In surprisingly mild conditions, the fields of Uxbridge provided the backdrop to our third Met League fixture. Uxbridge is a deceptively tough course. It grinds the momentum out of legs over its undulating fields. Long meadow grasses tug at the athlete’s spikes and for the first time extended to 2K for U11s.
Uxbridge is also a tricky fixture logistically, not only being a long way down the A406 it comes at a difficult time of year with the end of school terms and Christmas approaching.
With this in mind, you can see why the opposition, to whom this represented a closer-to home fixture, fancied their chances should WGEL fail to turn up. However, they were to be disappointed!
U11s Boys Results
A team: Thomas Kirkland 5th (8:25), Oliver Brown 8th (08:28), Sebastian Reid 10th (08:30) & Daniel Arnold 11th (08:31)
B Team: Charlie Whitchelo 12th (08:33), Ethan Day 22nd (09:17), Austin Mckenzie 24th (09:20) & Oskar Kyson 25th (09:25)
Squad: Stephen Ng 26th (09:27), Henry Baily 28th (09:31), Jude Purser 30th (09:34), Zac Everitt 31st (09:35), Riley Micheals 33rd (09:41), Leo Everitt 41st (10:02), Josh Parry 49th (10:32) & Dom Parry 51st (11:21)
Shaftsbury Barnet (SBH), second behind WGEL in the league threw the kitchen sink at this race! First home, was their talented youngster Arthur Phillips (SHB). Arthur finished ahead of Sammy Gibson (2nd ESM) and Ben Redland (3rd Heathside). SHB followed their first place with, Max Panwar in fourth, Euan Phillip in fifth and Jared Morris in seventh. This closed their team of four in a brilliant 7 places. What could WGEL do about this?
It was said that the “strength of the Wolf is in the pack” and that is exactly where the strength in this WGEL squad lies. First home for WGEL was Thomas Kirkland (5th) with Oliver Brown (8th), Sebastien Reid (10th) and Daniel Arnold (11th) right behind. This closed our own team of four in 11 places with less than 6 seconds separating our boys. This was a fantastic effort and what a response to the kitchen sink!
The team packed brilliantly as they flooded the finishing funnel. Thomas is gaining confidence with every race. He will push the top three all the way over the next two races. Oliver has been incredibly consistent with three top 10 finishes this season putting him firmly amongst the top athletes in the individual standings along with many of his teammates. Sebastian ran his best race of the season. He is improving race after race along with Daniel Arnold, who in his first season as a WGEL runner has taken to the Met League like a duck to water!
Next in was Charlie Whitchelo (12th) in his first race in a WGEL vest. What a performance. He will be keeping the lads ahead on their toes! There was then a small gap, before our fantastic squad swarmed through in a second wave. Ethan Day led the chasing pack (22nd) with Austin Mckenzie (24th) and Oskar Kyson closing the B team four, in 24 places. What a performance. Less than 10 seconds separated them with Stephen Ng (26th), Henry Baily (28th), Jude Purser (30th), Zac Everitt (31st) and Riley Michaels (41st) in a series of brilliant sprint battles, fighting for every place right behind them. Leo Everitt (41) in the midst of heavy swimming training ran a sensible race with Josh Parry (49th) and brother Dom Parry (51st). These lads gave it everything and as their experience grows so will their confidence. This team is not a team without every one of them.
SHB ended the day with an amazing 203 points, the highest score of the season, but WGEL responded with 185 points and despite closing the gap the A team remains first with the B team in 4th place. Up the WGEL.
U11 Girls Results
A team: Autumn Le-Chevalier 3rd (08:53), Caitlin Hancock 6th (09:13), Eliza Bridges 9th (09:17) & Tilly Anne-Brewin 16th (09:53)
Squad: Jasmine Hall 22nd, Marissa Higgs-Smith & Daisy Sherrin 26th
U11s Girls Race Report
The WGEL girls’ team arrived in Uxbridge top of the table with a number of its athletes also ranking highly on the individual standings. These performances have been built on an incredible squad mentality of fun and can do attitudes. This mentality breeds consistency, something the Met league rewards in its five months of competition!
In terms of consistency, Posie Shaw (SHB) and Kiara Corkin once again took first and second place at Uxbridge. They have finished first and second in all previous Met races this season.
Right behind them and improving on 4th place in Met 2 was WGEL athlete, Autumn Le Chevalier-Jones in third place. This was a fantastic run. Starting amongst the leaders, Autumn quickly settled into her race. Her poise and confidence in the last 100m was testimony to her pace judgement. She put 5 seconds on the 4th placed athlete Stella Gessaroli and opened the scoring for WGEL.
Second WGEL home was Caitlin Hancock (6th). This was Caitlin’s best XC race of the season. Composed and strong throughout, she topped it off with a great sprint finish. The huge smile at the end rightly showed her pride in the performance. Third WGEL home was Eliza Bridges (9th). Eliza joined our midweek training group recently and is improving session after session. This was a great run and she can be very proud of her performance.
Right behind Eliza was Faye Owers. Faye started fast, using the downhill section. However, after 1500m Faye suffered a bad stich and had to stop. Faye has been an A-team regular and will be back soon! This gave Tilly Anne-Brewin (19th) the opportunity to close the A team and she did it superbly holding off three runners in a sprint finish. Tilly closed the A team’s four in 19 paces.
Right behind Tilly was Jasmine Hall (22nd), Marissa Higgs-Smith (25th) and Daisy Sherrin (26th). Jasmine looked controlled and comfortable out on the course and closely followed by Marissa Higgs-Smith in only her second Met League race. Marissa ran tremendously finishing side by side with teammate Daisy Sherrin. These two are a bundle of smiles and tough competitors. Uxbridge was no match for them!
After Met League 3 the Girls A team have increased their lead at the top of the table and although we did not close a B team the consistency of the squad’s performance over the previous two races means they remain fifth. We look forward to Met 4 at Ally Pally on Saturday 11th January. Up the WGEL