A tough, damp and wet course awaited our U11s in the second Met league race of the season at Welwyn Garden City on Saturday. However, as we’ve seen before nothing dampens the spirit of these athletes who shone bright beneath heavy grey skies.
16 WGEL boys runners / 9 Lower age group
11 WGEL girls runners / 7 Lower age group
They're off! Left to right: Megan Allin (4376), Daisy McDonald (4383) and Caitlin Hancock (4386) (Photo: Paul Hancock)
A team: Autumn Le Chevalier 4th (05:46), Jasmine Hall 5th (05:54), Caitlin Hancock 7th (05:58) & Faye Owers 18th (06:16).
B team: Megan Allin 23rd (06:27), Amber Higgs-Smith 26th (06:35), Daisy McDonald 27th (06:35) & Daisy Sherrin 28th (06:36).
Squad: Marissa Higgs-Smith 30th (06:38), Alicia Percy 35th (06:59) & Annabel Reid 36th (06:59)
U11s Girls Race Report
The U11s girls race was led home by the winner from Claybury, classy looking Rosie Shaw (SBH) in 5:36. Rosie was put under pressure from the start over a great race with Kira Corkin (2nd London Heathside), Jorsia March (3rd Barnet) and our own trio of athletes: Autumn Le Chevalier (4th), Jasmine Hall (5th) and Caitlin Hancock (7th). The first two girls broke free into the final wooded section but there was no stopping our girls as they packed right behind. The determination on their faces at the end was evidence of just how tough the course was and great testimony to their efforts. It meant we had 3 WGEL girls in the first 7 runners and we did not have to wait long to see our very own Faye Owers zooming into the finish. Again, with great determination and an accomplished sprint finish. Faye completed the A team in an amazing 18th place.
The amazing fact from this is that 3 of those 4 girls are lower age group. Autumn was 2nd for her age group, Jasmine 3rd and Faye 4th. Jasmine is first claim Harlow and runs second claim for Woodford. It was great to welcome her and she’s a superb member of the squad and everyone is excited to see where this team can go.
The girls' B team was also a sight to behold. Great packing was seen with Megan Allin first home (23rd). This was a great run by Megan and gave the B team a tremendous start to their scoring. It was fantastic to see Amber Higgs-Smith (26th) following closely behind Megan. Amber is finding her fitness after several months out. On this evidence both Megan and Amber will be pushing toward the A team. Right behind Amber was Daisy McDonald (27th) and Daisy Sherrin (28th). These two great athletes closed the B team in fantastic fashion with the trademark WGEL sprint finish in evidence.
Next in, for her first Met league outing was Marissa Higgs-Smith. Our regular midweek training member should be very proud of her first run. She will be pushing all the girls ahead over the next two races along with Alicia Percy (35th) and Annabel Reid (36th). Marissa’s bag of sweets at the end of the race was just reward for the whole squad’s efforts! The girls A team sits top of the league, with the B team in 6th and will soon be looking to climb higher on this evidence!
Special mention to Eliza Bridges who has been in great form and only stopped from competing by a broken down car. We can’t wait to see Eliza back at Met 3 next month.
A team: Thomas Kirkland 5th (05:29), Oliver Brown 6th (05:35), Rudy Parker-Bayes 7th (05:36) & Daniel Arnold 9th (05.37)
B team: Sebastian Reid 10th (05:39), Austin McKenzie 25th (6:14), Ethan Day 26th (06:20) & Oskar Kyson 27th (06:22)
Squad: Zac Everitt 29th (06:23), Stephen Ng 30th (06:26), Jude Purser 31st (06:27), Leo Everitt 32nd (06:28), Henry Bailey 33rd (06:29), Riley Michaels 36th (6:30), Josh Parry 45th (7:14) & Dom Parry 46th (7:17).
U11s Boys Race Report
Oliver Brown leads a stream of young Woodies (photo: Sally Chapman)
The boys race was a real example of the importance of a squad and what a squad we have at WGEL. Ben Redland was the eventual winner of the race, but was closely followed by Arthur Phillips (SBH 2nd) and Sammy Gibson (ESM 3rd) in a great race up top. In fourth place was Euan Phillip (SBH). This meant two SHB runners had closed. Could we get 4 home before their next 2?
Of course we could! Right behind the leaders was our first athlete home, Thomas Kirkland (5th), with Oliver Brown (6th), Rudy Parker-Bayes (7th) and Daniel Arnold (9th) right behind. Thomas is a great all round athlete and is finding confidence in his ability that is clear to see. Oliver, Rudy and Daniel completed the A team and all deserve huge credit for fighting off a very strong SHB team. Rudy and Daniel are lower age group runners and were first and second placed for that age group. Their opposition will be quaking in their spikes over the next two races and again next season! These 4 boys closed the A team in an amazing 4 in 9 vs SHB 4 in 14 to extend their lead at the top of the league.
Zooming in behind Daniel was the fantastic Sebastian Reid (10th). Sebastian is another lower age group runner and on this evidence will be pushing the A team lads all the way over the next two races. Behind Sebastian there was a tremendous tussle with 8 WGEL boys dominating the next 10 positions. This is great evidence of the squad mentality and everyone of the boys giving it there all. First of the pack was Austin McKenzie (25th) who ran fantastically well and managed to hold off our fast improving Ethan Day (26th) who finished very strongly. Oskar Kyson (27th) closed the B team. This was another great run from Oskar who is also lower age group. The B team finished 4th overall. A tremendous performance.
Zac Everitt (29th) in his first Met League race was 2 seconds behind Oskar, with Stephen Ng (30th), Jude Purser (31st), Leo Everitt (32nd) and Henry Bailey (33rd) and Riley Michaels (36th). These boys are all pushing hard for that B team. In fact only 7 seconds separated all 6 from themselves with Zac one second off the B team. Zac took bragging rights in the Everitt household but he knows (along with dad) that’s there’s a lot of running left this season! Closing the amazing squad for WGEL boys were Josh Parry (45th) and Dom Parry (46th). These boys gave it their all out there and are closing the gap on their teammates. The boys ahead better watch out!