Trent Park may have been at its muddiest worst but it was an excellent day for all that are involved with the club as the Young Athletes section carried off the Howard Williams Junior Trophy by just two points from Shaftesbury, with last year's overall winners, VPH, in third spot. Four other trophies were secured: Under 11 Girls, Under 13 Boys and Girls and Junior Men. Overall individual awards were won by Jimmy Geller (U13 B), Kai Boggon (U15B), Zahara Malcolm (U13G) and Joe Geller (U17M).
Photo below: U13 Boys start line. By Estelle Savidge
Under 11 Girls
8 girls toed the line for this race over 1600 metres which was a tough circuit around the top end of the park with a long incline towards the end. Abigail Reid took advice from her coach by staying with the Middlesex Champion Abdirahman and, as the two of them sped away from the runners, it looked as though it could be a close race. The incline towards the end saw the Hillingdon girl pull away slightly at the end but Abigail should be more than happy with being just 10 seconds down on a highly talented runner. Rosemary Kelly, the reigning West Essex Schools Year 6 champion, ran really well for 3rd, just 40 metres down on Abigail, with Herts Schools runner Holly Hudson closing fast in 4th spot. Isabelle Kyson closed the team in 17th spot really, showing such determination at the end. The team won on the day again, and overall too, by nearly 200 points.
Fresh from a tremendous parkrun the week before, Rose Grady was 18th. Emily and Alice Caton have shown improvement throughout the season with 20th and 23th. In between them was Isobelle Matheron with 22nd, also having a good run in the mud. The B team were 5th on the day but 4th overall - a tremendous performance. Over 50 started.
Under 11 Boys
We had 7 lads on the line to run the same course as the girls. Eden McNicholas was asked by his coach not to lead early on and sit in and wait to see if he had enough at the end. He stuck to the advice given and it ended up being a three horse race. Stubbs had a bit more at the end to come home 9 seconds ahead of Eden, who is also the reigning West Essex Schools Year 6 Champion, just losing out 2nd spot right at the end. Lucas Panay, a talented lad, was 14th and should be happy with his form. Edward Brigstocke-Williams placed 19th, a good run for him, with Flynn Scrivener in 25th to close the team in 2nd spot, which was an excellent result on the day. Back up was in hand as another good run from Hector Clark gave him 25th, with Leo Everitt in 27th and new lad Ethan Day in 32nd spot. The team placed an excellent 5th overall - after having no runners in the first match!
Under 13 Girls
6 girls toed the line to complete two laps of what the Under 11s ran. Kezia Beeton and Miya Maeda were in the top 10 in the early stages from a starting field of nearly 40 runners. At this stage VPH had three runners in the top 6, with high-flying Flannery and Naughton leading. On the 2nd lap Miya came through strongly to overhaul Naughton and nearly catch Flannery for a stunning 2nd spot - how this girl has improved this season! Behind Miya, Kezia held 9th spot, which was another fine run. Molly Matheron, now a county runner, held on well for 12th. There was a fine debut from Mary Hardy in 14th, and she closed the team into 2nd spot on the day and 1st overall by nearly 60 points.
The extremely reliable Larna Morgan was close behind in 15th. Bronya Overington should be hugely commended for just getting round in 30th - she had not been at all well in recent weeks but wanted to be there with her friends to be part of a winning squad. Zahara Malcolm was rested by her coach with the National Indoors coming up, plus an indoor race the next day.
Under 13 Boys
The boys also raced over 3200 metres. A large field of over 55 runners set out with Jimmy Geller and Jacob Hardy sharing the lead. Jacob came into the race unwell but did not want to let the team down. Unfortunately, he was forced to retire early on the 2nd lap, leaving Jimmy out on his own. He ran brilliantly to win his 3rd Met League and the overall individual award to boot. Evan Johnson, so close to winning the Herts Schools XC Year 7 race the previous weekend, had his highest placing with 6th spot. After a bad start saw him way down in the early stages, Nathan Wright closed up fast and finished 7th. Returning from injury, James Brigstocke-Williams had a fine run to close the scoring four in 10th place. Thus the team finished 1st on the day, and 1st overall by 150 points.
Reuben Fabian had a brilliant run for 12th, his highest place so far, with Luca Gormley in 21st. Ben Savidge was another to excel with 24th. Rafferty Groat 40th and Ronan Edwards 41st are just great club runners. Ronan had set a school 800m record 4 days earlier at Lee Valley with 2mins 34secs for 800m.
Most of the lads knew what to expect at Trent Park as they train there every week Sunday with Richard Thurston. The boys won on the day overall, by a mighty 200 points.
In the Under 17 race Joe Geller should be delighted with 2nd, just 10 seconds down on Bizimana from VPH, who had won the Inter Boys 1500m at last year's English Schools. Thomas Adolphus was an excellent 7th place. Matthew Gormley ran superbly for 11th, and Videsh Weerakkody was 15th.
In the Under 15 Boys race combined with Under 17s, Kai Boggon had another blinder for 1st, just 20 seconds behind the International Under 17 winner. Sidnie Ward confirmed to his coaches he can really master the mud for an excellent 4th, with Herts county champion Ben Sloan holding on for 6th after a fast start. Rhys Edwards also ran a blinder for 7th, with Sam Sloan a great run for 8th. Another great club lad, Liam Waldron, ran well for 20th. Returning from illness, Joe Morgan had a solid run for 22nd. Fred Taylor, immensely reliable, was 40th. In my eyes Fred is such a great club lad on both country and track.
We had just 2 runners, both Under 15s, on the line, but they acquitted themselves really well indeed in the mud. Returning from injury, Wren Jackson was 10th in her age group, while county runner Ellen Savidge also ran well for 16th. The club were 11th on the day and 10th overall.
So... Much to celebrate on the 24th April when the trophies will be presented! Sue Edwards must be congratulated by doing an excellent job with the numbers over five matches.
We must now think ahead to maintaining these excellent turnouts as the Team Manager will look to recruit locally at Woodford to strengthen the squad still further. The parents and other coaches must be applauded as, in my eyes, a real togetherness had led to these magnificent results.