No less than 53 young athletes turned out on a lovely warm day at Claybury in the autumn sunshine. Although a great turnout, we were missing the likes of Wren Jackson (supporting on the day recovering from flu) Louise Gilbert, Jacob Hardy and Emily Scofield, all who had valid reasons for not racing.
Our youngsters are now 2nd in the Howard Williams Trophy, just one point behind current leaders Victoria Park Harriers.
Photos (by Alex Wardle) (can be downloaded)
In the Girls race Woodford fielded no less than 16 runners. Molly Sherrin, the current Essex Schools Year 4 champion (photo right), placed 4th, a fine run, just 8 seconds behind Herts County Year 5 champion Tilly Major. Holly Hudson, a Herts County schools runner, placed a praiseworthy 5th, 50 metres down on Molly. Molly Wain was next home, a great run in 13th place, nearly a minute faster than last year. To close our winning team was West Essex Schools champion Rosemary Kelly 14th. Isobel Matheron was next in 15th - another fine run for a Year 5 girl. Rose Grady was another to improve by 40 seconds in 17th place. Not far behind and closing our B team into 4th place were Emily and Alice Caton in 20th and 22nd place. Another Year 5 girl, Amelia Berni, was 28th, followed in by Lexie Gobran (35), Isobel Kyson (38), Lily Spong (40), Megan Dudley (46), Lore Yoloye (47), Samah Kiyani (53) and Maria Kiyani (54). This was a wonderful turnout from this section.
In the Boys race, two lads were so unfortunate to miss the start but ran in the Girls race. Flynn Scrivener would have placed 17th in the boys race and Jean-Marc Harriott would have placed 18th. Daniel Bergerthal actually placed 31st in the race.
Under 13 Girls
The girls put in a tremendous performance to place equal 2nd from 18 clubs, just 2 points behind winners Thames Valley.
Zahara Malcolm (photo left below) had another excellent run over the country to place a fine 4th from nearly 60 starters. Zahara’s main aim for next year is to make the English Schools and she knows that a good cross country season is vital to her. Molly Matheron’s 9th place can best be described as a “blinder”. Closing in the team was Larna Morgan 14th, another member of our all-conquering Under 11 Girls team from last year, and Bronya Overington, again another in fine form in 5th. New member Miya Maeda, rapidly improving, was 16th. Bearing in mind most of this squad are bottom Year Under 13s it was an excellent performance.
10 young athletes toed the line for the 3000m U13 Boys race, which was double last years team! Jimmy Geller was first home, in 2nd place, even paced with Abdirahman Hamud, a year older, throughout most of the race, Jimmy felt chest pains on the final hill and struggled to finish 12 seconds behind. It was only after a message to the club that it transpired the eventual winner had fallen shortly into the second lap and Jimmy had stopped and picked the Hillingdon runner so they could continue the race! Next home was Nathan Wright whose improvement this summer is evidence in his 4th place, just 13 seconds behind Jimmy. Alessandro Berni (9) 11.32 and Evan Johnson (15) 11.45, still bubbling from their recent county relay silverware, closed the ‘A’ scoring team and sealed the Woodford win.
Next home our Met league stalwart Luca Gormley opened up the B team score. Luca ended the race with something left in the tank to sprint up the hill taking 3 places in the last 100m and found himself two places behind Evan for 17th. The constantly improving Ronan Edwards should be very pleased with his 28th in 12.09. Maxwell Chinn, who recently returned to form in a Hertfordshire Schools race, must be given real credit for his performance given he was tripped on the line and had to brush himself down and then work his way through the pack for 34th, in 12:18. Bottom year runner Sid Cody (37) ran very well to come in in 12.24 in a large group of finishers just behind Maxwell on the home straight and closed the B team who achieved a very creditable 8th in the team result.
Jay Russell was next in in 12:30 for 42nd. Jay has had 6 weeks out with a broken wrist and prefers the shorter distance track events but he nevertheless gritted his teeth and got on with it. Rafferty Groat made his Met league debut and showed great determination in the home straight to finish 53rd in 13:09. And, finally, Jake Wickens came home in 66th in 14:02.
Special mention must be made of James Brigstocke Williams who, side-lined with a knee injury, came down to support his team mates - we hope that James and his other team mate Ben Savidge are both fit and well to travel to Welwyn for race 2 to strengthen our lead in the division.
Under 15/17 Girls
With both Wren Jackson and Louise Gilbert not racing, although Wren sportingly turned up to support the girls, we were not going to be at our best in this age group. However the four girls that raced all finished and are a great credit to our sport and club. The girls placed 12th. Siena Taylor is starting to show signs she is getting back to her best with a good showing of 11th in the Under 17 girls race. Ellen Savidge, in her first Met League race, should be happy with 29th. Earlier in the week Ellen scooped the West Essex Junior Girls XC title. Georgina Handford was close to Ellen for 30th and Hollie McArdell did really well to place 33rd as she comes back from injury.
So a great day of racing from our youngsters and a great atmosphere shared with parents and coaches. We now look forward to the next match at Welwyn Garden City and we will have the addition of Primary Schools winners from our recent schools races Abigail Reed and Edan McNicholas.
Our first runner home was Joe Geller, a bottom year U17, who was really happy with 4th place in 14.11. Hot on his heels 4 seconds behind was Todd Maleary in 5th, Todd ran a great race and in the final 100m had to fight hard to stop a Cookham runner turning into the final hill. Kai Boggon, our British triathlete, was a great 3rd in the U15 category and 9th overall, in 14.31. Rhys Edwards was next in as 8th U15. He is improving in almost every race and he closed the A team.
Just 3 seconds after Rhys and opening the B team in 15.14 was Ben Sloan, who was 19th U17 and 10th U15. He was followed by Sidnie Ward in 23rd overall and 12th U15. Kieran Allgood, who is enjoying his second season, openly admitted after the race he had overcooked the hill, but should be happy with his placing of 29th U17 and 15th U15 amongst such a strong field. Thomas Adolphus made his Met League debut and was 31st U17, closing the B team who finished a very creditable 5th in the Team competition.
Liam Waldron, enjoying his third Claybury race, ran most of the race with Joe Morgan (photo right) coming in 18th and 19th U15 in 15.42 and 15.50 respectively.
Videsh Weerakkody, another debutant, produced a fine performance for 50th U17 and was even seen smiling just before the final hill! William Clifton finished just behind Videsh in 16.35 for 30th U15. Bradley Jay made 50th U15 and Matthew Gormley, a lower year U17, enjoyed his baptism of fire coming home 82nd tired but with a smile on his face.