing 3rd, Cameron Featherstone 10th and Kelechi Ryan 16th closed the team of 3 with Hayden Gear 18th, Jacob Graham 38th, Jack Morris 47th, Callum Featherstone 48th and Elliot Chamberlain 55th.
The U15 boys were again 2nd overall (scoring 29) behind Blackheath & Bromley Harriers (17). Dan McGlynn was first home in 8th followed by Luke Stringer 9th and Ethan Gear 12th to close the team, there were supporting runs by George Wallace 13th, Max Eldridge making his cross country debut 19th, Finlay MacDonald 24th, Michael Uzozie having his first run this season in 36th and Finn Rodgers 40th).
With no senior woman at this match we had one representative in the U20 women with Emily Hales having a strong run in 6th place.
It was great to see a scoring team for M&M in the U17 woman with Abigail Jordan finishing in 18th, Emily Featherstone in her first outing of the season 28th, followed closely by Georgia Williams in 30th.
The U15 and U13 girls were missing a number of athletes who were competing in the English Schools Cup South East regional finals but nevertheless there was still a strong showing from both teams, and a great turnout from the U13’s in particular made for another great day of competition. In the U15’s race, Alex Baker-Jones crossed the line in 11th place, followed by Erin Hughes in 34th place. The U15’s are seventh in their age group.
There were a total of 8 U13’s competing, and they were led home by Abigail Royden in 11th place, Fern Curran in 21st and Sarah Mitchell in 22nd to take the three scoring places. Following closely behind were Grace O’Connell (35th), Abbe Clark (46th), Ruby Towler (51st), Katie Stringer (56th) and Ciara Harrop (63rd). The U13’s remain fourth in their age group.
The next and final league fixture for the younger age groups is on Saturday 25th November at Danson Park, Bexley. There will be no senior men at this venue but the senior women will be back. The men and women with their final race in February.
Full results here here