Southern Cross Country Championships, Parliament Hill – Saturday 25th January, 2020

Medway & Maidstone men’s team competed at the Southern Cross-country Championships last weekend. This 15km, muddy and hilly course is infamous for being tough and this year it lived up to its reputation.  The angle-deep mud on many parts of the course really took it out on those competing.  Medway & Maidstone Athletics Club men’s team lost several of their top runners to injuries just days before the race, and then Tewelde Menges had to drop out injured half-way round, when in a very creditable top 24th place.  The team still finished a creditable 25th out of 141 competing teams.  Aldershot, Farnham and District AC took first team place, followed by Tonbridge AC and Highgate Harriers.

The individual gold went to Adam Hickey of Southend who previously won the English National Championships on the same course in 2018. There were almost 1200 runners.

First home for Medway & Maidstone AC was Marley Godden in 88th place, a great result as this is his first year as a senior.  He was followed home by Ben Tyler 100th, Harry Collins 325th, Chris Rampling 335th, Owen Featherstone 387th and Daniel Longhurst 403rd, closing the six-man team.  Excellent support was also provided by Alun Rodgers in 506th, moving up 200 places on last year’s race, Gareth Williams 572nd, Sean Rodwell, moving up 200 places on last year in 635th, Adam Featherstone 657th, Stephen McGlynn 886th and Darren Wright 886th.  

The U20s Men had only 2 runners with Alex Donnelly in 90th and Reegan Archer 116th.

In in the U17s Men, Hamish Reilly had an excellent run to finish in 5th place with Ethan Gear finishing in 44th and Luke Stringer 141st.

The U15s team finished 19th overall with Hayden Gear, continuing his excellent run of form this season, leading the team home (25th), Kaz Gogol (98th), Callum Featherstone (195th) and Cameron Featherstone (234th) completing the team followed by Elliott Chamberlain (301st).

The U13s team finished 31st overall, led home by Jay Trimmer (95th), closely followed by Theo Ronchetti (100th) with Thomas Hough (285th, on his club debut) and Liam Kyson-Waller (304th).

Only one senior lady, Bernadette Harrop, contested the 8km course finishing in 379th.

M&M only had one competitor in the U17 Womens’ race. Charlotte Young continued her recent improvement in form by finishing in 42nd place. 

In the U15 Girls, Kent Champion and Kent Schools Champion Anna Palmer continued her excellent cross country season by finishing 8th.  She was followed home for M&M by another strong run for Annabel Young in 44th place, Emma Ryan in 103rd, then Abigail Royden (136), Lily Crossley (189) and Ciara Harrop (293).  The Under 15 Girls finished in an excellent 8th place out of 34 teams in the team event so well done to the girls.

In the U13 Girls, Iris Crossley was first back for M&M in 96th place and Beth Palmer was second for the club in 209th place, in a field of nearly 300 runners.