Kent Cross Country League, Foots Cray – 27th November 2021

After large entries for the first two races, Medway & Maidstone AC struggled to fill the 12-to-score Senior Men’s team for the 3rd race at Foots Cray. With many marathons being moved to Autumn this year, a very busy racing calendar and the club also competing on Sunday, a full and fit team was difficult to put together.  Nevertheless, 12 runners did turn out and completed the 8 Km course without injury. Tonbridge, once again, were 1st in the 4-to-score and 12-to-score teams, with Medway taking 2nd (out of 18 complete teams) in the 4-to-score.  This leaves the club 2nd overall with just one remaining race.  The 12-to-score team, with two previous 2nd places, slipped to 3rd on the day, but remain in a clear 2nd place overall.  

M & M’s top scorer was Tom Collins in 10th, leaving him 4th overall after 3 races. Tewelde Menges shows signs of returning to his previous form, finishing in 12th.  Anthony Webb (M45) continued his great season finishing in 15th. After 3 races he has a clear overall lead in the master’s competition. The 4-to-score team was closed by Jacques Cunningham-Marsh in 17th.

Completing the club’s 12-to-score positions were: – Mark Wilkins (M40 in 28th), Neill Wright (M45 in 38th), Jack Crossley (M40 in 41st), Noel Lyons (M50 in 44th) who is clear leader in the M50 competition, Gareth William (M55 in 56th), Sean Rodwell (65th), Alun Rodgers (M55 87th) and Bob Fursey (M55 in 170th).  

Whilst the team continues to compete at a high level, severaltop positions continue to be filled by Master 40 and Master 50 runners.  Looking forward, it would be good to see more younger runners coming into the team. It’s good to see that looking at the younger age groups there are some good prospects for the team in the next few seasons.

The final race in the Kent League is on 12th February 2022, at Norman Park Bromley. The next race for the club’s Masters is the Kent Cross-country Championships at Dartford next week-end, where the club has some strong teams entered.  

The 4th and final meeting of the Kent Cross Country League for the U17s and U20s. With the temperature just above freezing and a strong wind, made this a challenging course. The U17s team were represented by Cameron & Callum Featherstone, who both run strong races finishing 12th & 18th respectively, in a very strong field of athletes. The U20 Men were unable to defend the Team title they won last time out, finishing a creditable 2nd place overall by only 1 point. The Team were represented by Alex Donnelly who placed 8th on the day and fiished the league season 4th overall, just missing out on an individual medal.  Sean Barwick finished 14th after unfortunately taking a wrong turn on the course (6th overall in championship standing), Isaac Thomas made up the team on the day finishing 13th.

In the U13 boys Reuben Sarakbi was the first finisher (10th), the scoring was completed by Owen Tucker (24th) and Henry Powell (34th), Supported by Jake Alford (41st), Dominic Powell (49th) and Sebastian Charilaou (60th). They finished 5th team on the day and 5th overall.

The U15 boys team continued their rich vein of form with Alex Dack winning, closely followed by Franklin Shepherd in 2nd place and Theo Ronchetti (9th) supported by Jay Trimmer (33rd). The team were winners on the day and took the team title (winning 3 of the 4 matches) alongside Franklin Shepherd who took the individual title.

M&M’s U17 & U20 Women were out in force again The ladies finished the league with more excellent performances leading to some great final standings in both the individual and team league tables.  In the Under 17 event, Lily Crossley was first back in 6th position, her highest position over all four events.  She was followed soon afterwards by Abigail Royden in 7th place, continuing her excellent season.  Next back was Lola Sutton in 14th position, Ella Webb  (16th) and Annabel Young (17th), Jenny Swandale (29th), Ingrid Linn (33rd), and Ciara Harrop (40th).  The Under 17 Women finished second in the team event on the day and in a very creditable third place overall in the league.  In the individual league standings, Abigail Royden finished third overall.

In the Under 20 Women’s event, Billie Rouse finished in 3rd place and Rachel Anderson finished 6th.  Billie was also crowned Kent League U20 Women’s Champion after her solid performances across the four races.

A number of the M&M U17 & U20 women have been selected to represent Kent in the Inter Counties cross country event in Croydon in December thanks to their performances in the Kent League.  Congratulations to Abigail Royden, Lily Crossley, Ella Webb, Charlotte Young, Billie Rouse and Rachel Anderson.

The U15 girls saw Iris Crossley and Natalie Austin fighting to the line for 5th and 6th place respectively. Strong support from Millie Dack (14th) finishing the 3 to score team and an overall 2nd place in the final team standings. Iris Crossley taking first place individual honours over the 4 races. Further team support came from  Heidi Hughes (28th), Ferne Pierce (35th), Abigail Hawkes (37th), Molly Marsh (43rd), Erin Marsh (44th) and Sophie Stratford (45th). Iris Crossley and Natalie Austin both gaining Kent selection for the Inter-counties race on 11th December.

Rose Crossley finished another competitive race in 3rd place. Strong support from Sienna Mabb (15th) and Sophie Cudmore-Smith (16th) completed team scoring. The team finishing in an impressive 1st place in the overall team standings. Additional support from team-mates Sienna Gratwick (33rd) and Darcy Scott (37th). Rose Crossley and Sophie Cudmore-Smith finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively in the overall individual standings and selection for Kent for the Inter-counties race on December 11th in Croydon