This fixture at Uxbridge was always going to be a tricky one for us as it has been the last two seasons. Having said that, no less than 27 athletes toed the line across the four races and, despite having nine on duty for their county at Oxford, plus Jimmy Geller and Nathan Wright being wise and waiting for the new year before starting back on the racing circuit, the youngsters rose to the occasion in great style to retain the their lead in the Howard Williams Trophy. But we only have a two point lead from Shaftesbury Barnet.
Joel Doye (5295) placed 3rd (pic: Paul Hancock)
In the Under 13 boys race we had five Woodies setting out for us. Nate Harding, who has improved beyond all recognition this season, ran a brilliant race. He was lying in third place until the latter part of the course, where he had the belief to go past the second place runner as he was been roared on by Jimmy Geller, to come home in an excellent 2nd place. Godwinner Nkebani hung onto a top 10 place, placing 10th, with bottom year Gregor Samson just two places further back in 12th. Oscar Farthing, who had been unwell during the week, was determined not to let his team mates down and placed an excellent 14th for a team win on the day. Patrick Hayden, still very new to this sport. did well for 45th. Having won today, the boys are now closing the gap on Shaftesbury who still hold the lead in this age group.
The U13 Girls begin. Rosemary Kelly (centre, arm driving) placed 3rd (pic: Paul Hancock)
In the Under 13 girls race over the same course we had no less than seven Woodettes on the line. Despite the absence of our three top girls, our girls at Uxbridge still came a close second to TVH and they remain over 100 points clear overall.
Rosemary Kelly had a fine run and looked strong throughout to claim an excellent 3rd place. Emily Caton was next home and she shrugged off a mid-race fall to place 7th. Returning from injury, Amana Oguntuga did well to place 15th. Our fourth scorer was Emily Millward in an excellent 19th position, fast closing down on the girl in 18th. Next in, just two places down, was Isabella Worwood (21st), who continues to progress this season. Maya McNelis and Megan Wright, two bottom year runners, worked together with Maya producing a strong finish and forging just ahead of Megan for 40th and 41st. A superb showing from our girls.
The Junior Men’s race, incorporating both the U15s and U17s, was taken through the river, unlike the previous races. In the Under 17 Men’s category Joel Doye, like Nate, is another to improve rapidly this season and he ran brilliantly to claim 3rd, just 20 seconds behind the winner who had finished 5th in the London Youth Games three weeks earlier. In 9th place Rhys Edwards showed great consistency with another sound run. Kieran Allgood, who unfortunately fell at the stream, showed bravery just to finish in 18th spot. Fred Taylor has improved again this year and was rewarded with 34th - his highest placing.
In the Under 15 Boys category, Reuben Fabian had another fine race to place 5th from the 45 starters. Sid Cody was next home in 7th place and this performance can best be described as a blinding run from our lad - a truly great performance. Liam Short, who continues to improve, was 10th and Archie Sherrin sportingly supported us in an excellent 14th place. Max Richards, also quite new to our sport, did well for 19th with the tenacious Jay Russell working hard throughout the race in 23rd. The team were 3rd overall on the day and sit 2nd overall in the league, just 12 points behind SBH.
The Junior Women’s race also took in the stream and it featured five Woodettes. In the Under 17 Women’s race Jess Adams ran really well for 16th with Ellen Savidge four places further back in 20th. Ellen was really unlucky as she had breathing problems and had to stop during the race. But we all know Ellen is a great club girl and bravely finished the race which was a great credit for her.
In the Under 15 girls, from 35 starters Miya Maeda had an excellent run to place 2nd, just yards behind the winner. Miya can now hope she will get selected for the CAU Inter Counties next March. Good runs from Bronya Overington (18th) and Olivia Howe (28th) who both looked strong throughout their races. The girls were 6th on the day but lie 5th overall in the league table.
So the youngsters can now look forward to Xmas but they will know that in order to perform well in the championship races in the New Year they cannot afford to ease down on the training that is provided for them. They know that a good showing at Ally Pally will put them in pole position in the Overall table with just Trent Park, the final fixture, to come. Many know Trent Park only too well as they train there every Sunday morning. My thanks to Laura Millward and Nikki McNelis for taking care of the numbers in my absence.