The Kent Cross Country League returned on Saturday, with the first race of the season held at Swanley Park. The league is contested by many of the top middle-distance runners from Kent and South-East London. In the Senior Men’s race, Medway & Maidstone AC had 20 runners competing, a great turn out considering many of the club runners had competed in marathons in the previous 2 weeks. The club had 12 runners in the top 60 and 17 runners in the top 100, showing great strength in depth. In spite of having 4 finishers in the first 15 (39 points), the club failed to win the 4-to-score team position as Tonbridge AC had a superb team result taking the top 3 places and 9th (15 points). M&M still had a great result with 2nd team out of 20 teams. Cambridge Harriers were 3rd (63 points). In the 12-to-score team competition, Tonbridge AC also took first place (286), with M&M again second (389), followed by Blackheath and Bromley (536). M&Ms team first scorer was Ben Tyler in 6th. He was closely followed by Tewelde Menges in 7th and Tom Collins in 11th. Jamie Walsh completed the 4-to-score team in 15th place. To complete the 12-to-score team the top 4 were followed by Anthony Webb (21st); Chris Humphreys in his first race for M&M in 30th; Daniel St-Martin (35th); Justin Lane (40th); Neill Wright (49th); followed by Cameron Featherstone (56th), Alex Donnelly (59th) and Cameron Featherstone (60th), all competing in their first Senior Men’s Kent League race.
The Senior Ladies team were led home by Karen Cudmore (72nd), with Hayley Palmer (89th) in her first Kent League race. She was closely followed by Cat Rodwell (92nd), with Sarah Kenyon (109th) completing the ladies team.M&M had a good turnout in the Under 17 and Under 20 women’s age groups at Swanley Park with a total of eleven athletes taking part. In the Under 17 Women’s race, M&M had three finishers in the top ten and were narrowly beaten into second place in the team event. Abigail Royden was first home in 5th place, closely followed by Lily Crossley in 6th and Natalia Austin in 7th place in the team scoring places. They were followed home by Beth Palmer (11th), Lola Sutton (12th), Abigail Hawkes (19th) and Molly Marsh (22nd). M&M’s Under 20 women were also well represented with four athletes taking part. First home was Ella Webb in an excellent 3rd place, followed by Anna Palmer (8th), Ciara Harrop (16th) and Sharne Elphick finishing 19th.
The Under 15 girls saw Iris Crossley finishing in 2nd place though would have taken first except for an unfortunate wrong turn on the course. Her sister, Rose Crossley, finishing strongly in 3rd and Sofia Cudmore-Smith (16th). Heidi Hughes close behind (18th), Elizabeth (32nd) and Erin Marsh (34th).
With many of the Under 13 girls new to the team they finished in a commendable 5th place. Olivia Baker (19th), Gwennan Thomas (23rd), Lottie Brigitte (28th), Matilda Moisan (42nd), Maisie Graham (48th) and Ava Graham (49th) with the team finishing in 5th place
The Under 17 men’s saw Hayden Gear win convincingly followed by equally strong runs from Franklin Shepherd (3rd) and Riley Maisey (5th). Winning overall team in this first meeting.The under 13 boys saw Freddie Gibson right in the middle of the leading group holding third place as the leader stretched away. With Gibson chasing him down and surging clear to take the win. He was followed home by Oscar Wharton (22nd) and Louie Gear (28th) place. Oliver Field (37th) Henry Powell (43rd), Dominic Powell (60th) and Oliver Fowler (69th) providing support. The team currently lie in 4th place.
In the U15 boys Theo Ronchetti worked his way through the field first home for the club in 8th, Dillon Gregor (37th) and the team of three was completed by Alfred Moisan (43rd). Support was provided by Henry Gibson (48th) and Sam Fowler (63rd). The team are currently 6th with three further races to be completed by the end of November.