The first race of the season in the Kent Cross-country League was held at Swanley on Saturday 12th October. The league is contested by the many of the top middle-distance runners in the county and South East London.
In the men’s senior race Medway & Maidstone AC had 23 runners competing, a great turn out for this first race and an excellent team spirit was clearly evident. The club had 12 runners in the top 40 and 18 runners in the top 100, showing great strength in depth. There were 289 finishers in total.
The race was won by Rob Meyer, Medway & Maidstone AC who led from the start (31.01), followed by fellow team member Tewelde Menges (31.13) with Abel Tsegay (Invicta AC) in 3rd.
In spite of taking the first two places, the club failed to win the 4-to-score team position as their next 2 runners finished in 19th (Marley Godden 33.30) and 22nd (Mark Wilkins 33.52). The top team position went to Tonbridge with a total of 29 points. M&M still had a great result with 2nd out of 22 teams (44 points), a long way in front of the next team, Blackheath & Bromley AC (926). In the 12-to-score team competition, Tonbridge AC also took first place (221), with M&M again a close second (281), followed by Blackheath again in third (926).
The club 12-to-score team position was completed by Jacques Cunningham-Marsh in 23rd (37.41), Ben Tyler 24th (34.18), Justin Lane a superb 27th and 3rd M40 (34.45), Jack Crossley 28th (34.47), Michael Major 29th (34.49), Chris Rampling 34th (35.10), Noel Sutton 35th and 1st M45 (35.18) and Neill Wright 37th (35.19).
Athletes providing strong back-up to the scoring teams:
Barry Royden 45th and 2nd M50 (35.29), Daniel St Martin 59th (36.31), Stephen Turpie 62nd (36.36), Daniel Longhurst 74th (37.21), Harry Collins 79th (37.42), Alun Rodgers 97th (38.30), Gareth Williams 109th (39.08), Sean Rodwell 154th (40.59), Martin Taylor 172nd (41.43), Darren Wright 179th (41.53) and Steven Stratford 208th (43.14).
The Under 20’s Men Team placed an excellent 3rd in the team event. With 2 athletes placing in the top ten, Jude Gordon leading the way in 9th (17:53) and backed up by Alex Donnelly finishing in 10th (18:05). Quinn Austin completed the team, placing just behind in 14th (19:03).
The Under 17’s Men’s team started with an excellent first run from Ethan Gear, finishing in an impressive individual placing of 6th (16:29). Ethan was supported by Luke Stringer in a very good 14th (17:05) and Finn Rodgers 37th (20:40) made up the team. The U17’s Men placed 4th overall in the team event.
In the U13 boys the team was led in by a strong run from Jay Trimmer 9th (10:23) and followed in with great support from Henry Gibson 19th (10:54) and Theo Ronchetti 23rd (11:04) finishing 5th in the team result. Further support from Matthew Sherry 30th (11:22) and Liam McGoldrick 68th in (15:00).
The U15 boys team saw Hayden Gear finishing first in for his team in a brilliant 7th place (13:45). Next in was Kaz Gogol 24th (14:49) and Alistair Shelley 35th (15:15) to complete the 3 to score in 4th place. Further support from Elliot Chamberlain 47th in (16:11), Callum Featherstone 54th in (17:06), Myles Wright 57th (17:14) and Daniel McGoldrick 61st (17:45).
The senior ladies had a strong start to the cross country season. Finishing 3rd in both the 3 and 6 to score. First in was Emily Hale in a brilliant 9th place (19:05) followed by equally strong runs from Jemma Whyman 17th (19:43) and Taryne McPherson 23rd (20:03). They were supported by Antel Muller 29th (20:29), Jenny Fowler 45th (21:00), Claire Wilkins 75th (22:24), Bernadette Harrop 81st (22:42), Catherine Rodwell 123rd (25:27) and Jill Young 131st (26.15).
M&M had 7 athletes in the Under 15 girls age group, with club stalwart, Abigail Royden, coming over the line first for M&M in 20th (16:57). She was followed by Emma Ryan 21st (16:57), Annabel Young 26th (17:16), Lily Crossley 37th (17:51), Sarah Mitchell 40th (18:13), Amy Jukes 56th (20:22) and Ciara Harrop 60th 21:06).
There were several new faces competing for the club for the first time in the U13 girls age group with a total of 8 entrants in this age category. First home for M&M was Iris Crossley in an excellent 16th (11:16) in her first competitive cross country event for the club. She was followed over the line by Amber Matthews 20th (11:36), Olivia Ryan 31st (12:20), Molly Marsh 36th (12:31), Elizabeth Fry 40th (12:34), Heidi Hughes 41st (12:39), Sophie Stratford 44th (12:52) and Erin Marsh 47th (13:06). Both teams finished 6th on the day in their respective team events.
The next race is at Tonbridge on the 26th October.