Kent Cross-Country Championships, Brands Hatch – Saturday 4th January 2020

Medway & Maidstone AC had a successful day at the Kent Cross-Country Championships at Brands Hatch on Saturday 4th January 2020. Luckily the weather held and although the ground was soft, with the recent dry spell, the ground had dried out significantly. With Congratulations to Anna Palmer, overall winner in the U15 girls and 7 team medals collected over the day. 

There was a very good turnout for the Kent Senior Men’s team with 18 athletes completing the 12000km course. The team were rewarded with bronze medals in both the 6-to-score and 12-to-score team competitions. The overall 6-to-score team winners were Tonbridge, followed by Kent AC, then Medway & Maidstone AC. Tonbridge AC also claimed the 12-to-score team win, again followed by Kent AC and Medway & Maidstone AC. The overall individual winner was Owen Hind of Kent AC covering the 12 Km course in 40.15. The silver medal place was claimed by Benedict Cole of Tonbridge (40.29), with fellow team mate Corey De’Ath taking bronze (40.43).

First runner for Medway & Maidstone AC was Teweldebrahn Menges, who has improved season on season, this his highest place to date, 5th in 41.00, less than a minute behind the leader. Second for the club was the ever-improving Marley Godden in 13th (42.19), with Tom Collins 21st, Mark Wilkins 27th, Jack Crossley 39th and Justin Lane 42nd completing the 6-to-score bronze medal team. The 12-to score team was completed by Neill Wright 46th, Barry Royden 50th, Daniel St Martin 58th, Richard Tomlinson, returning after a long injury outage in 64th, Daniel Longhurst 66th and Harry Collins 67th. The overall team was completed by Alun Rodgers 74th, Adam Featherstone 81st, Sean Rodwell 92nd Nigel Lowther 113th, Bob Fursey 166th and Steve Stratford 173rd. 51.47). There were 199 finishers. 

The Under 20 Men were unable to repeat their team success in the Kent League and placed 4th overall in the team event, just missing out on a medal. Jacques Cunningham-Marsh had an excellent individual performance finishing 6th.  Alex Donnelly backed him up in 20th, Reegan Archer 25th and Quinn Austin 26th.

The Under 17 Men were led by Hamish Reilly, finishing in an individual placing of 7th.  Hamish was supported by Luke Stringer (17th), Finlay Macdonald (31st) and Ethan Gear. The Team were well placed to pick up a team medal when unfortunately, an injury to one of the athletes forced him to stop. 

The U15 boys continued their good form from the Kent League with strong running from Hayden Gear (10th in 15:59), Callum Featherstone (22nd in 16:56), Kaz Gogol (24th in 17:07) and Olly Brownridge (25th in 17:13) to secure a team bronze, further support was provided by Cameron Featherstone (31st in 17:37), Alistair Shelley (34th in 17:55) and Elliot Chamberlain (55th in 20:52).

The U13 boys finished league season strongly in third place and this was replicated in the Kent championships with excellent performances from Jay Trimmer (14th in 12:27), Theo Ronchetti (15th in 12:31), Ethan Rollings (24th in 13:01) and Henry Gibson (29th in 13:32) securing the team bronze, they were supported by Joel Pickup (46th in 15:10) and Liam Kyson-Waller (47th in 15:38),

M&M’s senior ladies team had a successful day collecting 2 team medals. In the 3-to-score Emily Hale was first across the line for M&M and continuing her strongest season yet. Maintaining her position over the 8350k course and finishing in 11th place. Working her way through the field to finish 16th was Jemma Whyman, followed by Taryne McPherson in 24th and collecting a well-deserved bronze team medal. Also finishing well, Jenny Fowler 37th, Antel Muller, 61st and Vanessa Vander, 64th closing the 6-to-score and collecting another bronze team medal. Other individual places were Karen Cudmore, 68th, Bernadette Harrop, 80th and Kat Ford, 113th.

In the Under 17 Women’s age group, Charlotte Young ran another consistent race over the tough 6km course to finish 8th and it was a welcome return to competition for Helena Scott, who finished in 15th place. M&M unfortunately only had two athletes In the U17 Women age group, so were not able to register a team score in this age category.

In the junior female age groups, 8 athletes competing in the Under 15 girls and 7 in the Under 13 girls.The Under 15 girls had their best team result to date this season, securing silver in the team event.  Anna Palmer ran a flawless race, sitting in the lead pack throughout the race and then taking the lead in the last 600 metres to win the race and take the Kent U15 Girls Champion title for the first time. Annabel Young ran a strong race to finish in an excellent 8th place, followed by Abigail Royden who finished in a great 11th place to take the three scoring places and secure the team silver.  They were followed home by Emma Ryan (19th), Lily Crossley (25th), Sarah Mitchell (33rd), Katie Stringer (42nd) and Ciara Harrop (47th).

Iris Crossley was first home again for M&M in the Under 13 girls age group in 14th place, followed by Elizabeth Fry (29th), Beth Palmer (32nd), Sofia Cudmore-Smith (39th), Heidi Hughes (44th), Sophie Stratford (46th) and Olivia Ryan (51st).  The team finished in a creditable 6th place on the day.