No fewer than 55 of our young athletes made the short journey to Alexander Palace for our final fixture, all keen to protect five of our age category leads plus the Howard Williams Junior overall trophy.
Although a sunny day there was a very strong wind blowing across the course which slowed the runners on the final stretch of their races. Recent rain had also left parts of the course very muddy indeed. This did not deter our athletes one bit, and they went on to retain the overall Junior trophy by a massive 17 points, and retain the leads we had on the various age groups, to boot. Many of the club's committee were there to witness this wonderful achievement for the second year in a row.
2018-19 Winners of the Howard Williams (Junior) Trophy
With coach Steve Cody & Team Manager John Stow (photo: Sally Chapman)
Under 15/17 Boys
We only had six boys on the starting line, as injury ruled out two of our promising athletes. One had an important university trip and Sidnie Ward is wisely focusing on the indoor season. The boys that did start were magnificent. When you consider that four of them are currently taking their GCSEs, this was a superb achievement on their part. They won on the day and held their lead overall by over 100 points.
Leading the team: Ben Sloan (photo: Sally Chapman)
Ben Sloan led the team home in 7th spot but was only a metre behind 4th, a fine run from the lad. Next home was our international duathlete, Kai Boggon, in 9th place, with Kieran Allgood closing all the time in 10th spot. Jacob Hardy, who is now a county athlete, had a great run to place 9th place in the Under 15 boys, run in conjunction with U17s. Fred Taylor must be congratulated too, as he is one heck of a club runner and turns out faithfully race after race for us. Fred was 29th U17. Over 85 started. Brave Sam Sloan started but wisely withdrew early on in view of a leg injury that will now need physio. But he had a go.
Another promising WGEL talent: Miya Maeda (photo: Sally Chapman)
We had five girls starting from a field of over 55 runners. Miya Maeda had another fine run for 6th U15 to finish and 10th overall. In fact Miya is probably one of the youngest runners in the field. Wren McLean-Jackson was 8th in the U17 Girls race. Wren, too, is currently in the middle of her GCSEs so great credit to her for turning out and supporting the club. Ellen Savidge had another good run and is improving all the time for 12th in the Under 15 girls race. Siena Taylor made a welcome return for 13th in the Under 17 race and it was good to see this county runner back. Jessica Adams, new to our sport, ran well for 14th. The girls were 5th on the day and 5th overall.
Under 13 Boys
Jimmy Geller was all set for four wins out of four this season, but this one was much more difficult for the lad. Receiving a spike through his shoe 100 metres into the race, he showed bravery and determination to even finish the race, never mind notch another victory. Having received treatment after the race he is now OK and should be back training this week. Evan Johnson continues to improve and the Steve Cody-coached lad ended up an excellent 3rd, while Nathan Wright was not far behind in 5th. Reuben Fabian finished strongly for 12th, with a whole string of Woodies close behind. Sid Cody 17th, William Kok 19th, Ben Savidge 20th, Thomas Kok 22nd. Huge credit must also go to Rafferty Groat, who always finishes like a train, for his 46th. Around 50 started. The boys won by 280 points and - worth noting! - our B team were 3rd in the division! A tremendous performance from all involved here.
This was to be Abigail Reid's third race in six days, but this not deter her from taking an early lead to win comfortably. Mind you Abigail could not afford to relax too much because coming through strongly at the end, and closing down on Abigail, was Tilly Major who had another great run indeed. Tilly had been slightly unwell during the week but this not deter our tenacious youngster. Kezia Beeton, who had a brilliant run midweek, was never too far away with an excellent 4th spot. Rosemary Kelly, now a county runner, placed 8th, while our next runner, Larna Morgan, came through strongly to place 11th to complete a great week for her as she, too, will be representing Essex Schools next month. Mary Hardy was great in 12th. Bronya Overington, waiting as first reserve for Essex next month, was 25th. Emily Caton must be hugely congratulated for even completing the course as she took a nasty tumble early on which left her shaken and muddy. Emily, now also a county runner, was 29th. Molly Wain is another to be showing improved form for 34th and Emily Millward placed 42nd. The girls won on the day and by 220 points overall. About 50 started. It is worth noting that our B team finished 4th in the league!
Under 11 Boys
We had no fewer than 11 lads on the start line from 48 starters. Gregor Samson was always in the lead group of four and hung on well to finish 4th and lead the team home in 2nd place on the day, thus clinching the league title by over 110 points. Oliver Brown had yet another top 10 finish, with Year 4 lad Sebastian Reid placing 12th - a superb run from him. Thomas Kirkland showed improved form for 19th, while Rhodri Morgan and Oskar Kyson had a great sprint as they took 24th and 25th. Other runners from this victorious squad include: Yuvan Kumar 29th, Leo Everett 32nd, Jude Pursar 35th, Jacob Branch (having played a footy match just before the race) 39th, and new lad Ted Goldenberg 41st. Our B team finished 8th overall.
Under 11 Girls
The talented Isabelle Kyson was unable to start due to a heavy cold, which was a wise decision on her part. This did not stop her coming to support her team mates who were 2nd on the day by just two points but took the league title nonetheless. Great credit to Isabelle! Molly Sherrin was first home in 2nd spot, which was a great run - she was always with the pace. Amana Oguntaga was also with the leading bunch as she produced a brilliant run for 4th spot. Next home was Year 4 girl Autumn Le Chavalier, the Harlow Schools XC Champion, who had an amazing run for 11th. Jasmina Caras, who was so unlucky to miss out on a Hertfordshire Schools Year 5 vest last Saturday due to the race cancellation, put in a great effort for 14th. Other Woodettes who were part of our U11 winning squad were: Megan Wright 19th, Lexie Gobran 23rd, Caitlin Hancock 24th, Megan Allen 26th, Tilly Anne-Brewin 27th, Maya McNeils 28th, Alicia Percy 39th, and on her debut Jess Molt 42nd. Around 50 started. The B team finished 6th in the league.
So it was another superb Met League season. Amongst those who deserve praise are the parents who give the numbers out. Those involved did a great job, and the league were very grateful for your fine work.
Now, in the close season, the Team Manager will assess where work needs to be done as he plans on a third overall win again next year. The Under 13 boys is an area he will need to review as all of our current lads move up. We also have three great club girls moving into the U15 team next season.
The awards night to celebrate all this will be in the spring, but on a Saturday this year.