Around 50 young athletes turned up at Stanborough Park, Welwyn, to be greeted by sunny skies and a mild autumn day. They were the lucky ones as rain came along for our Senior Women and even worse conditions for the Men as a cloudburst drenched all the runners in the final race.
It was another excellent day for our youngsters as we maintain a healthy overall lead in the Howard Williams Junior Trophy whilst retaining leads in five of the age group categories.
Convincing: Abigail Reid wins the U13 race by 26 seconds
A magnificent turnout for this age group, and many of our committee members saw with delight how well they packed. We had 8 runners in the top 16 in the U17 age group from 45 starters. Ben Sloan, who is hoping for a sub 4 minute 1500m next summer, led the team home in a highly commendable 4th spot. Next home, in 9th, was Kai Boggon, who was not feeling 100% but proudly gave it a go. Then, within the next 20 seconds, six more Woodies poured in with Kieran Allgood (10), Videsh Weerakkody (11), Thomas Adolpus (12), Sam Sloan (13th), Liam Waldron (15) and Rhys Edwards (16). On the day we had 1st and 2nd teams with our A team now leading in the league by 49 points. Without any doubt, this was a tremendous team performance.
In the U15 boys race, held in conjunction with this, Maxwell Chinn was 42nd. Credit to the lad as the previous day he was hare for no fewer than 4 races in East Herts Primary Schools XC.
For a variety of reasons we only had three runners cross the line with our team holding onto 6th spot in the league. In the U17 Women, Wren McLean had a fine race to place 6th whilst, in the U15 Girls, Miya Maeda was 9th with a much improved run from Ellen Savidge in 12th spot.
These girls are wonderful team players so every bit of praise they get is fully justified.
No-one in sight: Jimmy Geller wins the U13 race by 20 seconds
Jimmy Geller took the lead early on and never looked back as he strode to an impressive 20 seconds win over George Ward from Herts Phoenix. Jimmy was well backed up by his teammates to say the least. Reuben Fabian had an excellent run for 5th with Luca Gormley 6th, Evan Johnson a much improved 7th, and Nathan Wright 10th. There were 75 starters in this race so some fine running from our lads. Ben Savidge excelled again with 22nd, just ahead of Sid Cody in 26th - both excellent runs. Another to really excel was Ronan Edwards in 30th, with William Kok 35th. Credit again goes to Rafferty Groat for 52nd, putting over 20 runners behind him.
So again we hold a healthy 74 point lead, but we shall lose 4 lads at the next match as it clashes with the Essex Champs. Our B team sit in 3rd spot.
Abigail Reid made light work of winning by a huge margin of 26 seconds, taking the lead on the first small lap. Behind Abigail there was a good scrap with five runners coming in within 20 seconds of the second place runner. Hillingdon occupied 2nd and 3rd spot but the next three places were occupied by Woodettes. Tilly Major came through strongly to grab 4th and was fast catching the two Hillingdon athletes. Kezia Beeton was next home in 5th but struggled with a stitch for much of the race. Rosemary Kelly, our West Essex Year 7 XC champion, ran brilliantly again for 6th (how this girl has improved!) Never too far behind was another fine run from Emily Caton in 17th spot. Emily Millward is another who has improved greatly since joining our club and she was 27th, with Bronya Overington returning to fitness in 28th. Rose Grady, who was 3rd in the West Essex Schools XC, was 30th. Alice Caton finished 35th and Molly Wain, another great club girl, was 41st. The girls lead overall by 74 points with the B team in 3rd spot. As with the U13 Boys, we will be without 4 girls at the next match due to the Essex Champs.
Gregor Samson: Led our squad home at Welwyn
We had seven boys, with two of them making their debut. Gregor Samson led the team home in 5th spot, a much improved run on his Claybury performance. Flynn Scrivener, a most reliable lad, was 21st. Next home, in 23rd place, was Sebastian Reid, who has just turned 9, making a great debut. Rhodri Morgan, reliable as always, was 29th. Never far behind was Leo Everett in 30th, with Jude Purser, another who is just 9 years of age, 35th, and another debutant, Oskar Kyson, in 41st.
The boys were 4th on the day and still lead overall.
Isabelle Kyson: An excellent 2nd place
Isabelle Kyson was an early leader until, towards the end, TVH's Skye Bishop took over. At the end it was just three seconds in it as Skye won for the 2nd time with our girl Isabelle just three seconds adrift. Molly Sherrin pushed through strongly at the end to grab 3rd. Amana Oguntuga had another good outing for 13th, while in 15th of the 50 starters was another debutant, Autumn Le Chevalier, who ran brilliantly. Autumn, who won the Harlow Primary Year 3 XC last month, was never put off in the slightest racing against girls two years older than her. In 31st was Megan Alin, who again ran well. Alicia Percy twisted her ankle early on but finished bravely in 35th place.
The girls lead by 35 points, but VPH were missing Ruby James so a close battle is anticipated in this age group.
So this was another fine showing from our youngsters, who all can take great pride in themselves .
The next match, on 1st December at Uxbridge, is a vital one as 8 of our top U13s will be competing in the Essex Champs on the same day. The Essex AA committee have assured me that this clash will not happen again.