Kent Cross-Country league, Foots Cray – Saturday 14th December, 2019

Medway & Maidstone had a good turnout in cold conditions at the Kent Cross Country league races at Foots Cray on Saturday. This was the final race of the season in the Kent League series for the younger age groups. The senior men and woman completing the series on the 8th February in Bromley.

There was another strong team performance for the men in their 3rd race.  Tonbridge AC took the team honours, with M&M taking a very clear second places in both the 4-to-score and 12-to score team competition. With 26 teams competing and 210 finishers, the club once again showed its strength with 21 competing, 12 runners in the first 44 and 17 runners in the first 78.

The individual winner on the day was Corey De’ath of Tonbridge, closely followed by teammate Kieran Reilly. In 3rd place, Medway & Maidstone’s Robert Meyer just pipped fellow teammate Tewelde Menges.  This now leaves Meyer overall league leader, with Menges in second.  Next home for the team was Marley Godden with by far his best Kent League race to date in 9th, just ahead of teammate Tom Collins in 10th.  This was a reversal from last week when Collins won the Maidstone Turkey Run beating Godden into 2nd place.

Completing the club’s 12-to-score team places were Jacques Cunningham-Marsh (U20) in his best ever finish (16th), Ben Tyler (17th), Justin Lane (20th and 1st M40), Mark Wilkins (25th), Jack Crossley (28th), Barry Royden (33rd and 1st M50), Neill Wright (35th) and Harry Collins (44th). Further great results were to follow with Stephen Turpie in 48th, Daniel St Martin 51st, Gareth Williams 56th, Adam Featherstone 62nd, Alun Rodgers 64th, Owen Featherstone (U20) 70th, Sean Rodwell, continuing to improve every race in 78th, Darren wright 105th and Bob Fursey 156th.

In the overall league positions, in addition to Meyer and Menges’ lead positions, in the M40 category, Justin Lane is now 2nd, Neill Wright 3rd and Stephen Turpie 6th.  Barry Royden leads the M50 with Alun Rodgers and Gareth Williams also chasing the medals.

The next race for the senior men is the South of The Thames Senior Championships at Lloyds Park, Croydon on the 21st December, then the Kent Cross-country Championship at Brands Hatch on the 4th January.

The Under 20 Men were led by Alex Donnelly placing 9th, Quinn Austin 10th and Reegan Archer 11th. Quinn, another club athlete just missing out on an individual league medal, placing 4th overall.  The Team completed an amazing Team season performance, winning the Team event on the day.  The final day victory resulting in them winning the Team league title and being awarded the Alan Brent Shield.

The U17 Men were hampered by illness and injury and Ethan Gear was the sole athlete representing the club. Ethan completed his excellent league season, once again with another top 10 finish, placing 8th on the day and just missing out on an individual league medal by placing 4th overall.

The U15 boys had a great result to finish 3rd on the day and also for the season as a whole. Hayden Gear lead the team home (6th in 14:26), Kaz Gogol (20th in 15:37) and the team was closed by Callum Featherstone (22nd in 15:49). The team was supported by Jacob Graham (31st in 16:33), Elliot Chamberlain (35th in 16:59) and Daniel McGoldrick (46th in 18:10). As a result of his consistency, Hayden Gear who is in his first year in this age group was rewarded with an individual bronze, Callum Featherstone was 14th overall, Elliot Chamberlain was 18th and Dan McGoldrick was 24th.

The U13 Boys finished 3rd on the day and 4th overall. Theo Ronchetti was first home (11th in 12:49), followed by Jay Trimmer (14th in 13:05) and Matthew Sherry (23rd in 13:49), followed immediately by Joel Pickup (24th in 13:51)

M&M’s junior female age groups put in a great turnout for the final Kent League match of 2019 in Foots Cray.

in the U17 Women’s race. First home was Charlotte Young in 8th place followed by Billie Rouse in 13th place, replicating her finish position from the previous Kent League event at Danson Park. All the girls are now looking forward to the Kent Championships at Brands Hatch in January.

The Under 15 Girls put in a really strong performance to finish 3rd in the team event on the day, despite missing some of their regular athletes.  Well done to Annabel Young who finished in an excellent 7th place, followed by Abigail Royden in 11th, then Emma Ryan in 14th place to take the third team scoring place. All three girls finished in their highest places for the season so well done to all of them. Next home for M&M was Lily Crossley (28th), Sarah Mitchell (35th), Katie Stringer (38th), Amy Jukes (46th) and Ciara Harrop (47th).

In the U13 Girls race, Iris Crossley came home first for M&M once again in 18th – she has been home first for M&M U13 Girls in all four Kent League events so well done Iris. Following her over the line for M&M in an excellent 24th place was Sofia Cudmore-Smith in her very first race for the club – she only celebrated her 11th birthday just a few days before!  Next home was Beth Palmer in 35th (her highest place this season), then Heidi Hughes in 43rd and then Evie Cameron in 52nd, in her first cross country race for the club.